Kate Middleton attended the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday along with her husband Prince William. During the event, she spoke with Waad Al-Kateab, the mother who won a BAFTA award for her documentary about raising her daughter in war-torn Syria, reported Daily Mail.
The Duchess of Cambridge called the Oscar-nominated Channel 4 documentary For Sama an “amazing” and “engaging” film. She was especially moved by the similarity in age between Al-Kateab’s baby daughter and her own son, Prince Louis.
“I was heartbroken. My boy is a similar age to Sama. You are a great inspiration for every woman.”
Al-Kateab reported feeling “speechless” by the mother-of-three’s praise.
The film won the Best Documentary award while also breaking the record for most-nominated feature documentary, with nominations for Outstanding British Film, Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, and Best Film Not in the English Language, in addition to Best Documentary, according to MEMO.
The film tells the story of Al-Kateab’s experiences during the Syrian war as she raised her baby daughter, Sama. It follows the young mother through five years of experiences living in war-torn Aleppo, including getting married, having a baby, and eventually making the decision to flee the country in search of a better life for her family.
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This evening, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the @bafta Awards ???? The Duke is President of BAFTA, with 2020 marking the 10th year of his presidency. During the ceremony, The Duke presented film producer Kathleen Kennedy with the Fellowship, BAFTA’s highest accolade. After the ceremony, The Duke and Duchess met the winners of the 27 awards categories, including Renée Zellweger who won the award for Leading Actress. The Duke and Duchess also met Micheal Ward, the winner of the #EERisingStar Award, alongside his fellow nominees. Congratulations to all the winners at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards! #EEBAFTAs
Al-Kateab began shooting for the documentary in 2011, where she used her cell phone and a small, handheld camera to film the events going on around her.
As the 29-year-old took the stage to accept her BAFTA award, she was joined by her husband and daughter. Speaking to the audience, Al-Kateab dedicated her documentary to the people of Syria who are still suffering, especially those in the opposition-held city of Idlib. She also dedicated the award-winning film to the doctors and nurses who remain in the country.
“We shouldn’t be here. In 2016, we were in a basement in a hospital when we heard the shelling of the bombs all around us. I thought I should bury my footage in case we didn’t make it – it needed to be saved. There are still bombings of 3.5 million civilians.”
The British royal was not the only one to praise Al-Kateab for her film; many social media users took to Twitter during the awards show to express their admiration for the young woman and her documentary, and to encourage others to watch it.
One Twitter user posted that For Sama was one of the best films they had ever seen, calling it “uplifting,” “harrowing,” and “inspiring.” Another social media user wrote that the film deserves every single bit of recognition and more, while one other told their followers that the documentary is powerful and worth their time.