Did any Arab win on Oscars night? Some did, a near miss for others

March 5, 2018 4:41 pm

Gary Oldman holds his Oscar for Best Actor

The academy awards is the most celebrated event in the movie business, and the Arab world did not miss a beat being a strong part of it in 2018.

The coveted awards mean that the hours spent behind the scenes and in front of the camera paid off and in grand style.

The glitz and glamour associated with the Oscars often overshadow winning them.

Did Arabs have a major impact in this year’s event?

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Winning designs 

Hollywood’s leading women turned to a host of Middle Eastern designers in order to dazzle on the film industry’s biggest night, the Academy Awards, on Sunday night, reported Arab News

“Vampire Academy” actress Zoey Deutch wore a stunning Elie Saab gown in lilac.

The teared, beaded dress was given an envelope-pushing edge due to its sheer skirt and the star completed the look with side swept hair and red-hued make-up” said Arab News.

Allison Janney, the Oscar winning best supporting actress in her portrayal of figure skater Tonya Harding’s mom LaVona in “I, Tonya” looked stunning in  fiery Reem Acra gown with flowing sleeves, and plunging neckline.

“Acra also dressed Helen Mirren, outfitting her in a head-to-toe blue gown which was accented by a show-stopping sapphire and diamond necklace,” said Arab news.
Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad took credit for a soft pink ball gown worn by “Deepwater Horizon” actress Gina Rodriguez.

Did Arab movies win?

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First time unlucky charm

Two Arab movies were nominated for an Academy Award thi 2018,  but none made the cut.

Gulf Digital News (GDN online) said that ‘The Insult’ represented Lebanon in the category of Best Foreign Language Film while the Syrian film ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ featured in the Best Documentary Feature competition.

‘The Insult’, or “Case 23” in Arabic, is about a minor incident between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee which goes out of control and turns into an explosive trial that ends up dividing the two communities.

Directed by Ziad Doueiri, the Insult stars Rita Hayek, Adel Karam, Diamand Bou Abboud and Camille Salameh.

Instead it was ‘A Fantastic Woman’ that won the Oscar for best foreign language film, edging out Ruben Östlund’s Swedish satire The Square and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Russian fable Loveless, according to the UK’s Guardian.

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‘Last Men in Aleppo’ has become the first ever Syrian film to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Described by its director Firas Fayyad as “a big shout out to justice”, the documentary movie, lays bare the horrors of the war inferno in his native country, Syria, focusing on the remaining citizens of Aleppo who are bracing for the horrific life of the dead under siege in a city.

“The director makes us travel through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers, called the White Helmets, to explore the atrocities of daily life, death, internecine killings in a city where war has become the norm,” said GDN online.

Here again Russian doping documentary “Icarus” won the best documentary Academy Award for director Bryan Fogel and producer Dan Cogan, marking the first feature film documentary Oscar for Netflix.

“Icarus” topped “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” “Last Men in Aleppo,” and “Strong Island.”

Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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