Jordan Daily – Jordan nominated the feature-narrative film “Amira”, by Mohamed Diab, as its official entry for the 94th Academy Awards (Oscar®) to compete at the International Feature Film category.
Based on the recommendations of an independent committee consisting of Jordanian experts involved in the writing field and the audio-visual scene, the committee chose this feature, which was entirely shot in Jordan in 2019 and is co-produced by Jordan, Egypt and Palestine. The independent committee, made up of nine members, was formed by The Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC), as the country’s official submitting body for the Oscar®. The RFC had announced, last September, an open call for submissions for feature narrative films to be nominated to the Academy Awards, organized the process and compiled the applications.
The film follows Amira, a 17-year-old Palestinian, who was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father, Nawar. Although their relationship since birth has been restricted to prison visits, he remains her hero. His absence in her life is overcompensated with love and affection from those surrounding her. But, suddenly, Amira’s world turns upside down.
The cast includes the Jordanian star Saba Mubarak, the emerging Jordanian actress Tara Abboud, who plays the role of “Amira”, the Jordanian actor Suhaib Nashawan as well as the Palestinian actors Ali Suliman, Waleed Zuaiter and Kais Nashif.
While the film was shot in Amman and Salt, the majority of the crew were Jordanians with around 128 individuals, who worked across the different departments and two local entities participated in the production.
“Amira” had its World Premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival where it won the collateral Award “Lanterna Magica” granted by the jury of Cinecircoli Giovanili Socioculturali (CGS) and the “Enrico Fulchignoni” Award. The film also got a Special Mention at Carthage Film Festival (JCC) and participated at El Gouna Film Festival, Palestine Film Days, Chicago International Film Festival and Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival.
About the selection of the film, a statement of the committee said: ““Amira” is a powerful examination of identity and humanity seen through the eyes of a young girl searching for herself. Mohamed Diab’s masterful filmmaking absorbs the viewer through the nuances of internal conflict so beautifully depicted by his incredible cast, mainly: Tara Abboud, Saba Mubarak and Ali Suliman. This is great daring filmmaking at its very best.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will announce the shortlisted films for the 2022 Oscar® on December 21st, whereas the nominated films will be announced on February 8th of next year. The 94th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on March 27th, 2022.
With this selection, Jordan had submitted, in the past years, a total of six films for the same category: “Captain Abu Raed” by Amin Matalqa, “Cherkess” by Mohyeddin Qandour, “Theeb” by Naji Abu Nowar, “3000 Nights” by Mai Masri, “200 Meters” by Ameen Nayfeh. The Kingdom was last nominated for the race in 2016 for “Theeb” by Naji Abu Nowar. Another Jordanian short film – “Baheya and Mahmoud” by Zaid Abu Hamdan – had also made its way by qualifying for the Oscar® nomination back in 2012.