Labaki welcomes Saudi initiative to develop film industry

Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki

Saudi Gazette report

Dubai —
Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki has welcomed the initiatives that Saudi Arabia has taken to develop the film industry.

She sees it as a sign of further progress in the Kingdom.

“I think it’s a very big step. I think it’s a very optimistic step. I’m very optimistic and very happy about this. I think it is through cinema and art that you can really change things,” Labaki told Al Arabiya English.

Labaki said films can help reveal Saudi Arabia to the world.

“I’ve never been there, so I can’t talk about a culture that I don’t know,” Labaki said.

“All these young filmmakers are going to be the pioneers, the examples to follow. It’s a big responsibility, and I hope they’re aware of it,” she said.

Labaki’s first film, Caramel, debuted to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007, as did her second film, Where Do We Go Now?, in 2011.

Her third film as director “Capernaum” received a thunderous 15-minute ovation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Capernaum went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, ultimately losing to the acclaimed Mexican film Roma, produced by Netflix.