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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Will Tunisia's third submission 'The Flower of Aleppo' Obtain the Country its First Oscar Nomination?

First Posted: Sep 07, 2016 12:00 PM EDT

Tunisia has submitted "The Flower of Aleppo" to represent the country at the Oscars. Directed by Ridha Behi, the film marks the third time the country submits to the Oscars.

"The Flower of Aleppo" tells the story of a mother, Hend Sabry, who refuses to surrender to the status quo of the new reality of the Arab world. As a result she decides to travel into the heart of darkness of ISIS to bring back her recruited son home. The film has not obtained international exposure but its subject matter should definitely interest the Academy.

As noted Tunisia has only submitted three times. It started submitting in 1995 with the film "Le Magique" and its second submission came in 2002 for the film "The Magic Box." That film was also directed by Behi but was not nominated.

"The Flower of Aleppo" faces an uphill battle but with the category is so unpredictable that anything is possible. The film will have to compete with a number of strong contenders including "Julieta" from Spain, front-runner "Toni Erdmann" from Germany and Golden Lion winner "From Afar" from Venezuela. Iraq will also compete with the festival darling "El Clasico while Sweden will compete with the international hit "A Man Called Ove."

In recent years the Academy has awarded "Son of Saul," "Ida," "The Great Beauty," and "A Separation" the best foreign language film of the year.

The deadline to submit for the foreign language category is Oct. 3. On Jan. 17 the Academy will announce the nine finalists from among the eligible films and on Jan. 24 nominations will be announced. The winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, 2017.

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