Director Nadine Labaki, whose Capernaum was nominated for foreign film Academy award this year, will preside over the jury of Cannes sidebar Un Certain Regard, the festival announced Tuesday.
The actor-filmmaker had won the Jury Prize in Cannes for the Lebanese film.
“After moving hearts and minds at the last Festival de Cannes with her Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated Capernaum, which won the Jury Prize in Cannes, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki will be taking over from actor Benicio Del Toro as president of the Un Certain Regard Jury for the 72nd edition of the festival,” organisers said.
Labaki has been a part of the French festival from her student days as she did a residency at the Cannes festival’s Cinefondation, which runs a student and short-film section. While there, she wrote and developed her first feature film Caramel, which was screened at festival’s Directors’ Fortnight in 2007.
Where Do We Go Now?, her second film, premiered at the Un Certain Regard section in 2011 before Capernaum.
“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,” said Labaki.
“Back then, it seemed so out of reach to me. I remember getting up early in the morning and the endless queues to get a ticket. It seems like yesterday, but it was 15 years ago that I filled in the Festival de Cannes’ Cinefondation (film and short film section) registration form, my heart full of hope and my hand shaking.”
The director said from looking something that was unattainable to heading the jury of one of the segments, it has been a dream come true.
“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,” she added.