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First Lebanese film shortlisted for foreign-language Oscar

Rita Hayek in a scene from ‘The Insult’
JEDDAH: “The Insult” has become the first Lebanese film to make the foreign-language Oscar shortlist.
“Thank you to the cast and to the Lebanese and French crew. Thank you to the producers,” tweeted the director, Ziad Doueiri.
“You were all so dedicated to this project. You were the reason why we’re here. We already won! — ZD #Oscars2018 #TheInsult.”
In the film, set in modern Beirut, a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee wind up in court. As their case comes under media scrutiny, they are forced to reconsider their lives and prejudices.
Cast members include Adel Karam, Rita Hayek, Kamel El-Basha, Christine Choueiri, Camille Salameh, Diamand Bou Abboud and Julia Kassar.
Doueiri drew inspiration from two American films: Michael Mann’s “The Insider” and Sidney Lumet’s “12 Angry Men.”
Doueiri’s movie scooped the American Film Institute Festival’s Audience Award, beating 13 other foreign-language Oscar contenders in November.
“The Insult” will be released on Jan. 26, 2018, in select theaters in the US.
Nine films are vying for an Academy Award nomination in the foreign-language category: Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman,” Germany’s “In the Fade,” Hungary’s “On Body and Soul,” Israel’s “Foxtrot,” Lebanon’s “The Insult,” Russia’s “Loveless,” Senegal’s “Felicite,” South Africa’s “The Wound” and Sweden’s “The Square.”
Five films are typically nominated for foreign-language Oscar consideration, and the nominees will be announced on Jan. 23. The Academy Awards will be held on March 4 in Los Angeles.