The Academy has released the list of 2020 Oscar nominees and it features a Montreal-based director. Brotherhood, directed by Meryam Joobeur, will contend against four other works for the title of Best Live Action Short Film. The story of a Tunisian father from the countryside who is troubled by his son's new wife, Brotherhood has won 60 awards in 48 countries, according to the film Instagram page and CBC, including the best Canadian short film at TIFF and Sundance.
Joobeur is a graduate of Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
"I grew up in the US in a post-9/11 world. I witnessed how the perspective in North America on the Muslim/Arab world shifted in a drastic and negative way," writes Joobeur in an Instagram post.
"At times I felt that the Western world saw us as subhuman, that we don’t feel pain or trauma in the same way when in reality the Muslim world has suffered the most causalities because of religious radicalization."
These changes in perspective disturbed Joobeur and inspired her to make Brootherhood. ⠀ "I am very attached to my Tunisian roots and the humanity I see in my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins. I made Brotherhood with a lot of love as a way to also reinstate our humanity," she writes.
In only 25 minutes, Brotherhood tells a powerful story. According to the film's synopsis, "Mohamed is deeply shaken when his oldest son Malik returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife."
"The tension between father and son rises over three days until reaching a breaking point."
Joobeur's Oscar nomination marks yet another international recognition of Quebec-based filmmaking.
In the past decade, Quebec filmmakers have been making huge waves in Hollywood. Denis Villeneuve leads the charge — nominated for a total of 18 Academy Awards for his work and films and winning three.
Joobeur's nomination is the sixth Quebec-based filmmaker to receive an Oscar nomination in the past decade. In the last Oscars, two Quebec filmmakers, Marianne Farley and Jérémy Conte were nominated for their short films.