Los Angeles: Jordan, which has long served as a swooping desert backdrop for a host of Oscar-winning epics, has sent "Theeb", the acclaimed WWI-set drama, to the 88th Academy Awards as its entry for the best foreign-language film.
The historic drama that premieres in Venice last year comes from debutant director Naji Abu Nowar.
Shot in the vast sandstone valley of Wadi Rum, "Theeb" is set in 1916 and tells the story of a young Bedouin boy struggling for survival in the midst of WWI as Ottoman forces fight to keep a grip on their crumbling empire, said The Hollywood Reporter. For numerous reasons, it has drawn comparisons with Lawrence of Arabia and won praise for its young cast and helmer, who was awarded the best director prize in Venice last year.
The film, which was made with support from Abu Dhabi's Sanad fund (it won the best Arab film honour there last year) and the Doha Film Institute, went on to launch commercially across the Arab world and Europe.