NYFF’s ‘Omar’ Selected for Best Foreign Language Oscar Consideration

Hany Abu-Assad's Omar has been selected by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The political thriller debuted in the Cannes Un Certain Regard section where it received a Jury Prize. Abu-Assad's Paradise Now was nominated in the category in 2005.

Set in the Occupied Territories, the tense feature centers on Omar (Adam Bakri), a Palestinian baker who routinely climbs over the separation wall to meet up with his girl Nadja (Leem Lubany). By night, he can be construed as a freedom fighter or terrorist - ready to risk his life to strike at the Israeli military with his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat). Arrested after the killing of an Israeli soldier and tricked into an admission of guilt by association, he agrees to work as an informant, which begins a dangerous game in which loyalties become vague.

[Related: Cannes Daily Buzz: Bridging Barriers in Abu-Assad’s "Omar"]

Israel, meanwhile, selected Yuval Adler's debut feature, Bethlehem as its contender, according to Deadline. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and picked up six Ophir Awards (Israel's highest film honors) including Best Feature and Best director. Set in Jerusalem and the West Bank, it centers on an Israeli secret service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant.

And just due north, Lebanon has also sent in its choice for Oscar. Amin Dora's Ghadi is a comedy set in a small coastal town, which follows Leba, a music instructor who marries his childhood sweetheart, Lara. His family and friends are disappointed when his first born is a girl, which is followed by a second one. Lara's third pregnancy is with a boy, but medical tests indicate he will have special needs. Questions arise whether they will keep the baby or whether it will become the family's pride and joy or a burden.

Last year, 71 countries submitted entries for consideration for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language category. NYFF 50 U.S. debut Amour by Michael Haneke won the category in 2013. The Academy will select a short list of about nine films later this fall from which five will be selected as nominees for the 86th Academy Awards taking place next March.

Current submissions for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration follow:


15 Years and a Day, Gracia Querejeta (Spain)

Bad Destiny, Draško Đurović (Montenegro)


Blind Spot, Christophe Wagner (Luxembourg)


Borgman, Alex van Warmerdam (The Netherlands)


Boy Eating The Bird’s Food, Ektoras Lygizos (Greece)


Breach in the Silence, Luis Rodríguez, Andrés Rodríguez (Venezuela)

Burning Bush, Angieszka Holland (Czech Republic)


The Butterfly’s Dream, Yılmaz Erdoğan (Turkey)


Circles, Srdan Golubovic (Serbia)


Child’s Pose, Calin Peter Netzer (Romania)


Class Enemy, Rok Biček (Slovenia)
The Cleaner, Adrian Saba (Peru)

The Colour of the Chameleon, Emil Hristov (Bulgaria)
Conversations on Serious Topics, Giedré Beinoriute (Lithuania)


Countdown, Nattawut Poonpiriya (Thailand)

Disciple, Ulrika Bengts (Finland)


Eat Sleep Die, Gabriela Pichler (Sweden)

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, Danis Tanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Four Corners, Ian Gabriel (South Africa)

Gabrielle, Louise Archambault (Canada)
Ghadi, Amin Dora (Lebanon)


Gloria, Sebastián Lelio (Chile)


God’s Horses, Nabil Ayouch (Morocco)

The Good Road, Gyan Correa (India)

The Grandmaster, Wong Kar-wai (Hong Kong)


The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

The Great Passage, Yuya Ishii (Japan)



Halima’s Path, Arsen Anton Ostojić (Croatia)

The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

I Am Yours, Iram Haq (Norway)


Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen (Singapore)


In Bloom, Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß (Georgia)



Juvenile Offender, Kang Yi-kwan (South Korea)

La Playa DC, Juan Andrés Arango (Colombia)


Lines of Wellington, Valeria Sarmiento (Portugal)

More Than Honey, Markus Imhoof (Switzerland)


Mother, I Love You, Janis Nords (Latvia)



My Dog Killer, Mira Fornay (Slovakia)
Neighboring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil)

Of Horses and Men, Benedikt Erlingsson (Iceland)


The Notebook, Janosz Szasz (Hungary)


Soongava: Dance of the Orchids, Subarna Thapa (Nepal)


Soul, Chung Mong-hong (Taiwan)

Stalingrad, Fedor Bondarchuk (Russia)


Transit, Hannah Espia (Philippines)


Wadjda, Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudi Arabia)


Walesa. Man of Hope, Andrzej Wajda (Poland)


White Lies, Dana Rotberg (New Zealand)


Metro Manila, Sean Ellis (United Kingdom)
Omar, Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine)


Paradjanov, Serge Avedikian, Olena Fetisova (Ukraine)


Renoir, Gilles Bourdos (France)


The Rocket, Kim Mordaunt (Australia)


Two Lives, Georg Maas (Germany)


The Wall, Julian Pölsler (Austria)
Wakolda, Lucía Puenzo (Argentina)


Who’s the Boss?, Ronni Castillo (Dominican Republic)


Zinda Bhaag, Meenu Gaur, Farjad Nabi (Pakistan)

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