The Cannes Film Festival has announced its official selection of pathbreaking regional films for its 74th edition this year, calling for a proud moment in the Arab world. Three dramas created by regional filmmakers and released in 2021 will compete for Cannes’ Palme d’Or award during the prestigious event running from July 6 to 17.
Those making the cut are Casablanca Beats by French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch, Bonne Mère made by Tunisian-French actor Hafsia Herzi, and A Hero by Iranian producer Asghar Farhadi.
Casablanca Beats is centered around the life of a former rapper employed in a cultural centre, and depicts the journey of students, empowered by a new teacher, trying to free themselves from the shackles of tradition to live their passion and express themselves through hip hop. Bonne Mère (Good Mother) follows the story of a housekeeper as she does everything she can to help her son after he is arrested in a gas station robbery and awaits trial. A Hero‘s plot is being kept under wraps.
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The world’s leading red-carpet festival, with a jury headed by American director Spike Lee, is set to return with a physical event after the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of last year’s edition. The live event will be streamed on the Cannes website, as well as on its official Dailymotion, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.
Other 20 international films up for the prize include Annette by French director Leos Carax, Benedetta by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, and Red Rocket by American director Sean Baker.
In the 73rd edition of the film festival, Egyptian filmmaker Ayten Amin’s Souad, Lebanese director Danielle Arbid’s Passion Simple, Algerian-French film ADN by director and Maïwenn and Lebanese filmmaker Jimmy Keyrouz’s Broken Keys represented the Middle East.