Academy Awards 2021: 'Gaza Mon Amour' to represent Palestine in Oscars race

The film will be the country's official entry in the International Feature Film category

A still from the film 'Gaza Mon Amour' starring Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas and Salim Daw. La Biennale di Venezia 
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Gaza Mon Amour will officially represent Palestine in the race for one of the Oscars' most prestigious awards.

The film, directed by twin brothers Arab and Tarzan Nasser, will serve as the country's nomination in the category of International Feature Film at next year's awards.

The romance, which stars Hiam Abbas and Salim Daw, tells the story of 60-year-old fisherman Issa, who is in love with Siham, a dressmaker at his local market.

As he musters up the courage to propose, Issa discovers an ancient Greek statue of Apollo in his fishing net, which he then hides at home, in a tale inspired by a similar real-life case in 2013. The discovery soon upends life as he knows it.

"We are honoured to represent Palestine at this year's Oscar International Film category. We are proud to bring the film's message of finding love regardless of age, all while set against the reality of life in present day Gaza, to Academy voters," the Nasser brothers told Variety.

The Nasser brothers had their feature debut at the 2015 Cannes Critics' Week with Degrade, a film about a group of women who become trapped in their local hair salon.

In a recent interview with The National, the directors, 31, said that their latest film – the premier of which took place at Venice Film Festival in September – was a way to show "how much they love Gaza".

“We decided to do something with no link to politics,” said Tarzan.

Gaza Mon Amour will be the 13th film to represent Palestine at the Oscars, with two films previously selected for nominations: 2005's Paradise Now and 2013's Omar.

The 93rd Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021. The ceremony was originally set for Sunday, February 28, 2021, but was pushed back in June, extending the cut-off date for Oscar-eligible films by two months.