This May, the biggest names in the film industry will gather in the city of Cannes in southern France for the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival - the largest international showcase of cinematic art. 

Unsurprisingly, the official selection for the festival includes films from the Middle East and the Arab world. 

"In the Fade," by Turkish director Fatih Akin, has been nominated for the Palme d'Or - the most prestigious award in the festival. 

Additionally, two Middle Eastern films have been selected for the Un Certain Regard category, which is dedicated to young talents and innovative work: "Dregs", directed by Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof and produced by UAE-based Kaveh Farnam, as well as "Until the Birds Return", directed by Algerian Karim Moussaoui.

Arabs actually have a long history at the Cannes festival, dating back to the festival's very first edition in 1946, with Egypt being the first Arab country to be represented at the event. This is thanks to Egyptian actor and director Youssef Wehbi, who was part of the official jury at the first-ever Cannes Film Festival, and his compatriot Mohammed Karim, whose film "Dunia" was screened there.

Since then, Arabs have not only participated but also won awards at the annual festival, most notably through films that depict the plight of our ever-turbulent region.

Here are 7 films by Arab directors that have won awards at the French festival:

1. "Chronicle of the Years of Fire" by Algerian Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, Palme d'Or (1975)

After taking home the Best First Film award for his film The Winds of the Aures in 1966, Algerian director Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina returned to Cannes in 1975 to win the Arab world's first Palme d'Or award for Chronicle of the Years of Fire.

The Algerian historical drama film tells the story of the Algerian war of independence as seen through the eyes of a peasant. 

2. "Out of Life" by Lebanese Maroun Baghdadi, Jury Prize (1991)

Maroun Baghdadi, one of Lebanon's most prominent filmmakers of all time, is known for his vivid portrayal of Lebanon's 15-year civil war. His work has been screened all around the world, and he collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Baghdadi made his debut at the Cannes festival in 1982 with Little Wars, which narrated the brutalities of the civil war. But, it wasn't until 1991 that he won an award at the French festival

Directed and co-written by Baghdadi, Out of Life was awarded the Jury Prize, which is considered the third most prestigious prize at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. 

The film was inspired by real-life events and tells the story of a French photographer who is taken hostage, tortured and brainwashed in Beirut during the war.

3. "Divine Intervention" by Palestinian Elia Suleiman, Jury Prize (2002)

The film won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes International Film Festival, along with the FIPRESCI Competition Prize "for its sensitive, amusing and innovative vision of a complex and topical situation and the tragic consequences that result from it". It was also nominated for the prestigious Palm D'or award. 

The modern tragicomedy was filmed in Palestine and tells the story of a love affair between two people separated by an Israeli checkpoint. 

But this is not Suleiman's only accomplishment at the festival. The Palestinian director and actor was also part of the nine person jury during the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

4. "Omar" by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad, Jury Prize (2013)

As an innovative and daring piece of work, the film won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival.

Shot in Palestine, the drama film tells the story of a Palestinian lover who is imprisoned by the Israeli authorities after killing an Israeli soldier during an attack on an Israeli checkpoint.

Omar was among the five finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2014.

5. "Blue is the Warmest Color" by Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche, Palme d'Or (2013)

Directed, co-written and co-produced by Tunisia's Abdellatif Kechiche, the French coming-of-age drama film was declared one of the best films of 2013 by many critics. 

The film mainly revolves around the main character's exploration of her sexual identity, touching on subjects like homosexuality, social class and realism. 

6. "Wave '98" by Lebanese Ely Dagher, Palme d'Or (2015)

Ely Dagher, a Lebanese director, screenwriter and artist, is the only Arab to have won the Palme D'or prize in the short film category at the Cannes festival. 

Dagher won the prize for his film Waves '98, which explored his relationship with his hometown, Beirut, projected through the story of a teenager struggling to find a sense of home.

7. "Divines" by Moroccan Houda Benyamina, Caméra d'Or (2016)

In 2016, Moroccan director Houda Benyamina's film Divines was named the best debut feature and granted the Caméra d'Or award. 

The film tells the story of a young girl who drops out of school and leaves her family seeking personal freedom. Drugs, poverty, religion and marginalization are recurrent themes in the film, all told through Benyamina's feminist perspective on women’s issues.

In her acceptance speech for the award, Benyamina called out male dominance at the festival, saying"Cannes belongs to us [women] too," and screaming, "Women! Women!". 

She added, "It’s not a problem of quality. There’s not a lack of decent female films, it’s that there aren’t any women on the selection committees."