Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Blog

by: Firas Suqi
Spring Intern, 2014

Filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad has put Palestinian cinema back in the limelight after his fictional thriller “Omar” was nominated for an Academy Award in best foreign language film. Shot between Nazareth, Israel and various locations throughout Palestine, “Omar” tells the story of a Palestinian baker unwillingly thrust into the role of an Israeli informant after being beaten and forced into a false confession during the investigation of a murdered Israeli soldier.


Watch the trailer of "Omar":

In his second nomination for best foreign language film in eight years, Abu-Assad – who also directed the film “Paradise Now” in 2005 – refused all foreign funding in the production of the film as a way to pay homage to the Palestinian people and the growing Palestinian film industry he has helped forge. This is the second year in a row that a Palestinian film has been nominated for an Oscar, after Emad Burnat’s5 Broken Cameras” became the first-ever Palestinian film nominated for the Academy Award in best documentary feature.

In addition to Abu-Assad’s nomination, Arab American filmmaker of Egyptian descent, Jehane Noujaim, has been nominated for best documentary feature for her film "The Square.” The film depicts the personal narratives of Egyptian youth amidst the political turmoil that overthrew the first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in the summer of 2013. AAI will also be hosting an Arab American community screening of the film to celebrate Jehane’s work and to discuss current events taking place in Egypt.   

Preview "The Square" below:

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