Representing the region

Critically acclaimed Syrian documentary, ‘For Sama’ just received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category. This makes it the only film from the region to be included in this year’s ceremony.

We are only half way through the first month of 2020, but it is shaping up to be a great year for Syrian director Waad Al-Kateab who is now nominated for an Oscar and four BAFTAs, which makes her film the most nominated feature documentary in history.


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The film first premiered in March of last year, at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary. It also received the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival. Not only that, but it also took home the Golden Eye Documentary Prize at Cannes Film Festival.

The documentary tells the story of the of a young woman’s struggles with love, war and motherhood over the course of five years in Syria. It’s been called “a love letter from a young mother to her daughter”. It bring a voice to the unique experiences of  being a woman during wartime.

In an interview with France 24 last year, Waad said of the movie: “The film was made to justify to my daughter Sama the very cruel choice we had to take.” The family stayed in Syria during the bloodies stage of the conflict, as the filmmaker’s husband was a doctor at Aleppo Hospital, and who was subjected to shelling while at work.

Watch the trailer here:

Feras Fayyad’s ‘The Cave’ has also received a nomination in the same category as ‘For Sama’. Elsewhere, the Tunisian short film ‘Brotherhood’ has received a nod for the Best Live Action Short Film making Meryam Joobeur the first Tunisian female director in history to be nominated for an Oscar. ‘Nefta Football Club’ directed by Yves Piat and Damien Meghrebi is also nominated in the same category.

Congratulations to all

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