Baftas nominations 2024: Two Arab-linked films up for top prizes

Anatomy of a Fall and Ken Loach's swansong The Old Oak earn nods

Ebla Mari and Dave Turner in The Old Oak. Photo: Sixteen Films
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The Bafta nominations have been announced and two films with connections to the Arab world are in the running for awards.

The Old Oak, Ken Loach’s film about Syrian refugees trying to integrate into a former British mining town, has been nominated for Outstanding British Film.

Egyptian-French filmmaker Arthur Harari, writer of French courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall with director Justine Triet, is also in the running for the Original Screenplay award.

The full list of nominations was announced on Thursday, with Oppenheimer leading the list with 13, followed by Poor Things (11); and Killers of the Flower Moon and The Zone of Interest (nine).

This year's awards will be the final chance for decorated British director Loach to win, with The Oak Oak being his last film.

“When you’re doing it, you’re doing it, you just have to get a move on and get on with it,” Loach, 87, told The Guardian. “But I can’t see me getting round the course again. Your capacity fades a bit when you’re knocking on.”

The film tells the story of a Syrian refugee named Yara, played by Syrian actress Elba Mari, who strikes up a friendship with a pub landlord named TJ, played by Dave Turner. Yara and her family are newcomers to a neglected village in England’s north-east.

Also nominated in the Outstanding British Film category are All of Us Strangers, How to Have Sex, Napoleon, Poor Things, Rye Lane, Saltburn, Scrapper, Wonka and the Zone of Interest.

Harari is personally nominated for Original Screenplay, but Anatomy of a Fall is also nominated for Film Not in the English Language, Leading Actress (Sandra Huller) and Best Film, joining the likes of Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer and Poor Things. It is up for an award in seven categories.

Triet and Harari are partners with two children and have worked on numerous films over the years.

“It was mixed with all the other collaborations when you’re living together,” Harari told The Knockturnal in November when asked about his collaborative process on Anatomy of a Fall with Triet.

“It was great, difficult, long, stressful, exciting and very rewarding at the end.”

The film won Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes last week.

“This movie is about the truth, and the impossibility of catching it, its construction and the obsession of a child,” Triet said in her second acceptance speech for the film.

The Bafta winners will be announced at a London ceremony on February 18.

Updated: February 07, 2024, 1:06 PM