New York-based Adopt Films has been busy with a series of pickups this month including Israeli thriller Bethlehem, which is that country’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar. Adopt also now has the entry from Palestine, Omar, Deadline said.
The film, which won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize in Cannes, is written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad. It’s the second of his features to be selected as the Palestinian Oscar representative — his 2005 Paradise Now ultimately scored a nomination. Adopt is planning a late-winter release for Omar which unspools at the New York Film Festival on October 11th.
The story follows young Palestinian baker Omar (Adam Bakri), whose loyalty to family and country are complicated by his love for a beautiful young student.
Adopt Films president Tim Grady said, “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.”
Produced by co-star Waleed F. Zuaiter and David Gerson, Omar is a ZBROS Production. Grady and Adopt’s Jeff Lipsky negotiated the deal for U.S. rights with Brigitte Suarez of The Match Factory.
“The film is a profound, if dispiriting, companion piece to Paradise Now. In that film, Abu-Assad's characters, feeling bereft of any options, turn to terrorism, a trajectory that left the film open to accusations of being in support of such behavior. In Omar, though, the director is uninterested in the validity of terrorism; the film ultimately portrays Omar's attack as insignificant in its consequences, whereas the Israelis are slowly shown to have an almost indomitable upper hand in their battle with Palestinians. What remain in such an uneven game are the lifelong costs of the struggle, and it's these that point to a harsher truth: At this stage, for Palestinians, the prospects of any exit from hardship are only growing more faint,” a review published in SlantMagazine said.