Lebanese Cannes winner dedicates prize to poor kids

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki, who won one of the top prizes at Cannes on Saturday (May 19th) with a story of poor children and migrants, dedicated her award to her impoverished amateur cast and her homeland, AFP reported.

Labaki is the first Arab woman to have won a major prize at the festival and only the second to have had a film competing for the Palme d'Or.

Her film “Capernaum" and its 13-year-old lead, a Syrian refugee, captured hearts in Cannes.

Zain al-Rafeea, who has been working as a delivery boy in Beirut until recently, and who has only just learned to write his name, turned in a performance that had critics brushing away tears.

Accepting the third-placed Jury Prize, Labaki said she hoped her film “will enable the voices of these children to be better heard and trigger a debate”.

"Capernaum", which won a 15-minute standing ovation at its premiere, catapults Labaki into the big league after "Caramel", her debut about a Beirut beauty parlour, and "Where Do We Go Now?", about women on a mission to end sectarian violence in their village.

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