You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes Prize Winner ‘Capernaum’ to Kick Off New Arab Film Festival in Paris

Lebanese director-actor Nadine Labaki and her drama “Capernaum,” an award winner at Cannes, are set to kick off the first edition of the Festival Des Cinemas Arabes, an ambitious new event in Paris dedicated to Arab films.

Capernaum,” about a 12-year-old boy who takes his parents to court “for giving me life” in the painful world of Beirut’s slums, won the Cannes Jury Prize last month. Labaki and her film, which will play out of competition, will inaugurate the 11-day Arab film festival June 28 in Paris’ Institute du Monde Arab (Institute of the Arab World). 

The event will mark Labaki’s return to the Paris institute where in 1997 she won the best short prize, awarded by the institute’s Biennale of Arab Cinema, for her student movie “11 Rue Pasteur.” The biennale was scrapped in 2006.

Twelve years later, the Parisian cultural organization is putting Arab cinema back on display with the new film festival, which “opens a new cycle, full of promise,” former French culture minister Jack Lang said in a statement. More than 80 titles, including features, documentaries and shorts – all recent Arab productions, some of them international premieres – will unspool for Paris audiences. About 100 guests, comprising talents, producers, sales agents and journalists from the Arab world and Europe, have been invited. There will be industry panels and creative programs such as the New York-based Cinephilia Screenwriting Shorts Lab.

A special section of the fest will focus on shorts from Saudi Arabia, which recently lifted its religion-related ban on cinemas after 35 years.

A panel organized in collaboration with the Haifa Independent Film Festival will thrash out some of the difficulties Palestinian filmmakers and producers are forced to contend with and provide an overview of Palestinian cinema since 1948.

European premieres in the fest’s narrative competition include Moroccan director Mohammed Achaour’s comedy “Lhajjates,” about four elderly Moroccan women who join forces to rebel against the suffering and injustice they are subjected to, and Emirati director Amer Salmeen Al Murry’s soccer comedy “Fan de Amoory.”

The new Arab cinema event in Paris, the city where Arab directors have historically found a crucial piece of their financing, follows the sudden cancellation earlier this year of the Dubai Film Festival, which had been the Arab film industry’s main market.

More Film

  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959, born Eleanora Fagan)

    Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers as Concord Boards Project

    Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the iconic jazz singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has sold the project to several territories. Also joining the project, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of [...]

  • My Extraordinary Summer With Tess review

    Film Review: 'My Extraordinary Summer With Tess'

    Winner of a special mention from the Berlinale Generation KPlus’ adult jury, the family-friendly, light drama “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” is straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. Based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the importance of [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • Ghost Fleet review

    Film Review: 'Ghost Fleet'

    The revelatory documentary “Ghost Fleet” condemns the modern-day slave labor fueling the Thai fishing industry while focusing on the work of Bangkok-based advocacy organization Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), a group dedicated to ending slavery at sea. Combining chilling testimony from formerly enslaved men, some wincingly arty recreations of their ordeals, and on-the-ground footage [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

  • Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The

    Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'The Wandering Earth'

    Netflix has bought rights to “The Wandering Earth,“ the smash hit film pitched as China’s first mainstream sci-fi movie. The movie was the sleeper hit of Chinese New Year. It opened in fourth position on Feb. 5 but climbed to the top spot and has not yet relinquished it. After 14 days in theaters, the [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content