Alif Mabrouk to 2016 Oscar nominated Theeb and Ave Maria

Worldwide, there are a number of people who are disappointed that the Academy Awards in 2016 will yet again be a sea of white faces with no minorities in any of the major categories. However, despite the lack of diversity at the top, there is some exciting news in other nominations.

I was thrilled to find out that movies Theeb ذيب and Ave Maria السلام عليك يا مريم have been nominated to represent Arab film at this year’s Hollywood award ceremony.

Theeb is a 2014 Jordanian Arabic-language film written and directed by Naji Abu Nowar and is nominated for a Best Foreign Film. It is the first time a movie from Jordan has been nominated.

Ave Maria is a short film out of Palestine, France and Germany and has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Alif Mabrouk (1,000 Congratulations in Arabic) and good luck to them both on February 28th in bringing home their Oscars!

Theeb (ذيب)

While war rages in the Ottoman Empire, Hussein raises his younger brother Theeb (“Wolf”) in a traditional, yet isolated, Bedouin community. The brothers’ quiet existence is interrupted when a British officer and his guide ask Hussein to escort them to a water well.  Theeb secretly chases, but the group soon find themselves trapped amidst threatening terrain riddled with mercenaries, revolutionaries, and outcast raiders. Naji Abu Nowar’s powerful and assured directorial debut is a wondrous “Bedouin Western” about a boy who, in order to survive, must become a man and live up to the name his father gave him.

Ave Maria (السلام عليك يا مريم)

The
silent routine of 5 Palestinian nuns in the middle of the West Bank
wilderness is disrupted when a family of Israeli settlers come knocking
at their door for help after crashing into the convent’s wall.
The Israelis can’t operate a phone to call for assistance due to the
Sabbath laws, and the Nuns have taken a vow of silence. Together they
have to come up with an unorthodox plan to help them get home.