Every year, there are a few things cinephiles look forward to. New film releases, films that flop so they can say they saw it coming, and award seasons. One of the biggest award seasons aside from Oscars of course is the annual Cannes Film Festival, a film festival targeting filmmakers with the aim of highlighting the profile of films in addition to spotlighting up and coming talents. With the 75th edition of the festival having just come to a close, there were many highs, from the films to the fashion to iconic moments to fashion again in particular for Arabs; here’s your wrap-up of this incredible festival. It is as if you were there, only you are in pajamas eating popcorn as you scroll through this article, oh well.
You cannot do a proper Cannes wrap-up without talking films, after all, that’s what it is truly about. A lot of people focus on fashion and outtake moments when it comes to these festivals when really the purpose behind them is the films and celebrating the filmmakers. In this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh won the best screenplay award for his film “Boy From Heaven.” The thriller film chronicles a boy’s rocky journey with Al Azhar University, tackling the diversion between the Islamic organization and the country’s authorities. Told with conviction, the film is a true think piece that deserved the award.
Moreover, Saleh wasn’t the only Egyptian recognized for his talent at the festival, film critic, Ahmed Shawky, was the first-ever Egyptian to head the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). A huge honor since in the past Egyptian critics was on the board, but Shawky is the first Egyptian to head the board, leading critics of various nationalities.
Furthermore, renowned Egyptian director, Yousry Nasrallah, was appointed Chairman of the jury of the short films. It was exciting, to say the least, to see such incredible Egyptians making their mark on an international scale.
Another highlight for Arab filmmakers during the festival was the Red Sea International Festival which celebrates women’s achievements across the Middle East. Stars like Tara Emad attended the festival along with Saudi producer Mohammed Al Turki, who is also the chairman of the Red Sea International Film Festival committee. The festival was a great part of the Cannes festival as it honored women in addition to filmmakers and actors coming together to make a statement for the generation of talent being birthed.
Now that we have got the extraordinary film accomplishments out of the way, we have to acknowledge that festivals tend to borderline turn into fashion shows and the Cannes 75th edition was no exception. Like Mona Zaki’s L’Oréal partnership where she rocked a Georges Hobeika black fit gown with silver bondage detail.
Moreover, Huda El Mufti rocked librarian chic looks in partnership with Dior. From her sleek black dresses to blazer coats, her clean and sophisticated looks had everyone talking at the festivals. The young actress shone with her classic looks that were eyecatching and had a little something extra with Dior’s accessories.
When it comes to red carpet fashion, Saudi actress, director, and writer, Fatima Albanwi looked flawless in a Rami Kadi. An off-shoulder pink feathery gown that gave a mermaid aesthetic while maintaining simple elegant detail.
Lebanese fashion icon, Karen Wazen wore a black long sleet gown with silver jewels by Roberto Cavalli. Wazen literally sparkled in a sharp look with a high ponytail.
The Jaw-dropping Moments
It would not be award season without a wow-worthy moment. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Egyptian actress Mona Zaki was caught posing with Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah along with iconic English actress, Helen Mirren; a picture for the books.
Award seasons come and go, but the highlights last. The 75th Cannes film festival was jam-packed with memorable elements that we will never forget.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss… Five Arab Designers Behind The Hottest Red Carpet Looks