The Palestinian Film That Made It to the Academy Awards
Omar Hits Arab Theatres for Only 2 Weeks
After a successful tour of film festivals, which resulted in numerous awards and an Academy Award nomination, MAD Solutions will release Palestinian auteur Hany Abu-Assad's Omar in theatres across the Arab world for only 2 weeks.
Starting from Wednesday, May 20, Omar will hit Egyptian theatres, followed by a May 21st release in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Iraq, coinciding with its world premiere in Cannes Film Festival, where it received the first of many awards.
Regarding the release of Omar, Alaa Karkouti, CEO and Co-founder of MAD Solutions said: "We believe that this is the best time to release Omar in the Arab world at the heels of Hany Abu-Assad. The simultaneous release in 5 Arab countries will achieve one of our goals to merge the Arab film market into a more sustainable entity that is more embracing of spectacular, and thereby increasing the appeal of the film across a wider audience platform".
Director Hany Abu-Assad commented,: "I am extremely happy that finally Omar is getting the chance to be released in the Arabic world. This release means a lot to me as I consider this movie as homage to the Egyptian thriller. It's a film about love, friendship and trust against the background of political oppression; themes that we deal with on daily basis in our lives, especially in this time"
Omar is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his secret love Nadia. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. On the other side of the wall, the sensitive young baker Omar becomes a freedom fighter who must face painful choices about life and manhood. When Omar is captured after a deadly act of resistance, he falls into a cat-and-mouse game with the military police. Suspicion and betrayal jeopardize his longtime trust with accomplices and childhood friends Amjad and Tarek, Nadia's militant brother. Omar's feelings quickly become as torn apart as the Palestinian landscape. But it's soon evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia
Omar is written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the film stars, Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Eyad Hourani, Samer Bisharat and the Palestinian- American producer and actor Waleed Zuaiter who also co-produced the film through his company ZBROS. Waleed Zuaiter is famous for his roles in a number of Hollywood films such as; The Men Who Stare at Goats directed by Grant Heslov, which also starred George Clooney and Ewan McGregor as well as Sex and the City 2 directed by Michael Patrick King.
Through a tour in international festivals around the world, Omar earned many awards and appreciations in addition to its nomination of the list of submissions to the 86th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Omar awarded 5 prizes from other festivals such as; Un Certain Regard award in Cannes Film Festival, Best Film from Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Film from Muhr Arab Feature within Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Youth Jury Award Best Film from Flanders International Film Festival Ghent in Belgium and the HRNS People Award from Human Rights Nights Italy.
Abu-Assad was awarded the Arab Muhr Best Director Award and Best Director within Asia Pacific Screen Awards; lately Ehab Assal the Director of Photography won the Silver Frog Prize for Best Cinematography from Camerimage Festival in Poland.
The film was also nominated for the Grand Marnier Fellowship Award during New York Film Festival as well as Best Foreign Language Film in Palm Springs International Film Festival, in addition to the Grand Jury Prize from American Film Institute (AFI).
Hany Abu-Assad is a Palestinian director, born in Nazareth. He started as a producer in Hatta Ishaar Akhar written and directed by Rashid Masharawi. In 1998, Abu-Assad directed his first film The Fourteenth Chick, written by Arnon Grunberg. Abu-Assad achieved great international success by Rana's Wedding in 2002. His film Paradise Now (2005) was very controversial and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category in addition to 11 awards from International festivals, three of them from Berlin International Film Festival.