Basil is heading for the Oscars

Screen Academy graduate nominated for live-action short film.

Date posted

14 January 2016


Screen Academy Scotland graduate Basil Khalil was today nominated for an Oscar.

Basil’s short film Ave Maria was among the five live-action short films shortlisted for an Academy Award.

The winner will be announced on February 28 at a glittering ceremony in Los Angeles.

Basil graduated with an MA from Screen Academy Scotland, a collaboration between Edinburgh Napier and Edinburgh College of Art. The 14-minute film tells the story of the Nuns of the 'Sisters of Mercy' Convent, in the middle of West Bank, who have their daily routine disrupted when a family of Jewish settlers come knocking at their door for help after crashing into the convent's wall.

The title of the film, "AVE MARIA", is Latin for "Hail Mary", an important Roman Catholic prayer. 

The film was written by Basil and Daniel Yáñez, and stars Maria Zreik, Huda Al Imam, Shady Srour, Ruth Farhi and Maya Koren. The film is produced by Incognito Films in Paris in collaboration with Flying Moon Filmproduktion, with the support of Robert Bosch Stiftung Fund in Germany.

Ave Maria has already picked up awards at film festivals in France, Germany and Taiwan. The film also received a Special Mention for Best Live Action Short Film at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival in the USA.

Basil was born and raised in Nazareth to a Palestinian father and a British mother. He has also worked on TV productions in London.