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Arts & Culture


Kaouther Ben Hania becomes the first Arab woman to receive two Oscar nominations

Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania, at 46, has etched her name in the annals of Arab film history, becoming the first Arab woman to receive not one, but two Oscar nominations.

Her recent work, “Four Daughters,” a gripping docu-fiction, has been honored with a nomination for Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards. This achievement follows her first nod in 2021 for the acclaimed “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” under the Best International Feature Film category.


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Arab cinema in the spotlight

Hania’s movie, “Four Daughters,” is supported by Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Foundation. The film delves into the story of a Tunisian mother, Olfa Hamrouni, grappling with the reality of her two daughters joining an extremist group in Libya, with acclaimed Tunisian actress Hend Sabry playing the role of Olfa in the re-enactments while engaging with the real-life Hamrouni in documentary sequences.

Ben Hania’s journey in cinema began in 2006 with her short film “Brèche.” Over the years, she has crafted six feature films. But Ben Hania is not the only female Arab director to have been officially nominated for the Oscars, as other Arab female directors like Farah Al Nabulsi and Nadine Labaki have also received nominations.

See also

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Published on 1 February 2024