Documentary, co-produced by WGBH’s ‘Frontline,’ earns Oscar nomination

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Excerpts from The Boston Globe – January 12, 2020

Amid the outcry that women were shut out of the best director Oscar nominations, one female director whose film earned a nod has a Boston connection.

“For Sama,” a much-hailed festival circuit film by Waad Al-Kateab, was nominated Monday for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Produced by PBS’s documentary series “Frontline,” out of WGBH in Boston, the film is “basically a love letter” from Al-Kateab to her little daughter Sama, said Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of “Frontline.”

Directed by Al-Kateab and London-based Edward Watts, the documentary offers a rare first-person account of the Syrian conflict.

“For Sama” aired on PBS in November, following a summer theatrical release that saw it showered with praise. It won best feature at the International Documentary Association Awards; the Prix L’Œil d’Or for best documentary at the Cannes Film Festival; the Grand Jury Award for best documentary at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, among others…

“For Sama” is now available for streaming on and on the PBS app.

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