Festival hit Son of Babylon has been selected as Iraq’s official entry for the foreign language Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards.

The film was selected by Iraq’s Ministry of Culture. No Iraqi film has ever made it to the nomination stage before at the Oscars.

Son of Babylon has screened at Sundance, Berlin, Cinema City and Edinburgh and is currently showing in Karlovy Vary. Director Mohamed Al-Daradji was already honoured at Seattle and Cinema City this year.

The director previously made Ahlaam (also an Iraqi Oscar pick) and has recently completed the documentary Iraq: War, Love, God & Madness.

Producers are Human Film, based in the UK and Netherlands, with partners from across the globe: Iraq Al-Rafidain, Crm-114, Cinema Production Centre, Sundance Institute, the UK Film Council, Screen Yorkshire, UK Trade & Investment, Fond Sud & CNC, Hivos, Doen, Nederlands Fonds voor de Film and Rotterdam Media Fonds, Jordan’s Royal Film Commission, Sunnyland Film ART, Mawred Fund, Pyramedia and ADACH.

Roissy Films is handling international sales.

Set in 2003, the film follows a 12-year-old Kurdish boy and his grandmother travelling through northern Iraq in search of their missing father/son, who was a soldier in the Gulf War.