Oscars: Tunisia Selects 'Dear Son' for International Feature Film Category

Directors Fortnight Stills - Weldi Dear Son - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Cannes

Mohamed Ben Attia's family drama premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at Cannes last year.

Tunisia has submitted Mohamed Ben Attia's Weldi (Dear Son) for the international feature category at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Dear Son is a family drama centered on a middle-class Tunisian couple who have high hopes for their only son's future and are shocked to discover that he has left to join ISIS in Syria.

"Co-produced by the Belgian masters of gritty social realism, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Dear Son is a thorough and thoughtful piece of work, admirably serious in intent but a little flat in execution," The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review.

The film premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at Cannes in 2018 and went on to be screened at a number of other international festivals, including Chicago, Miami and Sao Paulo. It opened theatrically in Tunisia on Nov. 11, 2018.

Dear Son is the director's second feature, which follows Hedi, the winner of the best first feature award at the Berlin film festival in 2016.

Dear Son is Tunisia's sixth submission for the Academy's best international feature category. No Tunisian film has earned a nomination or statuette so far.

The 92nd Academy Awards are due to take place Feb. 9, 2020.