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Syrian war documentary “For Sama” makes history with 4 British film award nominations

LONDON: A low budget film depicting a young mother’s harrowing experience in the Syrian war has become the most nominated documentary in the history of the British Academy film awards.

“For Sama” focusses on Waad Al-Kateab, a filmmaker living in Aleppo as she goes about her life from the start of the uprising through to the brutal siege of the city by Bashar Al-Assad’s forces and their allies.

The film has been nominated for outstanding British film, outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer, best film not in the English language and best documentary.

The documentary, directed by Al-Kateab herself  and Edward Watts, follows the young woman  through marriage, childbirth and then the agonizing decision over whether to flee Aleppo for her family’s safety.

For Sama leads #BAFTA non-fiction awards with FOUR nominations – including Outstanding British Film – making it the most nominated documentary ever in BAFTA history. pic.twitter.com/f0pDUxlSPz
— For Sama (@forsamafilm) January 7, 2020

“It is such an honor to be nominated for a prestigious BAFTA award. But to be nominated in four different categories is simply overwhelming,” Al-Kateab and Watts said.

“We hope For Sama gives audiences some sense of the brutal repression and humanitarian crisis in Syria which continues to this day.”

Al-Kateab now lives and works in the UK where she arrived as a refugee from the conflict.

The film received the same number of nominations as the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” and the South Korean thriller “Parasite” 

Nevine Mabro, executive producer of “For Sama” and deputy editor of Channel 4 News, said: “This is an incredible achievement for a young woman who just three years ago we feared would not make it out of Aleppo alive.”

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