Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki‘s most recent film Capharnaüm has received international acclaim, an Oscar nomination, prestigious awards, and Oprah Winfrey‘s seal of approval. Last month, the American television mogul sent out a tweet, praising the politically-charged film (she dubbed it “compelling”). Then, this week, Winfrey invited the Lebanese directer and her husband, composer and producer Khaled Mouzanar for lunch at her Montecito home.
“Look who came for lunch,” she captioned an image of the three of them together, posing against the backdrop of lush greenery and mountains. “Director extraordinaire @nadinelabaki and her producer husband Khaled. I love their movie #Capernaum so much. If you get the chance , See it!” she wrote.
We could just imagine the table conversation between two of the most influential women in the film industry right now. But, we don’t have to guess hard. The sweet photograph was reposted by Labaki, who thanked the American media mogul for the gesture and extended the invitation to visit her in Lebanon. She also revealed what their conversation comprised of. “My queen Oprah. This moment spent in your home talking about life and the ways to change the world will always be one of those moments Khaled and I will remember forever,” the filmmaker wrote.
“Your humility and warmth are such a beautiful example to follow. You have this aura very few people have in life. Thank you for allowing this beautiful moment to happen and thank you for the love and support to our #Capernaum. I hope the next time we meet we’ll be having breakfast in Lebanon at our home and we’ll be having the beautiful cedar mountains as a background,” she added.
An Oprah co-sign is a pretty big deal for the Oscar-nominated director. The mogul is one of the most high profile Academy members (The Academy members are those who are responsible for selecting the Oscar winners). Winfrey’s January tweet also prompted a response from director and fellow Academy member Ava DuVernay, who replied “Watched it on Cannes jury. So beautiful. What gorgeous performances. Woman director!”
The highly-acclaimed film tells the story of a neglected 12-year-old boy in Beirut, who takes his parents to court for giving him life in a world of pain and suffering. Following its premiere at Cannes in May, it received a 15-minute standing ovation. Labaki would go on to make history as the first Arab female filmmaker to take home the prestigious Jury Prize during the 71st edition of the annual film festival. Will she also be the first Arab female director to win an Oscar? Time will only tell.