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AVE MARIA to Be Released Across More than 400 Screens in US Theatres

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Received Three Awards in One Night

AVE MARIA to Be Released Across More than 400 Screens in US Theatres

Basil Khalil's Palestinian short film AVE MARIA, which received a nomination for the Best Live Action Short Film, will be released in the US theatres on Friday 29th of January before the 88th Academy Award® winners are announced. The screening is part of a deal between ShortsHD, a cable channel dedicated to short films, and Magnolia Pictures, to put the Oscars® nominated films of 2016 in theatres.

The program, which includes all the 15 live-action, animated and documentary short films, will showcase in more than 400 theatres across North America. This screening coincides with the announcement by the film's distributor in the Arab world, MAD Solutions', about the film's release in Palestinian theatres on February 28th, the night of the 88th Academy Awards® ceremony.

Recently,Basil Khalil's AVE MARIA won two awards at the 8th KĂĽstendorf International Film and Music Festival in Serbia namely; the Silver Egg award for Basil Khalil and the Vilko Filač Award for Best Cinematography for Eric Mizrahi. The jury described AVE Maria as a film with high cinematic standards, liberating humor due to the nimbleness of the wit and imagination of the script and the way it transcends belief systems. The jury also praised Eric Mizrahi for taking the risk of having different textures and being at the service of the film, showing his personality and expressing the narrative desire of the director. On the same night, AVE MARIA also received the Special Jury Recognition for Short Film award at Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) in USA.

This month, AVE MARIA received the Prix de Hermès (Best Short Film) award at Fréjus Short-film Festival and competed at the 3rd Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF) in Sudan, which ended its activities last Wednesday, 27th of January.

AVE MARIA's Oscar® nomination was received after a successful run at well over 60 film festivals in 27 countries, gathering 14 awards in just 8 months. The film began its journey with its world premiere in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival in May 2015. Recently, it won the prestigious Best Muhr Short Award at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival. MAD Solutions, AVE MARIA's distributor in the Arab world, revealed that the film will have a commercial release in the Arab world ahead of the Academy Awards ceremony, alongside another Oscars® contender: Jordanian Naji Abu Nowar's film Theeb, nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Film Award. This is the first distribution initiative of its kind in the region.

AVE MARIA is a 14-minute comedy that tells the story of an order of Palestinian nuns living in the middle of the West Bank wilderness. Their daily routine of silence and prayer is disrupted when a family of Israeli settlers breaks down right outside their convent, just as the Sabbath is beginning. The family need to get home but can't operate the phone, and the Nuns have taken a vow of silence.

AVE MARIA will be released in a joint screening alongside the Jordanian film Theeb in Palestinian cinemas in the following locations: Palestine Trade Tower Cinemas in Ramallah, Yabous Cultural Center in Jerusalem, Cinema Jenin in Jenin, Cinemana in Nazareth, Arab Cultural Association in Haifa, and at Dar Al Kalima in Bethlehem.