What is arguably one of the most tiring award seasons has come to an end. Last night, as expected, Lebanon once again missed out on a win for Best Foreign Language FIlm. Following multiple wins at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, it comes as no surprise that Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language, beating out Capharnaum (Lebanon), Shoplifters (Japan), Never Look Away (Germany) and Cold War (Poland).
Capharnaum’s long-winded journey began at last year’s Cannes Film Festival where the film won the Grand Jury Prize. Capharnaum has since garnered much critical acclaim and accrued several accolades and major nominations. The film has also recently been recognised by many celebrities ranging from Oprah to Glenn Close, who expressed their love and adoration for the film and its actors.
Despite the loss, Labaki’s Capharnaum remains monumental for this year’s Academy Awards as one of the very few films directed by a woman nominated for a major award. It is far from perfect a film, but it is one that stands testament to the talent of filmmakers from this side of the world and a beacon of hope for young professionals looking to make their way into the business. One can also not ignore the tremendous change the film has brought to the life of its young star, Zain Al Rafeea, a Syrian refugee who — before his triumphant return to cinema in the future — is finally achieving his dream of attending school as he resettles with his family in Norway.
We are so happy for Nadine Labaki and are excited to see what her next move will be. Congratulations to Roma and to Mexico!