'Bye Bye Tiberias' is a collaborative production involving France, Belgium, Qatar, and Palestine, featuring dialogue in both French and Arabic.
Palestine has submitted Lina Soualem’s documentary Bye Bye Tiberias for consideration in the International Feature category at the Oscars, as announced in an Instagram post by Lightdox, the film’s international sales representative.
The documentary features acclaimed Succession star Hiam Abbass, who returns to her homeland in her daughter’s film to explore the stories of four generations of Palestinian women.
Bye Bye Tiberias has been selected to screen in the Documentary Competition section of the 67th BFI London Film Festival, scheduled to run from October 4 to 15, 2023.
In her feature, Soualem weaves the narratives of four generations of Palestinian women from her own family, including her mother, the acclaimed actress Hiam Abbass.
Three decades ago, Hiam embarked on a journey from her native Palestinian village of Deir Hanna in Galilee to Paris, where she aspired to fulfil her acting dreams. Growing up alongside her grandmother Um Ali, mother Neemat, and seven sisters, Hiam’s bold decision led her to a new life, The place where her daughter Lina was born, thirty-two years ago. Despite her departure, Hiam took Lina to her village every summer during her childhood, and all their trips were filmed. As Lina looks back at these videotapes from the ’90s, she starts questioning her mother’s bold choices, her chosen exile and the way the women of her family, whom she left behind, have influenced her life.
Bye Bye Tiberias had its world premiere at Venice’s Giornate degli Autori and has since been showcased at Toronto, Chicago, and DOK Leipzig. The documentary has also received funding awards at the Cairo International Film Festival, El Gouna Film Festival, and Doha Film Institute, and participated in Marrakesh’s Atlas Workshop.
The film was produced by France’s Beall Productions, with co-production contributions from Belgium’s Altitude 100 Production, Versus Productions, and Palestine’s Philistine Films.
Notably, Palestine has previously received two Oscar nominations: in 2005 for Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now and in 2013 for Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar.
The 96th Academy Awards is set to take place on March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.