Actor Khaled Aboul-Naga in Eyes of a Thief. (Photo: Courtesy of the filmmaker, Najwa Najjar)
Palestine has nominated Eyes of a Thief, starring Egypt’s Khaled Aboul-Naga, as its Oscar entry for the Best Foreign Language Film race, ahead of the official announcement of the list of nominees slated for 15 January 2015.
The Foreign Language Film Award Committee will select five films from the shortlisted scores to become official contenders in the 87th edition of the race.
Eyes of a Thief is the second long feature by Palestinian/Jordanian filmmaker Najwa Najjar, who casted Algerian singer and songwriter Souad Massi and actress Maisa Abd Elhadi alongside Aboul-Naga.
The decision comes following the official nomination of Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar by the Foreign Film Committee last year.
Inspired by true events, Eyes of a Thief is centred on Tarek (Aboul-Naga), a Palestinian father who is released from an Israeli prison and returns to his hometown to find his daughter. By plunging the viewer into Tarek’s past, a sequence of events unravels the stifling nature of contemporary Palestinian society.
Aboul-Naga boasts a list of widely celebrated films, several of which have been crowned at international festivals; these include Villa 69 (2013), Microphone (2010) and Heliopolis (2009), the three of which he also produced.
Eyes of a Thief premiered in September in Ramallah, Palestine. Najjar’s first feature film, Pomegranates and Myrrh, premiered at the Dubai International Festival in 2008.
Earlier this week, Egypt nominated Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl in the same category.