Middle Eastern Film Makers to Participate in Oscar 2020 Race

The Oscars are here, again! Middle Eastern and North African film-makers will be participating in the foreign film category for this first time. This is the first year the award will be given under the new name of ‘best international feature film’. Feature films must be summited in their country between October 1 of 2018 and September 30 of 2019 to engage. The 92 edition of the Academy Awards will take place February 9 in Los Angeles.

Egypt: Poisonous Roses (Ahmed Fawzi Saleh)

Via Vogueme

A drama based on Ahmed Zaghloul Al-Sheety’s 1990 novel, the film has been played in over 20 film festivals since it’s launch in 2018. The Egyptian film also won the special jury award in Cairo Film Festival. The movie revolves around two siblings and their mom living in Cairo’s districts. The main character, Saqr dreams of escaping but is tied down by his love to his sister, Tahya and his job.  

Palestine: It Must Be Heaven (Elia Suleiman)

The movie plays out the life of a man escaping his homeland, Palestine to only be met with the same challenges. Elia Suleiman, Palestinian, is passionate about representing his home country, he directed Palestine’s first-ever entry Divine Intervention in 2003 and this is his second submission.

Algeria: Papicha (Mounia Meddour)

Via jour2fete

Heavily supporting women’s right to self- expression, the female director, highlights a brave young woman unwilling to give in to conservatism in the 1990’s. The fast energy, fashion design student, Nedjma organizes a fashion show as an oppression against her sex. After partaking in Cannes film festival and Un certain regard, it was voted as Algeria’s best feature film for the nominee. 

Morocco: Adam (Maryam Touzani)

A socially rejected unmarried woman is taken in by a local modest widowed baker, changing their lives forever. The movie resembles motherhood and the women’s drive to overcome their different yet similar struggles.

Tunisia: Dear Son (Mohamed Ben Attia)


A middle-class Tunisian couple is struggling to understand their son’s constant migraines and outbursts. The considered parents are shocked to find their son has taken off from their ordinary life to join ISIS in Syria. 

WE SAID THIS: Fingers Crossed for the Films!