Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb After the BAFTA

Theeb_Film_PosterNaji Abu Nowar‘s “Bedouin spaghetti westernTheeb (2014) is in the news again, only now it is the “BAFTA-winning, and Oscar nominated, Theeb.

Theeb is  “one of only 10 films from the MENA region to have been nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film since 1947, and of the 112 films submitted for the category from MENA, only two have ever come from Jordan.”

In a recent interview, Abu Nowar discusses the effect of the Oscar nomination as potentially game-changing: “Now Jordan has that stamp, we have that stamp, it’s really important for all of our futures and for the future of production in the country.” In another interview, the director was asked what effect Theeb winning the Academy Award for best foreign film would have on the Arab film industry:

I think it will have a huge effect. The change will be felt in the local Jordanian industry and I think the Arab industry as a whole. Obviously there are wonderful directors who have come before us. Hani Abu Assad and Rachid Bouchareb are the other two Arab directors who have been nominated in the past. But it’s been fantastic and I really hope that it helps other filmmakers and industries as a whole. It’s great that other countries like Palestine, Algeria and now Jordan… it’s good to have diverse Arab countries (nominated for the Oscars) and I hope this encourages other Arab countries to get more nominations around and obviously a win would be amazing. It’s going to be great for the country, it’s going to be great for the Arab world and as a filmmaker, it’s a wonderful time to be in the Arab world, it’s very exciting.

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