Tunisia has picked Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, which debuted in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as its entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2024 Oscars.
Four Daughters was one of two documentaries this year to earn a coveted spot in the main competition at Cannes. The film centers on Olfa Hamrouni and her children – the titular four daughters. The eldest two disappeared from Tunisia as teenagers, with evidence pointing to them being swept up into ISIS. To fill in their absence, Ben Hania hired professional actresses to play the missing daughters, creating a unique hybrid of fiction and documentary to explore the family’s lasting trauma.
The Party Film Sales is handling distribution efforts on the pic, which shared the L’Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) prize for the best documentary in Cannes with The Mother of All Lies (La Mère de tous les mensonges) by Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir.
We can confirm the doc will also be submitted to the Academy’s overall documentary category. In his review out of Cannes, Deadline’s Matthew Carey said the doc achieved a “new level of artistry and organic relevance” and declared it a “deserving” early Palme d’Or contender.
Following its bow in Cannes, Four Daughters has gone on to play Sarajevo, Brussels, and Munich. It picked up Jury awards at the last two. Ben Hania’s last feature doc, The Man Who Sold His Skin, was shortlisted for the international Oscar. That nom was the first time Tunisia had made the Oscars shortlist.
Here’s the list of this year’s category submissions so far: