Oscar Nominated Shorts Exceed $1M in the US Box Office in Only One Week

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Including Basil Khalil's Palestinian Short Film AVE MARIA

Oscar Nominated Shorts Exceed $1M in the US Box Office in Only One Week

Within only three days of their release in more than 400 theatres across North America, the Oscars® nominated short films of 2016, including Basil Khalil's Palestinian short film AVE MARIA, have generated more than $1,000,000 in revenues.

Since 29th January, the films are being screened as part of a deal between ShortsHD, a cable channel dedicated to short films, and Magnolia Pictures. The premise is to put all the Oscars® nominated films in theatres, including the 15 live action, animated and documentary short films.

Previously, the film's distributor in the Arab world, MAD Solutions, revealed that the film was to be released in Palestinian theatres on 28th February, the night of the 88th Academy Awards® ceremony.

Basil Khalil's AVE MARIA recently won two awards at the 8th Küstendorf International Film and Music Festival in Serbia namely; the Silver Egg Award and the Vilko Filač Award for Best Cinematography. On the same night, AVE MARIA also received the Special Jury Recognition for Short Film award at Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) in USA. Recently, the film received a Certificate of Appreciation at the 4th Luxor Arab & European Film Festival, which closed on Friday, the 5th of February.

AVE MARIA's Oscar® nomination was received after a successful run at well over 60 film festivals in 28 countries, gathering 15 awards in just 8 months. The film began its journey with its world premiere in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival in May 2015. Recently, it won the prestigious Best Muhr Short Award at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival. MAD Solutions, AVE MARIA's distributor in the Arab world, revealed that the film will have a commercial release in the Arab world ahead of the Academy Awards® ceremony, alongside another Oscars® contender: Jordanian Naji Abu Nowar's film Theeb, nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Film Award. This is the first distribution initiative of its kind in the region.

AVE MARIA is a 14-minute comedy that tells the story of an order of Palestinian nuns living in the middle of the West Bank wilderness. Their daily routine of silence and prayer is disrupted when a family of Israeli settlers breaks down right outside their convent, just as the Sabbath is beginning. The family need to get home but can't operate the phone, and the Nuns have taken a vow of silence.

AVE MARIA will be released in a joint screening alongside the Jordanian film Theeb in Palestinian cinemas in the following locations: Palestine Trade Tower Cinemas in Ramallah, Yabous Cultural Center in Jerusalem, Cinema Jenin in Jenin, Cinemana in Nazareth, Arab Cultural Association in Haifa, and at Dar Al Kalima in Bethlehem.