What does it take to be on the jury board of arguably the biggest film festival on the entertainment industry’s calendar? Someone with an eye-watering level of achievement? The ability to inspire? The clout to change the conversation? And yet in the last 70-plus years the Middle East has had no representation on the board of Un Certain Regard, the Cannes Film Festival's official selection of film professionals – until now.
Continuing to break glass ceilings, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki is set to become the first-ever Arab national to not only sit amongst the panel of jurors, but head up the entire committee (last year saw actress Cate Blanchett as jury president) for the 72nd edition of the festival.
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Yup! Thank you @festivaldecannes for this great honor ! #Repost @festivaldecannes with @get_repost ・・・ Devinez quoi ? La cinéaste libanaise Nadine Labaki présidera le jury Un Certain Regard de #Cannes2019. — Guess what? Lebanese director Nadine Labaki will preside over Un Certain Regard jury in #Cannes2019. — #NadineLabaki @nadinelabaki #Capharnaüm #UnCertainRegard
"I remember back when I used to come to Cannes as a film student, I was so excited to experience the world's most prestigious festival,” says the filmmaker on her appointment. “Today, I am the President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, which just goes to show that sometimes life can be even better than your dreams. I can't wait to see the films in the Selection. I can't wait to debate and discuss, to be shaken up, to find inspiration in other artists' work."
All three of Nadine Labaki's feature films, Caramel, Where Do We Go Now? and Capernaum were unveiled at Cannes Film Festival last year.
The 20 Un Certain Regard screenings start on 15 May. Winners announced on 24 May.
Press play to see more from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival red carpet