After months of speculation, the Academy Award nominations were announced today, and for the first time, Lebanon has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Directed by Ziad Doueiri, The Insult tells the story of a politically-affiliated, Lebanese mechanic and a Palestinian blue collar worker whose small feud escalates to a nationwide phenomenon, prompting questions of nationalism, honour, pride, and history. The film is Doueiri’s fourth major production after the wildly-celebrated West Beirut (1998), Lila Says (2004), and The Attack (2012), the last one resulting in his temporary arrest a few months ago on charges of being on Israeli territory.
With lots of speculation and a fierce competition between the shortlisted films, not many predicted a nomination for The Insult, but here we are. As of this morning, Lebanon officially has its first Oscar nomination.
This undoubtedly brings hope to the many aspiring filmmakers in the country. While not free from criticism, this nomination will hopefully open doors for more funding for local efforts to reach international audiences.
The game changes now. Stay tuned for predictions.
Click here for the full list of winners.