Palestinian Short Film Makes Oscars Short List

'Ave Maria' takes a comedic look at an encounter between Palestinian nuns and a Jewish settler family in the West Bank.

A Palestinian short film is one of the 2016 Oscar nominees for Best Live Action Short Film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced late last week.

"Ave Maria," a 14-minute comedy about an encounter between Palestinian nuns and a family of Israeli settlers, is the first Arab cinematic film to compete for an Oscar in this category, according to Ahram online. The nomination is also a first for both the director, Basil Khalil, and producer, Eric Dupont.

The short tells the tale of five nuns living in the West Bank and a family of settlers whose car breaks down outside the nuns' convent. Because the family is religiously observant, they do not use a telephone on Shabbat and need the nuns to call for them. However, the nuns have taken a vow of silence.

The 2016 Oscars winners will be announced during the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on February 28.