Tunisia's Four Daughters and Morocco's Mother of All Lies shortlisted for Oscars

Academy announced shortlists for documentary and international features, among other award categories

The 'Four Daughters' team at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Getty Images
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On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced shortlists in 10 categories, including best original song, documentary feature, international feature, original score, and crafts such as hair and make-up, visual effects and sound.

The Tunisia production, Four Daughters, by Kaouther Ben Hania was shortlisted in the documentary and international feature categories.

The film looks at a mother who struggles with how her two eldest daughters disappeared after being radicalised by ISIS.

The director introduced two actors who represented them, and allowed the mother and two sisters to interact with the actors. Popular Tunisian actress Hend Sabry portrays the mother in reenactment scenes. It was produced between France, Tunisia, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Also in the Middle Eastern region, documentary The Mother of All Lies was shortlisted for international feature.

The production done between Morocco, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia highlights the story of director Asmae El Moudir as she explores her family history.

Among the 15 international features advancing are Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest (UK), Tran Anh Hung’s The Taste of Things (France), Lila Aviles’s Totem (Mexico) and Aki Kaurismaki’s Fallen Leaves (Finland).

Mstyslav Chernov’s 20 Days in Mariupol, produced by AP and Frontline, was shortlisted in the documentary and international feature categories.

Other films on Ukraine, Camp Courage and In the Rearview, were also shortlisted for awards.

Last Song from Kabul, a documentary on woman orphans who fled Afghanistan and reignited their love for music in Portugal after the Taliban shut their music school, made the shortlist for documentary short films.

National Geographic's Bobi Wine: The People’s President was shortlisted for documentary feature on its chronicle of the opposition leader who used music to run against long-time Ugandan ruler Yoweri Museveni.

As expected, Greta Gerwig's Barbie, Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon were prominent among the finalists in many categories, including score and sound.

Original song contenders competing against I’m Just Ken include two other songs from Barbie: Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night and Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For?

Only two songs from a movie can advance to the nomination stage, however.

For the most part, shortlists are determined by members in their respective categories, although the specifics vary from branch to branch.

Some have committees, while others have minimum viewing requirements.

Final nominations in all categories will be announced on January 23. The winners will be announced at the 96th Oscars ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, on March 10.

Updated: December 23, 2023, 10:18 AM