Palestinian Film 'Omar' Nominated for Oscar

Tells story of baker forced to become double agent for Israel.

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The Palestinian film "Omar" has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Language Film category, making it the second Palestinian film to be nominated for the prestigious golden statuette.

Nominations for this year's Academy Awards' major categories were announced early Thursday morning, California time.

"Omar," directed by Hany Abu-Assad, will be competing against films from Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark and Italy. Abu-Assad's "Paradise Now" was nominated for the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2005.

"Omar" tells the story of a baker of the same name who is arrested and beaten by Israeli intelligence agents after three young Palestinians decide to kill an Israeli soldier. He is forced to work as a double agent for Israeli intelligence, and the film follows the difficult choices he makes and the cat-and-mouse game he plays with Israeli authorities.

The film, shot on location in Nazareth in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories, won the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Among other notable Oscar nominations announced Thursday were "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave."

Con artist caper American Hustle came out on top of the Oscar nominations, earning seven nods for the top prize in the US movie industry. The David O Russell picture narrowly beat out 12 Years a Slave, which earned six nominations.

The two films will both compete for best picture, best supporting actor and actress and best director. Both were also nominated for screenplay awards.

American Hustle's Amy Adams was nominated for best actress, while her colleague Christian Bale will battle it out for the best actor prize with Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years A Slave, along with Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street).

The 86th Academy Awards will be held on March 2.

Leem Lebany as Nadia and Adam Bakri in title role as Omar: Life with only bad options. Credit: Screen shot

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