Arab and Iranian films scoop trophies at Cannes festival

Film makers from the Arab world and Iran have scooped three prizes at this year's Cannes International Film Festival.

Lebanese actress-director Nadine Labaki on Sunday was awarded the Francois Chalet prize for her film "Halla2 Lawen" (Where Do We Go Now?). The prize is awarded annually for best feature film. Labaki won the trophy under the "Un Certain Regard" category, which contained the event's second largest pool of competitors.

"Halla2 Lawen," a joint Egyptian-French production, provides solutions for sectarian feuds in the Arab World by using a love story between a Christian girl and her Muslim neighbor in a Lebanese village.

Moroccan director Kamal Lazraq's "Drari" ranked second in the short film competition, "Cinefoundation". He thus becomes the first Moroccan Cannes winner in the festival's history.

“Drari” is the third film by Lazraq. He previously directed two films, in 2009 and 2010. The film’s events, which take place in Casablanca, revolve around the friendship of Ghali, a rich man, and Mohamed, Ghali's palace employee who works watering the trees and cleaning the swimming pool. Through Mohamed, Ghali gets acquainted with contemporary realities in Moroccan society.

Also among the winners in the "Un Certain Regard" category on Friday was Iranian Mohamed Rasoul, who was named best director for his film “Goodbye”. The prize awarded to Rasoulof, who currently serves a six-year sentence in Iran and has been banned by the Iranian government from making films, was received by his wife.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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