Director Mohamed Al Salman’s Raven Song, a coming-of-age comedy about a young man, Nasar, who is dared by his best friend to reach out to a mystery woman by singing a love poem, has been chosen by Saudi Arabia as its contender for best international feature at the 2023 Academy Awards.
Shot in Riyadh, Raven Song stars Asem Alawad, Ibrahim Khairallah and Kateryna Tkachenko and is produced by Ahmed Mousa and Telfaz 11. Al Salman’s film was among the winners of the Saudi Film Commission’s Daw Film Competition to discover and support new Saudi filmmaking talent.
Also, Mongolia’s Harvest Moon, the directorial debut of Mongolian actor Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam, who played Kublai Khan’s brother Ariq Böke in Netflix’s Marco Polo drama, has been picked to represent that country in the Oscar competition for best international movie.
Baljinnyam, who also stars in Harvest Moon, plays a chef in a city who travels back to his village, only to stay to complete a harvest as promised after his father dies. While working in the fields, he meets a 10-year-old boy who lives with his grandparents, and their growing friendship makes each challenge their own lives.
The 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12, 2023, in Los Angeles.
This story originally appeared on HollywoodReporter