A committee consisting of Palestinian film professionals, overseen by the country's Ministry of Culture, made their choice earlier this week.
The Haifa-set drama co-stars Amer Hiehel as Waleed, an aspiring writer suffering from chronic depression who cultivates a relationship with a petty criminal neighbor ( Ashraf Fara), but with a sinister ulterior motive.
The film is Haj's second feature after Personal Affairs , which also debuted in Un Certain Regard in 2016.
The filmmaker has explained that the character of Waleed is a reflection of her own dark side and the frustrations of Palestinians living in Israel. One-third of the population of the port city of Haifa, which has been part of Israel since 1948, is Palestinian.
Producers on Mediterranean Fever are Baher Aghbariya at Haifa-based Majdal Films; Germany's Thanassis Karathanos and Martin Hampel at Pallas Film; France's Juliette Lepoutre and Pierre Menahem at Still Moving, and Marios Piperides, Janine Teerling at Cyprus-based Amp Filmworks.
Key backers include Germany's Metteldeutsche Medienforderung film fund , Eurimages, the Cypriot Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, La Région Île-de-France, Doha Film Institute, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and France's l'Aide aux cinémas du monde fund.
Paris-based Luxbox handles international sales.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences first recognized Palestine as a territory in 2003 and since then there have been 15 Palestinian submissions including Mediterranean Fever .
To date, Palestine has scored two nominations for Hany Abu Assad's Omar and Paradise Now in 2005 and 2013 respectively.
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