Dubai-based Palestinian filmmakers Farah Nabulsi and Hind Shoufani have been thrown into the Oscars’ spotlight after their film, The Present, was nominated for an Academy Award.
Directed by Nabulsi, who co-wrote the film with Shoufani, The Present has been nominated in the live-action short category. It tells the story of Yusef (played by Saleh Bakri) who sets out with his young daughter, Yasmine (Mariam Kanj), to buy a wedding gift for his wife (Mariam Basha). A simple task that, during the course of a single day, highlights the ugly reality of occupation.
Shot on location in the West Bank by Nabulsi and cinematographer Benoît Chamaillard, the film was produced by Ossama Bawardi of Philistine Films and has already picked up a BAFTA nomination.
“I never believed this simple powerful story would travel to the Oscars, gaining lots of traction along the way,” said Shoufani, who also edited the film. “It’s amazing what a small group of determined people can do and I’m happy that the intense stories of my people are being recognised.”
The Present has already won a number of accolades around the world, including the audience award at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. The winners of the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on 26 April.