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Nadine Labaki Gets a Standing Ovation in Cannes Wearing Elie Saab

Khaled Mouzanar, Nadine Labaki, and the Capernaum cast at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. Rex

Nadine Labaki premiered her new film Capernaum at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. Following the screening, Labaki received a 15-minute long standing ovation from the tearful audience, which consisted of members of the press and cinephiles. Capernaum is one of 20 films competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or (and one of the three films competing that’s directed by a female). For the occasion, the Lebanese director wore an emerald green, belted, strapless dress with a velvet bodice and chiffon skirt plucked from Elie Saab’s Fall 2018 haute couture collection that struck the perfect chord between glamorous and refined. Labaki, who was accompanied by her husband, Lebanese music composer Khaled Mouzanar and the 12-year-old Zain Alrafeea who plays the lead role in the film, opted to accessorize the gown with a black and gold box clutch. The director, who has been working with Saab for the past ten years admits, she always feels “in good hands” when she wears his dreamy creations.

Capernaum is a politically-charged drama that centers around a child (played by Alrafeea) who rebels against the life he’s been imposed, and files a lawsuit against his parents for bringing him into the world.

If Labaki wins the film festival’s highest honor on Saturday, she will become the second female director to ever win the prize. Jane Champion was awarded the Palme d’Or for The Piano in 1993; Meanwhile, Lea Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos shared the top prize with director Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue Is the Warmest Color at the 66th edition of the cinematic event.

Though Labaki has shown at Cannes before (Caramel 2007, and Where Do We Go Now, 2011), Capernaum is the first time she’s competed for the Palme d’Or.

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