Still image from official trailer.
Mardan, a film by Batin Ghobadi, has been nominated by the cultural committee of the culture ministry in Iraq for the Academy Awards foreign language film prize.
The film, which premiered in Toronto in September, follows a police officer gripped by a traumatic childhood memory as he searches for a missing man in the rugged mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.
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, slated for 22 February 2015.
Mardan stars Hossein Hassan, Helan Abdullah, Ismail Zagros and Feyyaz Duman. The film is produced by Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses, 2000), the older brother of Batin.
In 2010, Batin’s short film Ask the Wind won the Crystal Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Other short features by the filmmaker include Surely Today (2002), Incommunicado (2003) and Broken Soldier (2004).
Meanwhile, submissions from other Arab countries for the 2015 Foreign Language Film Award include Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl from Egypt and Najwa Najjar's Eyes of a Thief from Palestine.