Decades ago, submitting an Arab film to the Academy Awards was considered a rarity, but that's no longer the case. In recent years, cinema has grown and evolved across the region with an unprecedented number of Arabic productions being filmed annually. With that, more regional films are being submitted to the Oscars than ever before. 

This year, four Arab films have already been officially sent over to the academy. They are now set to be considered as possible forerunners in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscar's 92nd award ceremony which is set to be held on Feb. 9, 2020. 

Here's a closer look at them: 

1. It Must Be Heaven (Palestine)

Source: IMDb

Directed by Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman, the film is the only Arab movie that competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The satirical feature won the Jury Special Mention award at the festival - which was held in May - and received its FIPRESCI award. 

It Must Be Heaven tells the story of Suleiman, the main character, who goes on a search for a new home, only to realize Palestine will always be his primary homeland.

It's now Palestine's official submission to the upcoming Academy Awards. 

Watch the film's trailer here

2. Poisonous Roses (Egypt)

Source: IMDb

Poisonous Roses is Egyptian director Ahmed Fawzi Saleh's debut feature-length film. It premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam last year and went on to screen at several international festivals. 

The feature tells the story of a man named Saqr who dreams of a better life beyond his tannery job in the slums but is too attached to leave. 

Watch the film's trailer here.

3. Dear Son (Tunisia)

Source: IMDb

Directed by Mohamed Ben Attia, Dear Son tells the story of a middle-class Tunisian family whose life revolves around their only son Sami. The man's parents have high hopes for his future when they suddenly discover he left home to join the so-called Islamic State (Daesh) in Syria. 

The film previously screened at the Cannes Film Festival and received several positive reviews

Ben Attia is known for his award-winning debut feature film Hedi and is now setting his eyes on competing at the Academy Awards. 

Watch the film's trailer here

4. Adam (Morocco)

Source: IMDb

Adam is a Moroccan drama that depicts the story of two women; Abla, a widow who runs a local bakery and lives alone with her 8-year-old daughter, and Samia, a pregnant woman who comes knocking at Abla's door, changing all of their lives forever. 

The film, which tackles the issue of unmarried mothers in Moroccan societies, is written and directed by Maryam Touzani. It competed at the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard category, a section of the event that was headed by Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki this year. 

Watch the film's trailer here