This year has been a whirlwind of history-making acclamations for Lebanese actress and filmmaker Nadine Labaki. For starters, the fact that her latest feature, Capharnaüm, got an Oscar-nomination was pretty overwhelming in and of itself. But, the groundbreaking times did not stop there. Earlier this year, the Cannes Film Festival - where her movie was premiered - named her the president of its Un Certain Regard jury, making her the first Arab to take on this role.
Whether she's in front of the camera or behind the scenes, Labaki has proven she is unstoppable throughout her career.
Her upcoming project will see her focus on acting as she has starred in a Lebanese film that will be screened at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which launches on Sept. 5.
The feature, titled1982, is directed by filmmaker Oualid Mouanness, and follows the story of an 11-year-old boy who tries to tell a classmate he loves her but gets caught up in airstrikes that hit Beirut at the start of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Labaki plays the role of an anguished schoolteacher named Yasmeen who's struggling amid the 1982 siege of Beirut.
Organizers of the Dubai Film Festival revealed that the film has been selected to screen at TIFF 2019 in an Instagram post.
"One of this year's Arab films at #TIFF19 is Lebanese film 1982, directed by Oualid Mouaness and starring @NadineLabaki. #SupportArabCinema," the festival wrote.
Currently in its post-production phase,1982 is set to premiere at the festival and then hit cinemas in the next few months.
Several other Arab features will screen at TIFF this year
Arab cinema has been making incredible progress in the past decade, with local films screening at the most prestigious international film festivals.
Things won't be different at the upcoming edition of TIFF, where a number of regional films have been selected to screen and compete. Other than 1982, the Tunisian feature Noura Dreams will also open at the event. Directed by Hind Boujemaa, the film follows the story of a woman who finds the love of her life while her husband is locked up in jail. Just days before she is granted divorce, her husband is released, jeopardizing her dream to be with her lover and forcing the couple to flee.
Egyptian film Certified Mail is another work of art set to premiere at TIFF this year. Directed by Hisham Saqr, the feature tells the story of a suicidal woman who struggles with depression after her husband is sent to jail.