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“Four Daughters,” Backed by the Red Sea Fund, Paves Its Way to the Oscars with an Official Nomination

January 29, 2024

Kaouther Ben Hania’s film “Four Daughters” steals the spotlight in the official Oscar nominations for Best Documentary Feature Film.

“Four Daughters,” supported by the Red Sea Fund, part of the Red Sea Film Foundation, has made a significant stride by securing a spot in the official nominations for the 96th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature Film category. This marks the film as the sole Arab contender in this edition of the Oscars, set to take place on March 10, 2024. This achievement by Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania adds to the film’s growing list of accolades since its release on January 18, 2023.

First premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, “Four Daughters” intimately portrays a story of hope, rebellion, and the depth of sibling relationships. It centers around the Chikhaoui family’s that hit the news in 2016, where two teenage daughters leave their mother Olfa Houmani’s home in Tunisia to join ISIS in Libya. Director Kaouther Ben Hania masterfully weaves this story through a mix of reenacted scenes, poignant dialogues, and significant conversations.

Since its premiere, the film has garnered several awards, including the Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary at Cannes Film Festival, shared with “THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES” film by Asmae El Moudir, and the Best Documentary Award at the Gotham International Festival. It also received special recognition from the critic Francois Chalais’ jury. At the third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival, it won the Asharq Award for Best Documentary.

Expressing her joy over this achievement, director Kaouther Ben Hania thanked the Red Sea Fund for their generous support, stating, “Thank you so much to The Academy for this tremendous honour. I’m also particularly grateful to the Red Sea Fund for their invaluable support. The story of Olfa and her daughters resonated with me because it was so complex and touching, but ultimately one that needed to be told, and it’s a privilege to share their story. As for being recognized by the Academy for the second time, I am grateful, and I share the credit with the entire documentary team”.

Mohamed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation, also remarked, “We take pride in supporting the well-crafted ‘Four Daughters.’ This Oscar nomination is a testament to Kaouther Ben Hania’s talent, reaffirming the importance of the stories we aim to highlight at the Red Sea Film Foundation. We believe in the power of cinema to inspire and connect people globally through authentic and true stories from the heart of our culture.”

Since its inception in 2021, the Red Sea Fund has supported over 256 films, including feature films, shorts, documentaries, series, and animation films, across four cycles covering all stages of film production, from development and production to post-production. Many films supported by the Fund have won several international awards over the years.