The 72nd Cannes Film Festival launched on Tuesday with a glamorous red carpet that saw the presence of international artists like Selena Gomez, Bill Murray, and Priyanka Chopra to name just a fraction.
What was eye-catching to people in the Arab region, though, was the heavy presence of Arab films who have made it to Cannes.
Young talents are always blooming in the region, with their works leading them to worldwide fame and recognition. When it comes to Arab filmmakers, their presence at international film festivals has been making headlines more than their absence.
Here are the Arab films that are showing at Cannes Film Festival this year:
Adam is a Moroccan drama that depicts the story of two women; Abla, a widow who runs a local bakery and lives alone with her 8-year-old daughter, and Samia, a pregnant woman who comes knocking at Abla's door, changing all of their lives forever.
2. It Must Be Heaven
This is the only Arab movie competing for the Palme d’Or. The movie is directed by Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman, who previously won the Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes back in 2002 for his film Divine Intervention.
It Must Be Heaven is the story of Suleiman, the main character, who goes on a search for a new home, only to realize Palestine will always be his primary homeland.
Directed by Mounia Meddour, Papicha takes place in Algiers in 1997 and revolves around Nedjma, a young student with an interest in fashion. She's determined to organize a fashion show amidst the city's civil war.
4. For Sama
She used her camera to document and capture stories about love, war, loss, and motherhood over the course of five years in war-torn Aleppo. The fact-based film is featured in the Special Screening category.
This is the only short film by an Arab filmmaker to be included in this year's Cinéfondation section.
The Palestinian short is directed by Wisam Al Jafari and follows two ambitious young men trying to record a demo in their refugee camp for a competition. Facing obstacles and difficulties in their crowded, noisy camp, they end up taking advantage of their situation and drawing inspiration from it.
As for Arab films featured at the Critics' Week sidebar
6. Abou Leila
7. The Unknown Saint
The movie is about a thief who buried stolen money in a deserted village before his arrest. After his release, he goes to retrieve his loot and discovers a shrine, that's become a tourist attraction, was built on top of it.