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Nadine Labaki’s Caphar­naüm Awarded Jury Prize at Cannes Film Fes­ti­val

Fol­low­ing a 15-minute stand­ing ova­tion that marked its May 17 premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, Le­banese film­maker Nadine Labaki’s lat­est fea­ture film ‘Caphar­naüm’ won the cov­eted Jury Prize two days later, fol­low­ing rave re­views from crit­ics and the in­ter­na­tional press. The sto­ry­line is cen­tered around Zain, a 12-year-old boy born with­out a birth cer­tifi­cate who de­cides to sue his own par­ents for bring­ing him into the world. The film was also in the run­ning for the Palme d’or, which ul­ti­mately went to Ja­pa­nese fam­ily drama ‘Man­biki Ka­zoku’ (Shoplifters). Nadine’s win was widely cel­e­brated by internet users and the me­dia, re­in­forc­ing her sta­tus as one of the most suc­cess­ful and im­pact­ful women film­mak­ers in the Arab World.

French-le­banese Ac­tress Manal Issa Protests Gaza At­tacks on the Cannes Red Car­pet

As she walked the ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ premiere red car­pet, French-le­banese ac­tress Manal Issa raised a sign with “STOP THE AT­TACK ON GAZA!!” writ­ten on it, in protest of Is­rael’s re­cent at­tacks on Gaza, which have re­sulted in the mas­sacre of over 60 un­armed Pales­tinian pro­test­ers. Pho­tos of her act of sol­i­dar­ity were picked up shortly af­ter by Internet users in Le­banon and the re­gion, who com­mended the ac­tress for us­ing her high-pro­file red car­pet ap­pear­ance to take a stand against the mas­sacre and show sup­port for Gaza’s peo­ple. In­ter­na­tional web­sites were also quick to spot the sign, which ap­peared in a num­ber of ar­ti­cles as one of the red car­pet high­lights of the fes­ti­val.

Blue-painted Elec­tion Camel Sparks So­cial Me­dia Out­rage amid Elec­tion Sea­son

Le­banese Internet users were out­raged by pic­tures of a Camel and other farm an­i­mals that were painted blue by a few en­thu­si­as­tic Fu­ture Move­ment Sup­port­ers to show po­lit­i­cal sup­port amid ris­ing elec­tion sea­son drama. The pho­tos went viral on so­cial me­dia, with more and more peo­ple jump­ing in to con­demn such an­i­mal cru­elty, which prompted Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri to is­sue an apol­ogy af­ter an­i­mal wel­fare NGO An­i­mals Le­banon rep­re­sen­ta­tives alerted him to the sit­u­a­tion, spec­i­fy­ing that “these are spon­ta­neous ini­tia­tives not or­ga­nized by the Fu­ture Party” in an of­fi­cial state­ment. “It is ab­so­lutely ab­surd to be abus­ing a num­ber of an­i­mals to show po­lit­i­cal sup­port. Such ac­tions are be­ing re­jected by so­ci­ety and the govern­ment,” a Face­book post pub­lished by the NGO in the wake of the in­ci­dent read.

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