Daoud Abdel Sayed’s “Messages From the Sea” is Egypt’s selection for a nomination in the foreign language Oscar race.
Pic was chosen by a committee from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
“Messages From the Sea” is a moody romance set in Alexandria. Written by Abdel Sayed, pic bowed in Berlin.
Pic features Asser Yasin as a young doctor who turns his back on class-driven Alexandria for the simple life of a fisherman.
Abdel Sayed makes his return to the screen after nearly a decade. The helmer said he spent most of that time shopping the script for “Sea.”
“Most producers are looking for commercial films,” he said, “and there’s little space for films that are outside this commercial formula. To do a movie like this is quite hard.”
Pic was a modest B.O. success in Egypt. Abdel Sayed said he hoped the Oscar selection would make producers more willing to make his next film, though he admitted, “I expect to face some difficulties.”
Pic was produced by Al Arabia Cinema Production and Distribution.
Submissions for the foreign language Oscar must reach the Academy by 5 p.m. Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 25. The 83rd Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theater on Feb. 27.