This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the official slate of nominees for the 86th Academy Awards, and two films playing at the 2014 AJFF are up for golden statues when the Oscars are broadcast live on March 2.
Omar Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film
Omar, the first film to be fully funded by the Palestinian cinema industry and the winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, garnered a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film. The film tells the story of a young, lovelorn Palestinian caught between both sides of the occupation, and it continues to garner rave reviews.
In the wake of a deadly sniper attack on an Israeli checkpoint, Omar (Adam Bakri) is arrested, tortured and eventually cajoled into becoming an informant for Israeli intelligence agent Rami (Waleed Zuaiter). Bereft of any options, Omar is forced to betray his friends or accept unending blackmail by the Israelis. The film’s nihilistic coda will leave stunned audiences contemplating the endless cycle of violence and retribution in the Palestinian territories.
As part of a special panel discussion at the 2014 AJFF, both Omar and Bethlehem, a similar film released in Israel this year, will be discussed on Sunday, February 16 at Regal Atlantic Station. More information about Omar is available on its film details page.
The Lady in Number 6 Nominated for Best Documentary Short
At 109-years-old, the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor shares her remarkable secrets to longevity and happiness in The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short category, and Atlanta moviegoers will get their first chance to see it at the 2014 AJFF, when it screens as a double-feature with The Longest Journey: The Last Days of the Jews of Rhodes.
Pianist and music teacher Alice Herz-Sommer lives alone in a tiny flat in central London, dutifully practicing the piano and maintaining an independent routine. Coherent, clear-eyed and witty, her relentlessly positive outlook offers no hint of the painful losses she experienced in Nazi-occupied Prague during WWII. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke, this uplifting story features Alice speaking with quiet grace and an astounding absence of malice, citing the importance of music and laughter, and her deeply held belief in the essential goodness of humanity.