Sara Taksler’s amazing documentary Tickling Giants is eligible to be nominated for Best Original Song, Best Original Score, and (if a long shot) Best Director. Voting for the Oscar nominations will be done by January 12th. If you are an academy voter, or know one, please consider giving a little nudge for this film to be nominated. Collider has a great rundown of how the nominations are chosen, if you are interested in the process.
Tickling Giants is the story of Bassem Yousef (known as the Egyptian John Stewart) and his Daily Show style program. We reviewed the film in March 2017. Yousef spoke the truth at great personal risk to himself and his family but was able to couch it as humorous satire through 2 different oppressive regimes during the Arab Spring.
The film is not just eligible but in fact short-listed for Best Original Song and Best Original Score. There are 70 songs on that misnamed “short” list. Also, Paul Tyan is one of 141 composers eligible for Best Original Score. The theme song lyrics were written by Taksler with music by Tyan, performed by Anteka and Omar Boflot.
“Since I don’t have money for a marketing campaign, I’m going the word-of-mouth route and telling everyone I know in hopes this might reach Oscar voters, who vote this week.”
As there is a global conservative shift in governments, Taksler sees the movie in a whole new light. “At a screening right after the U.S. election, an audience member said, ‘This is a cautionary tale for America’ and the whole crowd agreed. It is emotional to see how much American audiences see their own struggles in Bassem’s story.” The recent “Muslim Ban” has only strengthened Tickling Giants’ support, Taksler says, “When people watch the movie, they see that these good, kind, funny people are the types of individuals we’re talking about when we discuss banning refugees and Muslim immigrants.”
“Tickling Giants is a movie about a guy who steps up when he sees power being abused in his country. Since Bassem does this through satire, I viewed the story through the lens of my comedy background. I never expected that I would relate so strongly to the politics in Egypt.”
The film and theme song call on people to find creative, non-violent ways to be heard when they see abuses of power. Audiences are invited to share the creative, non-violent ways they are fighting abuses of power with the hashtag #TicklingGiants. Who knew the leadership of an Egyptian TV show host a few years ago would be so relevant in 2018 with a stable genius at the wheel of U.S. power?
In Taksler’s words “Tickling Giants is a movie about a guy who steps up when he sees power being abused in his country. Since Bassem does this through satire, I viewed the story through the lens of my comedy background. I never expected that I would relate so strongly to the politics in Egypt.”
Video for the hopefully-to-be-nominated Best Original Song TICKLING GIANTS: