Arab Films Win at Toronto International Film Festival

The Cave by Feras Fayyad

Another win for the Arab world! Two Middle Eastern film just won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Oualid Mouaness’s debut film, 1982, took home the Netpac award after it premiered at TIFF, and Oscar-nominated director, Feras Fayyad’s film, The Cave, won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.

Mouaness’s film, 1982, is situated in a private school in the suburbs of Beirut, in the past, when Lebanon was under attack by Israel. The narrative focuses on Wissam, an 11-year-old boy who develops a crush on his classmate, Joanna, but before he can confess his love for her, Beirut is torn apart by war, and nothing remains the same. The film has been lauded “for its adventurous, imaginative style and subtle, confident filmmaking, bravely juxtaposing and framing the universal innocence and charm of youth within harrowing historical context,” according to a statement on TIFF’s official website. 1982 also features actors, Mohammed Dalli and director/actress, Nadine Labaki, who help perfectly convey Mouaness’s childhood experiences.

Feras Fayyad’s docu-film, The Cave, was shot in his native country, Syria, where a team of female doctors are followed as they treat casualties inside an underground hospital whilst challenging systematic sexism. The noteworthy film highlights the significance of the contribution of female doctors in the war-torn country.

The Cave by Feras Fayyad

Not only is The Cave up for a TV release on US channel, NatGeo, already, but is also being considered for the Academy Awards following its debut at TIFF.

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