Omar (film)

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Omar
Omar film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad
Produced by Hany Abu-Assad
Waleed Zuaiter
David Gerson
Written by Hany Abu-Assad
Starring Adam Bakri
Cinematography Ehab Assal
Edited by Martin Brinkler
Eyas Salman
Release dates
  • 21 May 2013 (2013-05-21) (Cannes)
Running time
96 minutes
Country Palestine
Language Arabic

Omar (Arabic: عمر‎) is a 2013 Palestinian drama film directed by Hany Abu-Assad. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival[1] where it won the Jury Prize.[2] It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[3] The film has been selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[4] and was among the five finalists.[5] It also won Best Feature Film at the 2013 Asian Pacific Screen Awards.[6] The film was screened at the United Nations in New York on 1 May 2014.[7]

Plot[edit]

Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who frequently climbs the West Bank barrier to visit his lover Nadia (Leem Lubany), a high-school girl whom he intends to marry. After being beaten and humiliated by a group of Israeli soliders, Omar and his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat) stage an attack on an Israeli checkpoint. During the attack, Amjad fires the shot that kills an Israeli soldier. Later, Omar and his friends are subsequently pursued by the Israeli authorities. During the pursuit, Omar is captured and imprisoned by the Israeli authorities. Facing a lengthy prison term, Omar is forcibly coerced by an Israeli agent named Rami (Waleed Zuaiter) into working as a double agent for the Israeli authorities. Agent Rami secures Omar's release in exchange for the latter bringing Tarek to the authorities.

Due to his early release, Omar is stigmatized by many in his community as a suspected collaborator. Omar's predicament is further complicated by the fact that his lover Nadia is Tarek's sister. Due to Omar's delays in keeping his side of the bargain, he is arrested again by the Israeli authorities. During his imprisonment, he makes a second deal with Agent Rami in order to find out who is betraying the Palestinian "freedom fighters." Omar later learns that his friend Amjad is the mole. When confronted, Amjad confesses to having an affair with Nadia and that the Israelis had used that to blackmail him into working for them. Omar forces Amjad to confess to Tarek. During an ensuing struggle between the three men, Tarek is killed when his gun accidentally goes off. With the help of Agent Rami, Omar and Amjad managed to hide their involvement in Tarek's death.

Two years later, Omar is revisited by Agent Rami who attempts to coerce him into working as a mole. Omar also discovers that Amjad had lied about Nadia's pregnancy. By this stage, Nadia has abandoned her studies and become a homestay mother to two young children. During a meeting with Agent Rami, Omar tricks the former into giving him a gun under the pretext of killing Amjad. However, Omar instead uses the gun to kill Agent Rami as revenge for turning him against his friends.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Director Hany Abu-Assad describes putting together the idea of the film in one night, writing the structure of the story in four hours and writing the script in four days.[8] After a year of securing finance, filming began at the end of 2012 and took place mainly in Nazareth (Israel), Nablus and the Far'a refugee camp.[9][10]

Waleed Zuaiter managed to secure the $2m budget for the film, 5% of which came from Enjaaz, the post-production fund of Dubai International Film Festival and the remainder from Palestinians.[11]

Distribution[edit]

Adopt Films acquired all U.S. rights to Omar after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival.[12] UK distribution rights was acquired by Soda Pictures[13] and distribution rights in France was sold to Pretty Pictures.[14]

Awards[edit]

Award/Festival Category Winner/Nominee Won
Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Hany Abu-Assad Nominated
American Film Institute Fest Grand Jury Prize Hany Abu-Assad Nominated
Asian Pacific Screen Awards Best Feature Film Hany Abu-Assad, Waleed Zuaiter Won
Best Performance by an Actor Adam Bakri Nominated
Achievement In Cinematography Ehab Assal Nominated
Camerimage[1] The Silver Frog Prize for Best Cinematography Ehab Assal Won
Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Jury Prize Hany Abu-Assad, Waleed Zuaiter Won
Dubai International Film Festival[15] Muhr Arab Best Director Award Hany Abu-Assad Won
Muhr Best Film Waleed Zuaiter Won
Ghent International Film Festival[2] Youth Jury Award Best Film Hany Abu-Assad Won
Fajr International Film Festival[3] Crystal Simorgh Prize for Best Direction Hany Abu-Assad Won
New York Film Festival Grand Marnier Fellowship Award - Best Film Nominated
Palm Springs International Film Festival Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Tromsø International Film Festival[4] The Norwegian Peace Film Award Hany Abu-Assad Won

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Richford, Rhonda (26 May 2013). "Cannes: 'The Missing Picture' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian (London). 23 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Foreign Language Oscar: Israel Submits ‘Bethlehem’; Palestine Goes With ‘Omar’". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Oscars: Main nominations 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  6. ^ "Asia Pacific Screen Awards Announced in Australia". Australia Network News. 13 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Screening of Oscar-nominated feature film "Omar"". United Nations. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (15 December 2013). "Foreign Language Oscar Preview A Long List Of Strong Contenders For Such a Shortlist Of Possibles Nominees". Deadline London. 
  9. ^ Ritman, Alex (3 December 2013). "Hany Abu-Assad presents a direct hit from the West Bank at DIFF". The National. 
  10. ^ "AFI Fest: Hany Abu-Assad talks about making of Omar". 12 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Asfour, Nana (2014-02-22). "Omar: the Palestinian Oscar nominee made amid panic and paranoia". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  12. ^ "Adopt Films To Distribute Palestine's Oscar Bid 'Omar'". indiewire.com. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  13. ^ "Soda nabs London Film Festival duo". ScreenDaily. 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  14. ^ screendaily.com
  15. ^ Kemp, Stuart (2013-12-13). "Dubai Film Fest: Hany Abu Assad's 'Omar' Wins Top Prize". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 

External links[edit]