California’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has sent out Oscar ballots to its members, who have been mandated with selecting nominees for Hollywood's top film honours, to be announced on 24 January.
Egyptian film “El-Shoq” is reportedly among those that have been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign-Language Film category.
The academy's 5,783 voting members must make their choices by 13 January. The coveted statuettes will then be awarded at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, scheduled to be held on 26 February at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.
Oscar veteran Billy Crystal has stepped in to host this year's Academy Awards show after actor Eddie Murphy pulled out following a row over a show producer's anti-gay comments. Crystal has hosted the show eight times previously. He last hosted the event in 2004.
Egyptian director Khaled El-Hagar's film, “El-Shoq,” was nominated by an Egyptian committee of critics and filmmakers, chosen by former culture minister Emad Abou Ghazi, to represent Egypt in the contest. The committee included directors Magdy Ahmed Ali and Dawood Abdel Sayed; actor Khaled El-Sawy; and critics Youssef Sherif Rizkallah, Yasser Moheb and Ramy Abdel Razek.
The cast of “El-Shoq” includes a host of well-known Egyptian actors, including Sawsan Badr, Roubi, Kouki, Ahmed Azmy, Ahmed Kamal, Mohamed Ramadan, Sayed Ragab, Doaa Te’ama and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. It was produced by Mohamed Yassin, written by Sayed Ragab, and features music by Hisham Gabr.
Other possible contenders for best foreign-language film at the Oscars include “Where Do We Go Now?,” directed by Lebanon’s Nadine Labaki, and “Omar Killed Me” by Morocco’s Roschdy Zem.