Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to Palestine's official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film this year, "Omar." The film marks filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad's second feature selected to represent the country for the Oscar, following "Paradise Now," which was nominated back in 2006. Adopt Films plans to a late winter release for "Omar." Its plot revolves around a Palestinian forced to work as a double agent for Israeli intelligence. Indiewire wrote about the film after its Cannes premiere here.
Full release below:
New York-based indie distributor Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to Cannes prizewinner, “Omar,” written and directed by Golden Globe winner, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad. As Palestine’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film this year, “Omar” is Abu-Assad’s second feature selected to represent Palestine at the Academy Awards. His previous film, “Paradise Now” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006. Adopt plans a late winter U.S. release for ”Omar.”
The gripping and heart-rending thriller “Omar” had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and will have its official U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 11th. In May, the Cannes Film Festival awarded “Omar” the coveted Un Certain Regard Jury Prize. Jay Wiessberg of Variety wrote: “As he did with ‘Paradise Now,’ Abu-Assad refuses to demonize characters for their poor choices. Only too aware of the crushing toll of the Occupation on Palestinians, he shows men making tragic, often self-destructive decisions as a result of an inescapable environment of degradation and violence.”
“Omar” achingly captures the emotional struggles of a young Palestinian baker whose loyalty to family and country are complicated by his love for Nadia, a beautiful young student. Following the assassination of an Israeli occupation soldier, Omar, a co-conspirator and friend of the suspected sniper, is arrested. Facing a life sentence, he is coerced by the Israeli authorities and enlisted as a collaborator to find the killer in exchange for his freedom.
Adopt Films President Tim Grady said of the new acquisition: “Hany Abu-Assad has delivered a classic story of love and betrayal. 'Omar’ is both a Shakespearean tragedy and a suspense thriller, replete with international intrigue and twists-and-turns, and double-crosses. The West Bank setting only magnifies the all-out drama and pathos of an occupied people."
Hany Abu-Assad said of the U.S. deal. I wrote this 'amour fou' that is relevant to the human condition and to which audiences can relate in every corner of the world. I am humbled by Adopt's commitment to support courageous and challenging films, and to bring them to cinemas in the U.S."
“Omar” stars Adam Bakri in the title role, Leem Lubany, Waleed F. Zuaiter (who is also one of the film’s producers), Samer Bisharat and Eyad Hourani. It was written, directed, and co-produced by Abu-Assad and produced by Zuaiter and David Gerson. Omar is a ZBROS Production, a newly formed production company with “Omar” as it’s first feature.
Adopt Films President Tim Grady and its Executive VP, Marketing & Distribution Jeff Lipsky negotiated the deal for U.S. rights with Brigitte Suarez, Head of Sales of The Match Factory.
Adopt Films’ upcoming releases include “The Priest’s Children,” Vinko Brešan’s comedy hit at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival; Yuval Adler’s award-winning Israeli thriller “Bethlehem,” and Jacques Doillon’s “Love Battles.” Last month Adopt debuted
Sophie Huber’s Venice and SXSW selection “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.”
In 2012, the year it was founded, Adopt released the Academy Award short-listed “Sister,” Miguel Gomez’s “Tabu,” Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die” and Jeff Lipsky’s “Molly’s Theory of Relativity.”