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Film Aficionados, Rejoice! Nadine Labaki’s Making A Documentary

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki is a force of nature. Her list of achievements is long and impressive: She’s currently chairing the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes this year, won the Grand Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and received a 15-minute standing ovation when her film Capernaum premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The list goes on: she directed music videos for Arab pop sensation Nancy Ajram and was a Vogue Arabia cover star in October 2018, too.

The latest venture for Labaki? A film about a film– a meta-film, as it were. She recently announced at Kering’s Women in Motion event (this year’s edition was about the Cannes Film Festival) that she would be making a documentary on the making of Capernaum.



The film is an emotional tale of a Lebanese boy who sues his own family for the “crime of giving him life“– an emotional rollercoaster of a movie that Labaki took pains to ensure was historically accurate. Labaki’s team took three years to do research, six months to film and then edited for the following two years, making it a five-year odyssey into the trials and tribulations of child poverty.

“During the shooting process, fiction became reality. Lots of crazy things happened on the shoot with each one of the actors […] the whole process was so interesting and so intense that we’re making a documentary about the whole thing, following the characters’ stories and what’s going on in their lives right now,” she shared during the talk.

Through her art, Labaki someday hopes to generate policy change tackling the deep-rooted and ubiquitous issue of child poverty–an issue that is so close to her heart that she chose to follow through with Capernaum rather than shift her attention to a new project. “We’re exploring how we can really make a change with a film,” she explained at the event.

We can’t wait to see what she does next!


Nadine Labaki photographed by Drew Jarrett for the October 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia.


Read next: Nadine Labaki On Why She Is Not Afraid Of Emotions

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