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'Omar' Oscar nomination a win for Palestinian film industry

Palestinian filmmakers are celebrating the success of Hany Abu-Assad's "Omar," which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign film.
Hany Abu-Assad (C), Director Palestinian film "Omar" arrives with his cast at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-ARRIVALS)


When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met for the 86th Oscars, Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir hosted an all-night party in Amman, hoping Hany Abu-Assad’s "Omar" would win the trophy for best foreign film. “We are burning the midnight candle and crossing our fingers,” she told Al-Monitor before the results were known in the very early hours of March 3. Jacir’s late-night party echoed a similar party she held eight years ago in Ramallah when another Abu-Assad film, "Paradise Now," was also up for an Oscar.

"Omar" did not win the award, which went to the Italian film "The Great Beauty." Jacir, whose latest film “When I Saw You” has been well-received around the world, insists that “the fact that Hany made it this far and that Palestine was represented despite attempts to keep Palestinian voices out of the mainstream is a major achievement.”

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