Women in Film: Labaki, Nadine–Lebanese Writer-Director (Caramel, Capernaum)

Writer-Director Nadine Labaki

Born in Lebanon, Nadine Labaki grew up during the years of civil war. She received her degree in Audiovisual Studies in 1997 from Beirut’s Saint-Joseph University. After graduation, she directed TV commercials and music videos for popular artists in the region, which garnered her several awards.

In 2005, Labaki participated in the Cannes Film Festival Residence to write Caramel, her first feature film, which was set in Beirut. She directed and took a lead role in the film, which premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2007 and won the Youth Jury Award, and Audience Award at San Sebastian Film Festival. It was released theatrically in over 60 countries. In 2008, she received the Insignia of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture.

Nadine’s second feature, Where Do We Go Now? which she again wrote, directed and starred in, also premiered at Cannes in 2011 in the Un Certain Regard category, and won a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury. It also won the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Festival, and the Audience Award at San Sebastian Film Festival, before screening at Sundance in 2012.

Where Do We Go Now is Lebanon’s highest-grossing Arabic film to date.

In 2014, Nadine wrote and directed “O Milagre,” a segment of the Rio, I Love You anthology film in the “Cities of Love” series. She also starred in the film opposite Harvey Keitel.

As an actor, Labaki starred in MEA CULPA for French director Fred Cavayé; LA RANÇON DE LA GLOIRE for French director Xavier Beauvois; STRAY BULLET for Lebanese director Georges Hachem; and ROCK THE CASBAH, for Moroccan director Laïla Marrakchi.

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