Lebanese actress, screenwriter and director Nadine Labaki has been selected to be the president of the jury of a films section at this year's Cannes Festival.
"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," organizers said.
Labaki's "Capernaum" movie won the jury prize at the Cannes Festival last year, and was received nominations at the Bifas, Golden Globes, Baftas and Academy Awards.
"I can't wait to debate and discuss, to be shaken up, to find inspiration in other artists' work," Labaki said after the jury president announcement.
"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. 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," she recounted.
"It seems like yesterday, but it was 15 years ago that I filled in the Festival de Cannes' Cinefondation registration form, my heart full of hope and my hand shaking. 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."
The Un Certain Regard category features films that deserve recognition, as nominated by a jury of film professionals.
Labaki, the first ever Arab national to head this section's jury, will replace Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro who assumed this role in 2018.
She will succeed prominent figures like Uma Thurman, Marthe Kellery, Isabella Rossellini, Pablo Trapero, Abderrahmane Sissako and Fatih Akin.