'Theeb': Qatar-backed Jordanian film shortlisted for Oscars

'Theeb': Qatar-backed Jordanian film shortlisted for Oscars
Jordanian critically acclaimed film production "Theeb" (Wolf) has officially entered the Oscars race this year after picking up best director prize for Naji Abu Nowar in Venice last year.
2 min read
21 Dec, 2015
The celebrated Jordanian film "Theeb" is set during the same time period as Lawrence [Getty]
Theeb (Wolf), a Jordanian film production supported by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), has been shortlisted for the Oscars' best foreign language film category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced.

The "bedouin Western" movie realised by director and co-writer Naji Abu Nowar was selected out of 80 contenders from around the world.

"Theeb" was filmed entirely in the southern Jordanian desert.

It is the only film from the Middle East included in the shortlist.

The critically acclaimed film was selected for a post-production grant by DFI through its Mena Grants Programme in 2013.

This first feature film by Nowar won him Best Director at the 71st Venice Film Festival last year and Arab Filmmaker of the Year at the Eighth Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 New Horizons Competition.

Theeb achieved commercial success in several Arab countries, including Jordan, the UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. It screened in Doha during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival last year and in Novo cinemas early this year.

The shortlist included seven films from Europe and one from Colombia. It will be narrowed down to five which will be announced along with other Oscar nominees in various categories on January 14.

The winner will be announced at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 28.

In November, "Theeb" won the Grand Prize at the Festival International Du Cinema De Dakhla in Morocco.

The 100-minute feature premiered in the United States in November. 

Starring Jacir Eid as Theeb (Wolf), the film set in 1916 Arabia tells the coming-of-age story of a boy’s perilous journey into the Arabian desert which has become the hunting ground of Ottoman mercenaries, Arab revolutionaries and outcast Bedouin raiders.

The film's producers say they worked closely with bedouin tribes to ensure they produced an authentic depiction of their life and mores.

The cast consisted of local tribesmen from these communities, who have lived in the area for hundreds of years. But first, they were given acting training lessons prior to filming.