Jordan is submitting Arabic-language “Theeb,” which won a Best Director prize in the Horizons section of last year’s Venice Film Festival. Writer/director Naji Abu Nowar’s drama, which will be released by Film Movement later this year, tells the Bedouin story of brotherhood and betrayal in the Wadi Rum valley circa 1916. The selection was made by Jordan’s committee consisting of artists and craftspeople.
Cannes’ 2015 Un Certain Regard winner “Rams” will represent Iceland in the Oscar race. This Cohen Media Group Acquisition, directed and written by Grímur Hákonarson, played Telluride this past weekend and will move onto the Toronto Film Festival. Another tale of brothers living in a remote valley, “Rams” takes on elements of tragicomedy as a lethal sheep disease brings the emotionally estranged brothers together.
World-premiering in Toronto’s Discovery program, “The Paradise Suite” is the Dutch Oscar entry, written and directed by Joost van Ginkel. This sprawling drama links six immigrants arriving in Amsterdam, including a Bulgarian, an African, a Serbian war criminal, a Bosnian and a Swedish pianist. “Paradise Suite” opens in the Netherlands in late-September, just in time to make the Oscar cut.