Oscars: Egypt Selects 'Clash' for Foreign-Language Category

Clash Hidden Gem Day 2 - H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Mohamed Diab's acclaimed actioner, set in the back of a police van during the recent revolution in Cairo, opened the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes.

Clash, this year's Un Certain Regard opener in Cannes, has been tapped as Egypt's submission in the Oscars' foreign-language film category.

Set in Cairo in the violent aftermath of the recent revolution, the actioner from director Mohamed Diab sees a group of people from all walks of life herded into a police truck after having been arrested in one of the many clashes that took place around the city.

The film was critically acclaimed at Cannes, with The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young describing it as "powerful and very disturbing," remarking on how it refused to take sides, a move that raised it "above a purely political discussion in favor of a sweeping criticism of prejudice and inhumanity."

"Being selected is a good start and I hope that the film reaches the final official film selections at the Oscars," Mohamed Hefzy, Clash's producer and a prolific filmmaker in Egypt, wrote Thursday on his Facebook page.

"Thank God Clash was selected to represent Egypt at the 2017 Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category," added writer Khaled Diab. "Your prayers are needed for the film to be officially selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the best foreign-language film category."

Egypt may not yet have had a foreign-language film Oscar nomination, but it enjoyed its first Academy Award nomination in 2013 when Jehane Noujaim's The Square, which chronicled the events during the 2011 revolution, found its way into the final five of the documentary category.