Four films supported by AFAC were submitted by their respective countries as first entries for the 96th Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.
Representing Iraq is Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji’s “Hanging Gardens”. When a young Iraqi rubbish picker rescues an American sex doll from the Baghdad dumps, he crosses into a perilous red zone, where friends become enemies and nothing is certain in an explosive mix of love, war and madness.
Submitted by Morocco is “The Mother of All Lies” by Asmae El Moudir. As a daughter and filmmaker, El Moudir fuses personal and national history while reflecting on the 1981 Bread Riots, drawing out connections to modern Morocco.
From Palestine, “Bye Bye Tiberias” by Lina Soualem pieces together images of today, family footage from the nineties and historical archives. The film portrays four generations of daring Palestinian women who keep their story and legacy alive through the strength of their bonds, despite exile, dispossession, and heartbreak.
On its part, “Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani has been selected by Sudan to be its Academy Awards submission for best international feature film. Set in Khartoum, the film depicts the complicated relationship and differences between Northern and Southern Sudanese communities.
This is the second time that a Sudanese film is submitted to the Oscar nomination committee. In 2021, Sudan chose the AFAC-supported film “You Will Die at Twenty” by Amjad Abu Alala as its first-ever Sudanese contender for the Academy Awards.
A shortlist of 15 films will be announced by the Academy committee on December 21, 2023.