Arab cinema makes history @ Cannes - 'Divines' scoops award

Uda Benyamina's movie gets the nod for best first film, the Camera d'Or

The final awards ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival has concluded, with veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach winning the second Palme d'Or of his career for the impassioned protest drama 'I, Daniel Blake.'

It was also a big day for the Arab film industry with Moroccan film 'Divines' getting the nod for best first film, the Camera d'Or.

Directed by Houda Benyamina, it starred her sister Oulaya Amamra.

The movie is a gripping drama about a young French teenage girl from a tough immigrant suburb who dreams of getting rich quick.

Benyamina's movie, which was co-financed by Doha Film Institute, premiered in Directors' Fortnight. Willem Dafoe presented the award.

Iranian star Shahab Hosseini won the best actor award at the Cannes film festival Sunday for his role as a husband shaken by an attack on his wife in 'The Salesman'.

The 42-year-old won a Golden Globe in for his part in 2011's 'A Separation' (Oscar for best foreign language film), which was also directed by Iranian master Asghar Farhadi.

"This prize belongs to my people and I give it to them with all my heart," he said.

Asghar Farhadi's taut moral drama 'The Salesman' is about a married couple thrown into turmoil after the wife is attacked in their home.

Farhadi also scooped the screenplay honours.

The film was co-financed by the Doha Film Institute.

Good year @ Cannes

This year the Cannes Film Market showcased a wide-range of upcoming titles by directors from the Arab world, including prominent Egyptian auteur Yousry Nasrallah's  bucolic 'Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces,' about a family of cooks who cater for weddings in the Egyptian countryside.

Egyptian director Mohamed Diab's hotly anticipated 'Clash' opened the fest's Un Certain Section, marking the first film from turbulent Egypt bowing at Cannes since Nasrallah's 'Battle.'

'Clash' is set entirely inside an overcrowded police truck packed with demonstrators from all social classes after a massive protest following the events of July 3, 2013, as crowds celebrated the ouster of fromer president Mohamed Morsi.

Diab is known internationally for bold harassment picture 'Cairo 678.'

The Marche du Film hosted a Dubai Film Market presents selection of works-in-progress and also a Liban Cinema presents selection.

The work-in-progress of Nasrallah's 'Brooks,' his followup to post-Arab Spring drama 'After the Battle,' which competed in Cannes in 2012, was in the Dubai section.

That section also included Syrian director Maisa Safadi's '4 Seasons, 2 Brothers and a Border,' produced by US producer Soloman Goodman's Railroad Films.

The Lebanese selection included 'Fallen From The Sky,' the feature film debut of Beirut-based documaker Wissam Charaf, who is an alumni of the Sundance Institute's Rawi Screenwriters Lab in Jordan. It's about two brothers, one of whom resurfaces after being presumed dead.

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