San Diego State graduate's Oscars nomination almost derailed by controversy

(KGTV) - Filmmaker Ziad Doueiri is no stranger to controversy.

The San Diego State University graduate's 2012 film "The Attack," about an Arab surgeon living in Tel Aviv following a suicide bombing," was banned after he broke laws forbidding him from going to Israel to film.

Approaching 2018's Academy Awards, Doueiri's film "The Insult" brought more controversy — this time threatening to derail any chance of an Oscars nomination.

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"I was not conservative. I always wanted to say more, which caused me clashed with some of the teachers," Doueiri told 10News reporter Michael Chen via Skype. "It like cements your belief."

"The Insult" revolves around a dispute in Beirut, Lebanon, over a broken water pipe between a Christian mechanic and a Palestinian refugee that turns violent. The legal drama that follows threatens a social uprising in the country.

The film, however, was almost out of Oscars contention because of the same issues that led to "The Attack" being banned.

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"I was very hurt," Doueiri said of his banned film. "You know when we work on films ... we work for years on it."

Doueiri eventually gained support from Lebanon's Prime Minister and others, cementing it for Academy Awards contention.

Without the support, Doueiri wouldn't have been able to submit "The Insult" for the "best foreign film" award.

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"When we got the nomination, I just sat down and I said 'you know what, yeah, this is the way to go,'" Doueiri said. "Like we scored a goal. It became about the difficulty that we overcame."

Now in just a couple of days, Doueiri will be in Los Angeles, Calif., at his first Academy Awards.

"I cannot have any expectations. We're there and then you let destiny decide for you," Doueiri said.

The 90th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, March 4, at 5 p.m. on ABC10.

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