Theeb (Arabic): Arabia, 1916. Theeb [Wolf] lives with his Bedouin tribe in a forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire. Having recently lost his father, it falls to Theeb's brother, Hussein, to raise him. Their lives are interrupted with the arrival of a British Army Officer and his Guide on a mysterious mission Image Credit: Supplied

Theeb, the Jordanian film nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar on Thursday, was made with the support of one of the UAE's leading film funds.

The movie, one of five nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, presented by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was supported by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's Sanad fund from its initial stages and in post-production.

It also screened at the festival in 2014.

Theeb won several awards in the festival circuit and at Abu Dhabi Film Festival, including the Variety Filmmaker of the Year award.

"We expected the film to go the distance at other festivals, but we couldn't have imagined it to go to the Oscars," said Ali Al Jabri, the director of the festival, which closed after the 2014 edition.

Speaking on Thursday night, after the nominations were announced in a live broadcast from Los Angeles, Al Jabri said the festival had "a knack for discovering promising directors".

Huge honour

"We wish from the bottom of our hearts that Theeb will win, but even if it doesn't, we say a thousand congratulations. It's a huge honour that it has come this far.

"Sanad's role was significant from the very beginning, during the development stages. Four years later, we supported [director Naji Abu Nowar] in the post-production of the film. If we didn't believe in the strength of the film, and the script, we wouldn't have backed it from the start."

Sanad has supported over 120 films, adds Al Jabri. "People have faith in the strength of films that are supported by Sanad."

In 2015, Sanad helped fund 20 films, 11 in development stages and nine in the post-production stages. "You will be hearing about the success of these films in 2016."

The Oscars will be aired live on OSN Movies Festival HD on  February 29 at 4am UAE.