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10 Dubai International Film Festival Films Get Oscar Nod

Mon Feb 12,2007

Familiar names from the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) graced the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ list of nominees for the 79th Academy Awards. 10 films that were featured at DIFF were tapped for recognition in 12 different categories.

Scooping the lion’s share of nominations this year was Babel, the thrilling multi-character film by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu, who has been nominated for Achievement in Directing. The film is represented in 6 categories, including the coveted Best Original Screenplay and Best Motion Picture of the Year. In an interesting twist, actresses Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi have both been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

Forest Whitaker, of The Last King of Scotland, which opened in the UAE in late January, is up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, and Penelope Cruz has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Pedro Almodovar’s Volver.

Water, Deepa Mehta’s sumptuous exploration of the lives of Widows in pre-Independence India, and The Lives of Others, exploring the surveillance regime of Communist East Germany, have both won prestigious international awards, and were both nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, as was Rachid Bouchareb’s Days of Glory (Indigènes), about North African soldiers fighting for France in World War II.

Musical crowd-pleasers also make an appearance on the nominee list: tap-dancing penguin film Happy Feet has been nominated for Best Animated Feature of the Year, and West Bank Story, a humourous short musical about star-crossed lovers—-an Israeli man and a Palestinian woman—-in the West Bank, garnered a nod for Best Live Action Short Film.

Two documentaries exploring the crisis in Iraq were nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category. Laura Poitras’ My Country, My Country follows an Iraqi medical doctor and political candidate as his country spirals into increasing violence, and James Longley’s Iraq in Fragments incorporates a stunning 3 years’ worth of documentary footage in several different regions in the country.

The 79th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 25, 2007.

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