Arab American News, News Report
Three Arab films have made their way onto the Academy Awards’ nomination list this year. “The Square,” directed by Jehane Noujaim and produced by Karim Amer, was nominated in the Documentary Feature category. This is the first Academy Award nomination for both Noujaim and Amer.
The film depicts a unified front in Egypt during the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square against the then president, Hosni Mubarak. The film debuted on Netflix on Jan. 17. Noujaim tweeted her excitement, “#Overthemoon #Oscar nom @thesquarefilm is for the blood, hopes, and dreams of Egyptians whose power and beauty and courage we saw in Tahrir.” This is the first Egyptian-made film to be nominated for an Oscar.
Sara Ishaq’s documentary, “Karama Has No Walls,” was nominated in the field of Documentary Short Subject. The emotional film focuses on the uprisings in Yemen, with most of the footage stemming from real events that unfolded during protests against the government. This is Ishaq’s first Academy Award nomination.
One of the nominees for the Foreign Language Film category was “Omar,” directed by Hany Abu-Assad. The film follows three young Palestinian men who kill an Israeli soldier. One of them, Omar, is arrested and beaten by Israeli agents. He is then told that he will be given freedom only if he assists in capturing the man who is believed to be the shooter. This is the second Academy Award Nomination for Abu-Assad. His previous nomination was for “Paradise Now” (2005). This year’s Academy Awards are Sunday, Mar. 2.