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Offbeat

8 Arab films among 92 countries vying for foreign language Oscar

Poster of the film ‘Little Gandhi,’ Syria’s submission to the Oscars.
LOS ANGELES: A record 92 countries have entered the race hoping to snag an Oscar for best foreign language film at next year’s awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Among the contenders that have created a buzz this year are eight Arab films. These include: Syria’s “Little Gandhi,” Egypt’s “Sheikh Jackson,” Iraq’s “Reseba: The Dark Wind,” Lebanon’s “The Insult,” Morocco’s “Razzia,” Palestine’s “Wajib,” Tunisia’s “The Last of Us,” and Algeria’s “Road to Istanbul.”
Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” from Cambodia, Robin Camillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” from France, and Joachim Trier’s “Thelma” from Norway, are some of the favorites to win.
Swedish art world satire “The Square,” directed by Ruben Ostlund, was the shock winner at the Cannes Film Festival this year and is also among the contenders.
First-time entrants include Haiti’s “Ayiti Mon Amour,” Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s “Dearest Sister” and Syria’s “Little Gandhi.”
Last year’s Oscar for best foreign language film went to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.”
Farhadi boycotted the ceremony over US President Donald Trump’s visa ban barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States.
Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 23 and the glitzy ceremony will be held on March 4 in Hollywood.

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