A Syrian documentary centered around the fall of Aleppo recently won the Prix L'Œil d'Or (Golden Eye Prize) at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad Al-Kataeb and Edward Watts, For Sama follows the former's "story of being a young mother through the beginning of the war in 2012 through the fall of Aleppo in December 2016."

The fact-based film was shot over five years in war-torn Aleppo and is dedicated to - and named after - the director's daughter, Sama, who is also the inspiration behind it. 

Before taking home the award, the film had moved audiences, critics, and judges at the festival. 

The Syrian documentary's win at Cannes means it will "automatically be eligible for an Oscar submission in the Best Documentary category."

The film was part of the festival's main selection and competed for the prestigious award - which was founded in 2015 by the French writers' union Société Civile des Auteurs Multimédia (SCAM) in partnership with France's National Audiovisual Institute and the Cannes Film Festival. 

For this year, the Golden Eye jury was headed by French filmmaker Yolande Zauberman, along with actress Romane Bohringer, actor Éric Caravaca, Bright Leaves director Ross McElwee, and head of the Havana Film Festival Ivan Giroud.

Arab presence and wins were highly notable at this year's Cannes

Other than For Sama, two other Arab films scooped mentions at the festival. 

Elia Suleiman's comedy It Must Be Heaven received a special mention in the main competition. The Palestinian feature was the only Arab film to compete for this year's Palme d'Or. Wisam Al Jafari's Ambience also tied in third place in the Cinéfondation section.

A long line-up of Arab films had made it to the festival this year, with a total of nine pictures screening as part of the event's various sections

The films include Moroccan production Adam, Algerian drama Papicha, Algerian feature Abou Leila, Moroccan film The Unknown Saint, Egyptian picture The Trap, and Tunisian production Tlamess. 

This year's festival also saw Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki become the first-ever Arab president of a Cannes Jury. The star headed the festival's Un Certain Regard jury and stole the show at its opening ceremony. 

Labaki's history-making achievement was announced in March, months after her latest feature Capharnaüm took the world by storm following its release in September 2018.