Oscar fever…working on Omar the movie

LA screening and Q&A

LA Screening and Q&A

Omar by Hany Abu-Assad…a love story, thriller and a tale about human betrayal and paranoia set against the background of the occupation…in the words of Hany himself. Omar is a very different film than Hany’s last, Paradise Now in 2005, also nominated for an Oscar. Omar is a human story that keeps you on edge and leaves you feeling quite unsettled. I had heard of the film, the buzz it was creating with awards in Cannes and other world-renowned festivals, and it’s nomination for Best Foreign Feature Film…the first ever entry from “Palestine”. When I was asked to be a part of strategic promotional team for the US, and head the grassroots outreach, I was truly excited…and way more so when I actually saw the film and how good it was. It meant a lot to be out there talking about a film that touches us all as people…not just as Palestinians, or even Arabs. It was wonderful to host screening followed by Q&A’s rich with vibrant discussions and insight from Hany, Waleed Zuaiter (producer and one of the stars of Omar), and the young actors, about how this vision of a film became a reality that got the world’s attention…and put the wall and this often forgotten place and people on the forefront of people’s minds without beating them over the head with politics and gloom.