13 Jan 2020

For Sama nominated for Oscar

‘For Sama’ has been nominated for an Academy Award in the ‘Best Documentary Feature’ category. ‘For Sama’ is produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and Frontline PBS.

‘For Sama’ has been nominated for an Academy Award in the ‘Best Documentary Feature’ category.

The critically acclaimed Syrian war film, which last week also became the most nominated documentary in BAFTA history, has racked up 58 awards since its world premiere in March last year.

‘For Sama’ directors Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts said: “We are so delighted and honoured to be nominated for an Oscar, alongside these incredible films and filmmakers. It is a moment that we had never imagined on a journey spanning 9-years from near death to new life.

“We hope that the nomination will encourage as many people as possible to go and see the film and learn the true story of the Syrian conflict. And we ask them to remember that what they see in the film is still happening today in Idlib, the last part of Syria outside the control of the Assad dictatorship, where hospitals, schools and children are being bombed by the regime and its Russian allies every day.”

Channel 4 News Deputy Editor and ‘For Sama’ Executive Producer, Nevine Mabro said: “In December 2016 Waad al-Kateab fled Aleppo with her family and over 500 hours of powerful footage. Today’s ‘For Sama’ Oscar nomination for ‘Best Documentary Feature’ is testament to the most courageous filmmaker we have ever worked with at Channel 4 News.”

‘For Sama’ Executive Producer and Editor of Channel 4 News, Ben de Pear, “We are so proud to have developed this film from Waad’s unforgettable short films during the siege of Aleppo, all the way through to this incredible feature documentary. Proof that our unique support of independent filmmakers across the world can have a huge impact.”

Channel 4 Commissioning Editor and ‘For Sama’ Executive Producer, Siobhan Sinnerton, said: “Channel 4 is incredibly proud of Channel 4 News for nurturing Waad over so many years and honoured to have commissioned this film from such an incredibly talented first-time film-maker. She and fellow director Edward Watts have produced an unforgettable film. This has been a hugely collaborative effort and we thank our wonderful partners at ITN and PBS.”

George Waldrum, ITN Productions and ‘For Sama’ Executive Producer said: “We are incredibly proud to have been part of the ‘For Sama’ team and grateful to the Academy for recognising this film, providing a greater opportunity for more people around the world to see Waad’s amazing story.”

For Sama‘ is produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and Frontline PBS.

The 95-minute feature documentary follows the intimate and epic journey of al-Kateab through five years of her life in the rebel-held city as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to her first daughter, Sama.

She started documenting the horrors of Aleppo for Channel 4 News in January 2016, while living in a makeshift hospital run by her doctor husband. The hospital and surrounding residential areas were under attack by Syrian and Russian forces and the short films she made for the UK news programme became some of the most watched news pieces on Syria around the world. Her short news films received almost half a billion views online and won 24 awards – including the 2016 International Emmy for breaking news coverage.

‘For Sama’ was the winner of the Golden Eye Documentary Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Grand Jury prize for Best Documentary and the Audience Award at SXSW.

The film was released in cinemas across the UK on September 13th and broadcast on Channel 4 on 26th October 2019.

You can watch ‘For Sama’ in the UK here.