Released in French theaters on December 10, 2014, Timbuktu is now in the running for an Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.
The Academy Award nomination in the Best Foreign-Language Film category for Timbuktu, a Franco-Mauritanian film about the daily life of the city of Timbuktu in Mali under the occupation of Islamist extremists, is "an important sign for Africa", the film's director Abderrahmane Sissako, declared on Thursday.
"When I heard about the nomination, I was overcome by an indescribable feeling. It is an honor for me and a great sign for Africa," Abderrahmane Sissako said in a statement communicated by AFP - Agence France Presse.
"It is recognition of work done with the passion and commitment of women and men from different countries, united to defend universal values of love, peace, and justice," he added. Sissako said he was "very touched" that the Academy had "given Timbuktu a chance at winning one of the world's most prestigious movie industry awards." Timbuktu is the first Mauritanian film to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign-Language category. It will be competing notably against the Russian film Leviathan by Andreï Zviaguintsev, which won the Golden Globe Awards in the same category, the Polish film Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski, and WildTales by the Argentinean director Damian Szifron.
Winning this Oscar "would be, above all, a victory for Africa," Sissako recently stated to AFP.