L’Expression: L’Ecran Libre – Films from the Maghreb at the Oscars 2023

Like every year, the Oscars launch a competition for foreign films. Thus the Maghreb intends to participate in this mass of cinema. The National Center for Cinema and Image (Cnci) announced that the candidate film for the 2023 Oscars was selected, Thursday, September 8, 2022, by a national Jury meeting during the day. “The jury considered that Erige Sehiri’s film meets all the eligibility criteria defined by the Academy of Oscars”, indicates the Center in a press release published on its social network, in the evening from Thursday to Friday. The jury is made up of Khaled el-Azeq (in charge of managing the Cnci), Tarek Ben Chaâbane (critic and director of the Tunisian Cinémathèque), Nacer Khemir (director), Brahim Letaïf (director), Mariem Joobar (director), Mosleh Kraiem (producer) and Najla Ben Abdallah (actress). Sous les Figues (1h32) is an international co-production (2022) between Tunisia, Switzerland, France and Qatar, which was presented at the 54th edition of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, the non-competitive independent section of the Cannes Film Festival (from May 17 to 28, 2022). This film won the Ecoprod Jury Prize launched on the occasion of the 75th Cannes Film Festival with a view to “promoting a film and its team having implemented the most ambitious eco-production approach possible”. The Ecoprod Prize rewards for the first time a feature film presented at Cannes and produced in the most eco-responsible way possible. A foreign film is defined as any feature film in a dominant foreign language, other than English, that is produced outside of the United States of America. The application concerns fiction films but also animation or documentaries. The 95th Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023. For Algeria, the Algerian Selection Committee charged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) to designate the film that will represent Algeria at the Oscars 2023 for the Prize for the best international film (formerly foreign language film) unanimously chose the film, Our brothers, by Rachid Bouchareb. The film, Our brothers, returns with the case of Oussekine, a French student of Algerian origin who was beaten to death the night of December 5 to 6, 1986, following a police intervention, when Paris was shaken by student demonstrations against a new education reform. The French Ministry of the Interior is all the more inclined to hush up this affair, as another Frenchman of Algerian origin was killed the same night by a police officer. Finally, for its part, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM) launched a call for projects in order to select the only Moroccan film which will represent the kingdom, in the category of international feature film, during the 95th ceremony of the prestigious competition of Oscars. The CCM commission will meet this month to choose the feature film that will represent Morocco during the next edition of this high mass of the 7th art. The films in question must in particular be the subject of commercial exploitation in cinemas in Morocco, between January 1 and November 30, 2022, for at least seven consecutive days. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced on December 21, and Oscar nominations will be known on January 24, 2023.

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L’Expression: L’Ecran Libre – Films from the Maghreb at the Oscars 2023