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Mon 8 Mar 2010 09:48 PM

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Hurt Locker director pays tribute to Jordan

First female best director winner thanked Jordanian people in her acceptance speech.

Hurt Locker director pays tribute to Jordan
PAYING TRIBUTE: Kathryn Bigelow, best director Oscar winner, paid tribute to the country of Jordan during her acceptance speech. (Getty Images)

Few Arab states can lay claim to having a hand in producing Oscar winners, but when The Hurt Locker swept the board at Sunday’s 82nd annual Academy Awards, it became the second movie filmed in Jordan to take home an Oscar.

The Iraqi themed war thriller took home a landslide six awards and became only the second film shot in the Arab kingdom, following the 1963 Lawrence of Arabia, to net an Oscar.

An independent picture, Jordan provided the key backdrop to The Hurt Locker’s theme of American troops battling the endgame of the Iraq war.

Kathryn Bigelow, the film’s director, made history after becoming the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director in the Academy Awards’ 82-year history.

The 58 year old paid tribute to Jordan in her acceptance speech, telling the crowds: “If I could also just thank (…) the people of Jordan who were so hospitable to us when we were shooting.”

Bigelow, who spent a two-month stint filming in Jordan in the summer of 2007, has previously said of the location: “You could look 360 degrees in any given day of the shoot and it would be perfect. Shooting in Jordan was a great experience. It’s very cosmopolitan; they have a very rich film school and a young film infrastructure.”

More than 150 Jordanian actors and crew worked on The Hurt Locker set, in addition to some 70 film professionals, the country’s Royal Film Commission (RFC) said.

Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, a member of the RFC's board of commissioners, said: “The flexibility with which foreign crews can work here and use their imagination to make some places in Jordan look like some others in a different country is very appealing."

The RFC, which was established in 2003, aims to promote Jordan as a set location and bolster the country’s fledgling film industry.

A former CNN war correspondent, Princess Rym said: “It’s not only about leaving our mark internationally but also about establishing our stories, owning them and making sure we have a cultural legacy to pass onto our future generations through film."

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Mary 10 years ago

Hurt Locker is not the second non-arab movie shot in Jordan. You are a journalist, searching for information and fact checking should be the most important part of your job.

HN 10 years ago

I don't know what article you were reading Mary. Your comment is ridiculous and I think you owe Joanne an apology. '..it became the second movie filmed in Jordan to take home an Oscar.' 'The Iraqi themed war thriller took home a landslide six awards and became only the second film shot in the Arab kingdom, following the 1963 Lawrence of Arabia, to net an Oscar.'