Tunisian & Iraqi films submitted for an Oscar's Foreign Language Film Award

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Sep 2023

Tunisian film Four Daughters and Iraqi film Hanging Gardens are among the Arab films submitted to Oscar's Foreign Language Film Award Committee by their respective countries to compete in the 96th edition of the Academy Awards in March 2024.

four daughters

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is expected to announce the preliminary list of films competing for the award in December 2023, followed by the shortlist in January 2024. 

Four Daughters is written and directed by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania.

The film follows Olfa, a Tunisian woman and the mother of four daughters. One day, her two older daughters disappear. To fill in their absence, the filmmaker invites professional actresses and invents a unique cinema experience that will lift the veil on Olfa and her daughters' life stories.

Four Daughters blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction and between being on-screen and off-screen.

The film has received critical acclaim, winning the Golden Eye award at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Best International Film at the Munich Film Festival and the Jury Award at the International Competition of the Brussels Film Festival.

Four Daughters was selected for submission at the Academy Awards by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture.

Hanging Gardens is directed by Iraqi filmmaker Ahmed Yassin Al-Darraji.

Most recently, the film won Best Fiction Film, Best Screenplay (Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji and Margaret Glover), and Best Actor (Hussain Muhammad Jalil) awards at the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival (2023).

Prior to its success at Malmo, Hanging Gardens won Best Feature Film at the 2022 edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.

Ganging Gardens' synopsis reads: "When a young Iraqi rubbish picker rescues an American sex doll from the Baghdad dumps, he crosses into a perilous red zone, where friends become enemies, and nothing is certain in an explosive mix of love, war, and madness."

Al-Daradji is known for the films Children of God (2013), which won the Muhr Arab Special Mention and FIPRESCI Prize for Best Arab Short Film at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013, and Stray (2018).

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