Film by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts also nominated for Outstanding British Film, alongside 1917 and The Two Popes
The announcement of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations this morning brought major recognition to Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts' documentary For Sama. The film, a strong contender for the Oscars, earned four nominations including Outstanding Documentary and Outstanding Film Not in the English Language.
In the Outstanding Documentary category, For Sama will go up against American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert; Apollo 11 by Todd Douglas Miller, Asif Kapadia's Diego Maradona, and The Great Hack, directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim.
For Sama reveals the struggle of the Syrian-born al-Kateab to raise her baby daughter Sama in the city of Aleppo as it was being reduced to rubble by Syrian government forces and their Russian allies. After she and her family fled Syria, they settled in Britain, where al-Kateab began working on her documentary with filmmaker Edward Watts.
Impressively, For Sama also earned a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding British Film, the lone documentary to accomplish that. It will compete with fictional films 1917, winner of the Golden Globe on Sunday for Best Drama; Rocketman, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy; Bait ; Sorry We Missed You, and The Two Popes.
For Sama likewise earned al-Kateab and Watts a nomination for Outstanding Debut By a British Filmmaker. That category also saw documentary filmmaker Alex Holmes earn a nomination, for his film Maiden about the first all-women yachting team to compete in the dangerous Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.