Baftas 2020: Syrian documentary 'For Sama' scores four nominations

The film won the Prix L’Oeil d’Or for Best Documentary at last year's Cannes Film Festival

The award-winning documentary 'For Sama' has had multiple awards nominations this season. Courtesy Waad al-Kateab
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

For Sama, a Syrian documentary shot over five years from inside besieged Aleppo, has received four nominations for this year's EE British Academy Film Awards.

The film has been nominated in four categories: Documentary, Outstanding British Film, Film Not in English Language and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

The nominations continue a golden run for the film, which was awarded the Prix L'Oeil d'Or for Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. It also took home four trophies at the British Independent Film Awards in December, including the award for best British Independent Film.

For Sama, made by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad Al Kateab and Edward Watts, follows the intimate and epic journey of Al Kateab through five years of her life in the rebel-held city as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to her first daughter, Sama.

The film was constructed using footage entirely drawn from Al Kateab’s extraordinary archive.

Al Kateab began filming using a mobile phone after it became clear the peaceful protests she was taking part in with fellow students from the University of Aleppo were being denied by the regime. She told The National in May that her footage was "very big evidence that the people who are there are Syrians and not, as the regime was saying, all strangers and terrorists".

Last month, British actress Emilia Clarke showed her support for the documentary, asking fans to watch the film.

The rest of the Bafta nods

Joker leads this year's nominations with 11, followed by the Netflix crime-drama The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino's ode to 1970s Los Angeles, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, both of which received 10 nominations. All three films are in contention for the Best Film award, along with First World War epic 1917 and South Korean hit and Golden Globe winner Parasite.

Joaquin Phoenix is in the running for Best Actor award for his portrayal of the Joker. He will be competing against Taro Egerton, who played Sir Elton John in Rocketman, Jonathan Pryce who starred in The Two Popes, Leonardo DiCaprio for his work in Once Upon a Time… and Adam Driver for his role in the Netflix drama Marriage Story.

Margot Robbie is competing against herself after she received two nominations in the Best Supporting Actress category for her roles in Bombshell and Once Upon a Time… and Scarlett Johansson also has two nominations, one for Jojo Rabbit in the same category, and another for Best Actress for her role in Marriage Story.

Other Best Actress nominees include Renee Zellweger for Judy, Jessie Buckley for Wild Rose, Charlize Theron for Bombshell, and Saoirse Ronan for Little Women.

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) is in the running for the British Short Film award. The 40-minute documentary follows the story of young Afghan girls as they learn to read, write and skateboard in Kabul over the course of a school year. The film won the IDA (International Documentary Association) award for best short documentary and has been shortlisted for this year's Oscars.

The awards ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, February 2, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, will be hosted by Irish comedian and television presenter Graham Norton.

Here are the full nominations for the Baftas 2020:

Best Film

1917
The Irishman
Joker
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Parasite

Best British Film

1917
Bait
For Sama
Rocketman
Sorry We Missed You
The Two Popes

Outstanding Debut by a British writer, Director or Producer

Bait, Mark Jenkin (writer/director), Kate Byers, Linn Waite (producers)
For Sama, Waad Al Kateab (director/producer), Edward Watts (director)
Maiden, Alex Holmes (director)
Only You, Harry Wootliff (writer/director)
Retablo, Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio (writer/director)

Film not in the English Language

The Farewell
For Sama
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Best Documentary

American Factory
Apollo 11
Diego Maradona
For Sama
The Great Hack

Best Animated Film

Frozen II
Klaus
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Toy Story 4

Best Director

Sam Mendes for 1917
Martin Scorsese for The Irishman
Todd Phillips for Joker
Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho for Parasite

Best Original Screenplay

Booksmart, Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman
Knives Out, Rian Johnson
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Parasite, Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho,

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

Best Actress

Jessie Buckley for Wild Rose
Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan for Little Women
Charlize Theron for Bombshell
Renee Zellweger for Judy

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Adam Driver for Marriage Story
Taron Egerton for Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern for Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson for Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh for Little Women
Margot Robbie for Bombshell
Margot Robbie for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes
Al Pacino for The Irishman
Joe Pesci for The Irishman
Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Best Score

1917
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Casting (for the first time)

Joker
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Two Popes

Best Cinematography

1917
The Irishman
Joker
Le Mans ’66
The Lighthouse

Best Editing

The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Le Mans ’66
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Best Production Design

1917
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Best Costume Design

The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Judy
Little Women
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Best Make-up & Hair

1917
Bombshell
Joker
Judy
Rocketman

Best Sound

1917
Joker
Le Mans ’66
Rocketman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Special Visual Effects

1917
Avengers: Endgame
The Irishman
The Lion King
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best British Short Animation

Grandad Was a Romantic
In Her Boots
The Magic Boat

Best British Short Film

Azaar
Goldfish
Kamali
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)

The Trap

EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)

Awkwafina
Jack Lowden
Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr
Micheal Ward

Bafta Fellowship

Kathleen Kennedy

EDITOR'S PICKS