×

Oscars Shortlists Prompt Innovative Theatrical Distribution Moves In Arab World (EXCLUSIVE)

The 2016 Oscars shortlist is having an innovative impact on film distribution in the Arab world, prompting the theatrical re-release in the region of Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar’s desert adventure pic “Theeb,” and also of pluriprized short “Ave Maria,” by Palestinian director Basil Khalil.

Desert-set “Theeb,” which is Jordan’s Foreign Language Oscar candidate, is about a Bedouin boy who outwits potential enemies during a danger-fraught mission at the height of World War I. Following its Jordanian premiere in March pic went on to an outstanding box office run in eleven Arab countries. After being shortlisted in the Foreign Language Oscar category last week, it will now be getting a subsequent limited pan-Arab second outing early next year via Cairo-based distribbery Mad Solutions, which claims this re-release of an Arab arthouse movie is a first.

“Theeb” in November went out on limited release via Film Movement in the U.S., one of twelve territories where this Arab cinema standout title has had theatrical play. Nominations for the best foreign language Oscar will be announced January 14.

“Ave Maria,” a 14-minute comic short about Palestinian Catholic nuns in a West Bank monastery contending with Israeli settlers world premiered at Cannes and went on to screen at more than fifty festivals. It made the Oscar shortlist in the live action shorts category. Nominations in this category will also be announced January 14.

“Short films have rarely found a screening window in the Arab world,” noted MAD Solutions CEO Alaa Karkouti in a statement. The theatrical release of “Ave Maria” is in line with his company’s mission to “explore every opportunity for Arab films.”

 

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • DSCF6823.RAF

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Heads for $20 Million Opening Weekend

    Lionsgate and Millennium’s “Angel Has Fallen” is performing above expectations, taking in $7.9 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales as it heads to a projected $20 million opening weekend. Early estimates originally placed the third installment of the “Fallen” series within the $12 million to $16 million range, but a solid 95% audience score on [...]

  • Juntos

    Juntos Films Production House Launches in Chile with Ambitious Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Francisco Hervé of Panchito Films, Moisés Sepúlveda from Madriguera Films and Daniela Raviola, three of Chile’s most exciting international-minded independent producers, have together launched a new indie production house, Juntos Films. Hervé has written, directed (“The Power of Speech,” “The Lost City”) and produced (María Paz González ‘s “Daughter”) several feature films, documentaries and TV [...]

  • Noele trailer Anna Kendrick

    Disney Unveils 'Noelle' Trailer Starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader

    Among the many announcements at the D23 Expo, Disney debuted the first look at holiday feature “Noelle,” which is set to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus this fall. “It isn’t Christmas without Santa’s Sister,” Walt Disney Studios said of the film on Twitter. Starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, the Christmas flick tells the story [...]

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Film News Roundup: Austin Festival Selects Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    In today’s film news roundup, the Austin Film Festival selects a Terrence Malick title, “A Day Without a Mexican” gets a sequel and DCR Finance signs a first-look deal. FESTIVAL SCREENING The Austin Film Festival will screen Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” which won the Francois Chalais and Ecumenical Jury awards at the Cannes Film [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Moved Back to 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved the release date of Blake Lively’s “The Rhythm Section” back two months from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31, 2020, the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. The spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    'The Mandalorian': Watch the First Trailer for 'Star Wars' Series

    The gunslinging lone warrior — the Mandalorian, as they call him — calls the far reaches of the “Star Wars” galaxy home. Disney dropped the first trailer for the spinoff series during its biennial D23 convention on Friday, finally giving fans a closer look at the franchise’s newest character. “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau, who [...]

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    'Lady and the Tramp': Disney's Live-Action Remake Gets First Trailer (Watch)

    Ready your dog-friendly bowl of spaghetti, Disney has debuted the first trailer for its live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. The teaser was released during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim at the Disney + presentation. In addition to Thompson and Theroux, who play the Lady and Tramp, respectively, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content