Fresh off the launch of her latest film Ali’s Wedding, Maltese-Australian actress Frances Duca is now riding the waves of her nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the upcoming 7th edition of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA), and her competition includes none other than Nicole Kidman herself.
Fitting into the role of Zahra for the film, the mother of a Muslim Iraqi refugee was a challenge according to the actress, but a welcome one nonetheless. Duca left Malta in 1980 and has been in the acting sphere since 1995 in several productions including TV series like Doctors and several short films including Struggle and Ave Maria. Duca reported this morning that she is thrilled to be nominated in her first feature film, her nomination being one of eight AACTA nominations for Ali’s Wedding.
Speaking with the Times of Malta earlier this afternoon, Duca said that she was “still quite in shock [having] received the news this morning. It wasn’t expected at all. […] I’m very emotional. It is a great story too.” She also added that the nomination was a great honour in and of itself. “It has been many years of struggling and with constantly asking myself whether or not to continue acting. This nomination feels like a reward in itself.”
Ali’s Wedding is a 2017 film, described by lead actor and writer Osamah Sami, as the first Muslim romantic-comedy, and follows the life of Ali, the musically-talented son of a Muslim cleric, as he struggles with his promise for an arranged marriage while battling his feelings of love for an Australian-born Lebanese girl.
Other nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category include Nicole Kidman for the film Lion, Jacqueline Mackenzie for the film Don’t Tell, and Susie Porter for Hounds of Love.