It's been a record year for the Oscars Academy Awards with a total of 92 films submissions from around the world for the foreign-language category. Followers of Arabic cinema will be delighted to know that the film submission included Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.
Here's a list of the 8 Arabic films in competition:
Algeria: Road to Istanbul / La Route d'Istanbul
When the police tell her that Elodie, her only daughter, aged 20, has left for Syria to wage jihad, Elisabeth's life is turned upside down. She is shocked and does not understand why Elodie has gone, because the war there is not theirs to fight. Elisabeth manages to get in contact with Elodie, but is overwhelmed in the face of a young woman that she no longer recognizes. Alone in her struggle, Elisabeth decides to go to Syria to look for her daughter and persuade her to come back with her to Belgium. Will mother and daughter succeed in finding and understanding one another?
Egypt: Sheikh Jackson
An Islamic cleric has a crisis of faith when he hears the news that his childhood idol, Michael Jackson, has died.
Iraq: Reseba- The Dark Wind
After the engagement of Reko and Pero, the Islamic State attacks their Yezidi village in the Shingal region of Iraqi Kurdistan. At this moment Reko is working in another town. Some of the villagers flee, others are taken captive or murdered. The terrorists sell Pero and other young girls on a slave market. When Reko hears about the attack, he searches for his beloved ones. His parents and Pero's family find shelter in a refugee camp but Pero is missing. Finally, Reko finds his fiancée in Syria. But after reuniting Pero with her family in the camp, everyone learns that Pero is deeply traumatized. The nightmare continues and the question remains: Will true love overcome "The Dark Wind"?
Lebanon: L'insulte / The Insult
In today's Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices.
The streets of Casablanca provide the centrepiece for five separate narratives that all collide into one.
A father and his estranged son must come together to hand deliver his daughter's wedding invitations to each guest as per local Palestinian custom, in this rousing family drama from Annemarie Jacir.
Syria: Little Gandhi
The story of iconic Syrian peace activist Ghiyath Matar whose brutal torture and death at the age of 26 outraged the international community and erupted into one of the most violent uprisings in modern history.
Tunisia: The Last of Us
With no dialogue, “The Last of Us” tracks a Sub-Saharan man through the desert to North Africa where he steals a boat. When it breaks down, he begins an imaginary surrealistic odyssey where he meets an older man, who might be an altered version himself, and, in a wild landscape, rediscovers his relationship with primary nature.