Naji Abu Nowar’s Jordanian film Theeb has made it into the Oscars race after being shortlisted among the nine films to be considered for the Best Foreign-Language Film Award in the 88th Academy Awards. The list has been narrowed down from the 80 submissions that were originally considered for the category. The shortlisted films will advance to the next phase of voting for the category to be whittled down to the official five nominees which will be revealed on January 14th, 2016.
Last month, the award-winning film had a commercial release in the US and garnered more than $136,000 in ticket sales within five weeks. Theeb was also released in 12 countries in the Arab world and Europe and is set to have a limited re-release in several Arab countries, details of which will be revealed soon.
Theeb is a 100-minute desert adventure filmed entirely in the southern Jordanian deserts. The film’s producers collaborated with the Bedouin tribes to get a slice of life depiction of their lives. The cast was entirely formed from the local tribesmen of these communities, who’ve lived in the area for hundreds of years, after they were given acting workshops during the 8 months prior to principal photography.
Theeb is Jordanian director/writer Naji Abu Nowar’s first feature film which he co-scripted with Bassel Ghandour. Set in the Arabian Desert of 1916, the film follows Theeb, a young Bedouin boy, and his brother Hussein as they leave the safety of their tribe to venture on a treacherous journey at the dawn of the Great Revolt. If Theeb is to survive he must quickly learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal.
The film stars the young prodigy Jacir Eid as Theeb, opposite of Hussein Salameh, Hassan Mutlag, along with Marji Audeh, and Jack Fox.