The movie Theeb, by Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar, has been nominated, along with four other projects from Denmark, Hungary, France, and Columbia for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, out of 82 films originally submitted to the Oscars’s foreign film category.
Theeb opens in the the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I and follows the exploits of a young Bedouin boy who experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.
The film was one out of seven Arab films considered for the 88th Academy Awards; three of which, including Theeb, were funded by SANAD, Abu Dhabi’s film fund powered by twofour54.The nomination comes as testament to the impact Arab filmmakers are making in the international film industry and to SANAD’s success in supporting Arab talent to advance to high calibre events such as the Oscars.
Having travelled to over 13 countries, Theeb has won more than 25 awards worldwide since its world premiere at Venice Film festival and its Arab premiere at Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2014. The film has also received nominations for two BAFTA awards under the Best Film Not in the English Language category and the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer category.
SANAD is the Development and Post-Production Fund of twofour54, providing talented Arab filmmakers with meaningful support towards the development or completion of their narrative and documentary feature-length films. The company seeks out bold and remarkable projects from both new and established filmmakers with the aim of encouraging intercultural dialogue and artistic innovation, while building stronger networks within the region’s film industry.
SANAD is sponsored by twofour54, a government initiative owned by Media Zone Authority established in 2008 to cultivate Abu Dhabi’s media free zone and provide products and services to attract local, regional and international media businesses to the Emirate. Tasked with enabling a new generation of creative leaders and building Abu Dhabi as the Middle East’s leading hub for content creation, twofour54 provides world-class production facilities, talent development initiatives and training, and business support services for media companies. Named after the geographical coordinates of Abu Dhabi, twofour54 is now home to 350 media companies – including Sky News Arabia, Ubisoft, CNN, Fox, Flash Entertainment, M&C Saatchi, Image Nation and Flat6Labs.