Palestine submits 'The Stranger' for Oscar nomination

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Oct 2021

Ameer Fakher Eldin's feature film The Stranger (Al Gharib) has been submitted to the 94th Academy Awards that will take place in March 2022, while the final nominees will be announced on 8 February.

The Stranger

The Stranger takes place in Golan Heights where "a desperate unlicensed doctor subverts his village's expectations when he accidentally encounters a wounded soldier from the war in Syria," reads the film's brief on IMDb.

Written and directed by Fakher Eldin, the film stars Ashraf Barhom, Mohammad Bakri, Amal Kais, Amer Hlehel.

The Stranger won Edipo Re Award at the Venice Film Festival (2021) where it was also nominated to Giornate degli Autori Award.

This is the first time for Fakher Eldin to have his film submitted to Oscars.

Since 2003, Palestine has been submitting films on almost annual basis. Its first submission in 2003 was Divine Intervention by Elia Suleiman. The same director's It Must Be Heaven was Palestine's submission in 2019.

Two Palestinian films were nominated for the award: Paradise Now in 2005 and Omar in 2013, both directed by Hany Abu-Assad. The same director's The Idol was submitted in 2016 but not nominated.

Another Palestinian director who had more than one piece of work submitted is Annemarie Jacir with films Salt of this Sea (2008), When I Saw You (2012) and Wajib (2017).

For Oscars 2021, Palestine has submitted Gaza Mon Amour directed by Tarzan Nasser, Arab Nasser, being their first work submitted to the Oscars. The film was not nominated.

This year, two more Arab countries have submitted their films so far: Morocco with Casablanca Beats by Nabil Ayouch and Golden Butterfly by Abdelhamid Bouchnak. More Arab countries are yet to reveal their submission before the deadline set on 1 November 2021.

A shortlist of 15 finalists is scheduled to be announced on 12 December, with the final five nominees announced on 8 February, 2022.

The 94th Academy Awards will take place in March 2022 being the first time for the event to take place in March (instead of February). This change aims to avoid time conflict with the Winter Olympics, the Academy clarified.

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