Three Palestinian films nominated for Asian Pacific Screen Awards

Three Palestinian films are nominated for best film in three different categories at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, a prestigious annual event in Brisbane, Australia.

Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar (watch the trailer above) is up for Best Feature Film, while Annemarie Jacir’s When I Saw You is nominated for Best Children’s Feature Film and Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours is being considered for Best Documentary Feature Film.

Omar received the most nominations of any film this year, with Adam Bakri nominated for Best Performance By An Actor and Ehab Assal for Achievement in Cinematography.

Prizes will be awarded at the awards ceremony on 12 December.

Omar gets US distributor

Omar is finally coming to the US, and is Palestine’s official submission to the Academy Awards for best foreign-language film.

Variety reports:

Omar, written and directed by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes this year. Adopt [Films] plans a late winter US release for Omar, which had its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month.

Abu-Assad’s 2005 film Paradise Now is the only Palestinian title to have received a best foreign language nomination. Omar is the sixth film submitted by the Palestinian territories to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Jonathan Cook reviewed Omar for The Electronic Intifada in September:

Like Paradise Now, Omar is an intimate, surprisingly humorous and often claustrophobic portrait of friendship, love, betrayal and sacrifice in the face of extreme pressures.

But unlike the earlier film, which examined conflicting ideas of liberation at a particular moment in Palestinian history, Omar widens out Abu Assad’s canvas to address questions about the nature of Israeli occupation and that of authentic resistance.

A World Not Ours awards, screenings

A World Not Ours has been showing at festivals around the world, and collecting awards along the way, including the grand prize at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Japan, the Best New Talent award at the Duhok International Film Festival in Kurdistan, and the Best Feature Film award at the Cinemigrante film festival in Buenos Aires.

The documentary, a very personal look at multiple generations of exile in Lebanon’s Ein al-Hilwe refugee camp, will be premiering in New York City at the DOC NYC film festival this Saturday, and will also be screening that same day in San Diego, California at the 17th annual Arab Film Festival.

More Palestine film news:

  • Omar Robert Hamilton’s Though I Know the River is Dry was awarded Best Film from the Arab World in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s short film competition last month.
  • Rani Massalha’s debut feature Giraffada premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and was screened at the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Film Festival in October. Saleh Bakri (When I Saw You) stars as the father of a ten-year-old boy who attempts to find a partner for a giraffe in the occupied West Bank’s Qalqiliya zoo after its mate is killed in an Israeli air strike. Giraffada has been profiled by The National and reviewed by Variety.
  • The Goodness Regime, a new short film written and directed by artists Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle and shot in Norway and Palestine, premiered in Oslo exactly twenty years after the signing of the accords bearing the city’s name. “With the help of a cast of children, the film investigates the foundations of the ideology and self-image of modern Norway – from the Crusades, via the adventures of Fridtjof Nansen and the trauma of wartime occupation, to the diplomatic theatre of the Oslo Peace Accords,” according to the film’s description on Ibraaz.
  • The Do Gooders, described as “A Thelma and Louise-style road movie journeying into the mysterious world of international aid in Palestine,” will be screening in London on 22 November with director Chloe Ruthven and film protagonist Lubna Masarwa in attendance for discussion (watch the trailer).
  • The Bristol Palestine Film Festival will run from 29 November and 15 December and will include screenings of When I Saw You, Khaled Jarrar’s Infiltrators, Apples of the Golan, Though I Know the River Is Dry and more (see full schedule).
  • The Madrid Palestine Film Festival runs 22 November through 8 December, and includes screenings of 5 Broken Cameras, When I Saw You, Infiltrators, Nation Estate, and more (see full program).
  • Nation Estate director Larissa Sansour’s solo exhibition Science Faction may have just closed in Dubai, but she and her recent satirical, futuristic works are profiled this week in The Huffington Post.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.