Ending on a high, the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on May 27 following 12 days of film screenings, awards and much more. This year, Arab filmmakers and actors were at the forefront with many of their films nabbing big awards. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest winners of this year’s festival:
I Promise You Paradise
Nabbing the Rail d’Or Award for best short film in Semaine de la critique is Egyptian Director Morad Mostafa’s short film “I Promise You Paradise”, all about the African immigrant experience in Egypt.
The first feature film of Moroccan director Kamal Lazraq “Hounds” managed to nab the Jury Prize in the “Un Certain Regard” section. Set in Casablanca, the film places a lens on the life of Hassan and Issam, a father and son who make a living through petty crimes.
Winning not just one but three awards at the festival is Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s hybrid documentary “Four Daughters” starring Hend Sabri. Among the awards was the Positive Cinema Award which is given to films that inspire hope and social change.
Beyond it making waves as the first Sudanese film to take part in the Cannes film festival, filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani’s “Goodbye Julia” also nabbed the Freedom Prize. Watching this film gives audiences an untapped look at the country six years prior to the 2011 secession of South Sudan.
The Mother Of All Lies
Along with Four Daugthers, Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir “The Mother Of All Lies” won the L’Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) prize for the best documentary in Cannes. Using experimental film-making, the documentary dives into upheaval and violence of 1981 Bread Riots in Casablanca.
Each of these films takes audiences on a journey through the fluctuating world of the Arab region through unique characters with rich backgrounds and experiences. Their stories are special and will continue to act as a thriving and representative voice of the Arab world.