MEDITERRANEAN / Mediterranean candidates for the 2017 Oscars

With registration for the 2017 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film now closed, most Mediterranean countries have submitted a film to represent them.


Fuocoammare by Gianfranco Rosi is the Italian candidate to the Oscars.

Only films released in their country between October 1st 2015 and September 30th 2016 are eligible. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will make a first short-list by the end of October but the final 5 films nominated for an Academy Award won’t be announced until January 24th.

The submissions from Mediterranean countries include:

  • Algeria: Le Puits by Lotfi Bouchouchi, which won 4 awards at the 2015 Alexandria Festival, including Best Arab Film.

  • Bosnia: Death in Sarajevo by Danis Tanovic, co-produced with France. The film won the Jury Award at the 2016 Berlinale.

  • Croatia: On the other side by Zrinko Ogresta, a Serbo-Croate drama which won special mention at this year’s Berlinale.

  • Egypt: Clash by Mohamed Diab. Screened at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) last May, it is set in the 2013 riots which followed the coup removing President Mohamed Morsi. Everything is filmed inside a police van.

  • Greece: Chevalier by Athina Rachel Tsangari, a comedy drama: 6 men stuck on a yacht in the Aegean play a competitive game.

  • Israel: Sand storm by Elite Zexer, the story of a polygamous marriage in a small Bedouin village.

  • Italy: Fuocoammare, par-delà Lampedusa by Gianfranco Rosi, documentary about the doctor who examines every immigrant arriving on the island of Lampedusa. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival.

  • Jordan: 3,000 nights by Mai Masri, the story of a Palestinian woman wrongly incarcerated who gives birth in prison. A co-production with France, Palestine and the Lebanon.

  • Lebanon: Very big shot by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, a thriller in the world of drug trafficking.

  • Morocco: A mile in my shoes by Said Khallaf. Voted Best Moroccan Film at the last Tangier Film Festival, it follows a street child who wants to revenge himself on the world.

  • Palestine: The Idol by Hany Abu Assad. The life of Mohammed Assaf, a former refugee in a camp in Gaza who won the singing competition on the TV show “Arab Idol”.

  • Romania: Sieranevada by Cristi Puiu, a family reunion becomes a settling of old scores. The film was an Official Selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

  • Spain: Julieta by Pedro Almodovar: a mother receives information about her daughter who disappeared 12 years earlier without giving any news.

  • Tunisia: A peine j’ouvre les yeux by Leyla Bouzid, portrait of Tunisian youth just before the Jasmine Revolution. At the Venice Festival it won the Audience Award.

  • Turkey: Cold of Kalandar by Mustafa Kara, the story of a remote mountain farmer who decides to enter a bull to compete in a bull fight.

And also: Chromium by Bujar Alimani (Albania), Earthquake by Sarif Andreasyan (Armenia), Losers by Ivaylo Hristov (Bulgaria), Elle by Paul Verhoeven (France), Home sweet home by Faton Bajraktari (Kosovo), The liberation of Skopje by Rade and Danilo Serbedzija (Macedonia), The black pin by Ivan Marinovic (Montenegro), Train driver’s diary by Milos Radovic (Serbia), Houston we have a problem by Ziga Virc (Slovenia)…


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