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Mijke de Jong’s ‘Layla M.’ Is Dutch Entry in Foreign-Language Oscar Race

Mijke de Jong’s “Layla M.,” a topical drama which competed at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, has been selected as the Dutch entry for the foreign-language Oscar category.

“Layla M.” revolves around a Dutch-Moroccan teenager (Nora el Koussour) who becomes radicalized in reaction to her country’s anti-Muslim measures. After marrying a devout young jihadist, Layla joins an Islamist cell with him in the Middle East – only to discover that her new community has its own restrictions, prejudices and dangers.

Following its world premiere at Toronto’s Platform section, the film went on to play at several film festivals worldwide, including Chicago, AFI Fest Los Angeles, BFI London, Marrakech, Goa, Gothenburg, Jeonju IFF, Dubai and Tallinn Black Nights. Netflix picked up global rights to the feature from Beta Film.

“Layla M.” is currently nominated for four Golden Calves – the Dutch equivalent to the Oscars – in top categories, including best film and best script.

The film was produced by Topkapi Films, in co-production with NTR, Belgium’s Menuet, Germany’s Chromosom and Germany’s Schiwago Film.

The 90th Academy Awards will unveil nominations on Jan. 23, 2018. The ceremony will take place March 4.

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