Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 March 2019

Nadine Labaki's Capernaum shortlisted for Oscar

The Lebanese director and actress becomes the first Arab female filmmaker behind a film shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film

Nadine Labaki during the 17th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 7, 2018. AFP 
Nadine Labaki during the 17th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 7, 2018. AFP 

It's a moment film buffs have all been waiting for: the nominations for nine of the categories of the 91st Academy Awards are out, and on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film is Capernaum, directed by Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki. It makes it the first film by an Arab woman to get an official Oscars nod and it is the second film from Lebanon to ever be nominated. Ziad Doueiri's The Insult was shortlisted in 2017.

The announcement comes not long after Capernaum was also nominated for the Golden Globes' Best Picture – Foreign Language category, becoming the first Lebanese film to be nominated in the prestigious awards ceremony, often seen as the precursor and barometer for what we should expect from the Academy Awards.

This year, the Golden Globes airs on January 6, 2019, while the 91st Academy Awards are on February 25.

What the film is about

Capernaum is Labaki's third film and tells the story of children in the slums of Beirut, using a cast of non-actors. The main storyline follows a 12-year-old boy who decides to sue his abusive parents, who he's already fleed from, for the "crime" of giving him life.

Earlier this year Labaki again made history at the Cannes Film Festival, as she became the first female Arab filmmaker to win a major prize in the competition, picking up the Jury Prize for Capernaum, which received a 15-minute standing ovation at its premiere screening.

Capernaum will go up against the highly praised Mexican feature film Roma, by Netflix.

Here is the full shortlist for the category:

Colombia, Birds of Passage

Denmark, The Guilty

Germany, Never Look Away

Japan, Shoplifters

Kazakhstan, Ayka

Lebanon, Capernaum

Mexico, Roma

Poland, Cold War

South Korea, Burning


Read more:

Nadine Labaki’s ‘Capernaum’ is up for a Golden Globe becoming the first Lebanese film to ever be nominated

New Golden Globes honour will be named after Carol Burnett

Review: Why Roma is the greatest film of 2018

'Life has been hard on him mostly because he's a refugee': Nadine Labaki writes heartfelt note to young Syrian actor Zain Al Rafeea

The Arab film industry needs more support, says Annemarie Jacir


Updated: December 18, 2018 05:18 PM



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