LEBANON / Nadine Labaki’s “Capharnaüm” nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film

On January 22nd the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the films nominated for this year’s Oscar ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on February 24th.

Capharnaüm, directed by Lebanese film-maker Nadine Labaki, is one of five films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It will be in competition against Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Shoplifters, winner of the 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away and Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War.

The first Lebanese film to be nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar was Ziad Doueiri’s L’Insulte – just last year. Nadine Labaki is the first female Lebanese director to have that honour.

Her film, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize last May, also competed at the Golden Globes for Best Foreign Film – won instead by Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, broadcast on Netflix. In France,  Capharnaüm was nominated for a César for Best Foreign Film.

This third feature by the Lebanese director and actress follows a 12-year-old boy, played by Zain al-Rafeea, who decides to sue his parents for bringing him into the world. The film shows the violent daily life of street children in the Lebanese capital.

Having made two films dealing with complex subjects in a lighter tone, Nadine Labaki turns her camera on refugees in Lebanon. Her first feature, Caramel, was about five women who meet at a beauty institute in Beirut. Presented at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2007, it has been a great success in Lebanon and internationally. Her second film, Et maintenant on va où? won the Audience Award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Sources: https://www.thenational.ae, https://www.lorientlejour.com

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