DUBAI: British Academy Film Awards unveiled its list of nominees this week, with two Arab films in the shortlist: veteran director Ken Loach’s Syrian refugee drama “The Old Oak” and Egyptian-French filmmaker Arthur Harari’s courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

“The Old Oak” has been nominated for Outstanding British Film, while Harari is in the running for the Original Screenplay award, and his movie is also nominated for Film Not in the English Language, Leading Actress (Sandra Huller) and Best Film.

“The Old Oak,” written by Paul Laverty, tells the story of a pub landlord, TJ, who forms a bond with Yara, a Syrian refugee in a small town in the north-east of England. It explores the tensions that arise when refugees, including Lara’s family, are housed in the tight-knit community.

The film, which stars Dave Turner, Elba Mari, Trevor Fox, and Joe Armstrong, is a co-production between the UK, France and Belgium.

In “Anatomy of a Fall,” a woman is suspected of her husband’s murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the sole witness.

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).

“Oppenheimer” leads the race for the BAFTA, with nominations in 13 categories, including best film — eight more than its box-office rival “Barbie.”

Gothic fantasia “Poor Things” received 11 nominations, while historical epic “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” had nine each.

Other leading contenders include boarding school comedy “The Holdovers” and Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro,” with seven nominations each. Love story “All of Us Strangers” was nominated in six categories and class-war dramedy “Saltburn ” in five.

“Barbie,” one half of 2023’s “Barbenheimer” box office juggernaut, also got five nominations, but missed out on nods for best picture and best director.

The winners will be announced at a Feb. 18 ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall hosted by “Doctor Who” star David Tennant.


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