BEIRUT: Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri's film 'The Insult' was shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination in the foreign language category, after The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their list Thursday.
92 films were initially in contention, with only nine making the final cut.
The short-listed films are: Chile’s 'A Fantastic Woman,' Germany’s 'In the Fade,' Hungary’s 'On Body and Soul,' Israel’s 'Foxtrot,' Lebanon’s 'The Insult,' Russia’s 'Loveless,' Senegal’s 'Felicite,' South Africa’s 'The Wound' and Sweden’s 'The Square.'
'The Insult' also won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival earlier in September, with Palestinian actor Kamel El-Basha picking up the prize.
The film centers around two characters in modern day Beirut, Toni, a Lebanese Christian and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, who find themselves embroiled in a court battle after an insult is blown out proportions.
With deep rooted prejudices and traumatic experiences coming to a climax and ensuing in chaos, 'The Insult' showcases the country’s wounds in dealing with the aftermath of a bloody civil war that ended more than 20 years earlier, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and animosity toward each other.
This marks a significant accomplishment for the award-winning Doueiri, who experienced some turbulent times in recent months, finding himself caught up in political controversy.
On September 9, Doueiri was detained at Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport after entering the country and had his both his Lebanese and French passports confiscated.
He was ordered to appear before Lebanon's Military Court where he was questioned for several hours regarding a previous visit to Israel, with no charges being filed.
Doueiri’s brief detention sparked controversy over social media. While several Lebanese officials rushed to his defense, critics accused him of giving up on the Palestinian cause.
Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury tweeted in Arabic that "Ziad Doueiri is a great Lebanese director who has been honored around the world. Respecting and honoring him is a must #Lebanon." With AP.
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