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Born in Lebanon Nadine Labaki is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of her generation in the arab world, known for tearing down stereotypes, and touching on fundamental issues like religion and the role of women in society in humorous and poetic ways. She is also known for conveying a different kind of realism by choosing for her films mostly non-professional actors based on their actual human characteristics.
She obtained a degree in audiovisual studies at Saint Joseph University in Beirut (IESAV), directing her graduation film, 11 Rue Pasteur, in 1997, which won the Best Short Film Award at the Biennale of Arab Cinema at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris)
In 1998 she attended a workshop in acting at the Cours Florent in Paris.
Afterwards, Nadine went on to direct adverts and many music videos for renowned Middle Eastern singers, for which she won several awards.
In 2005, she took part in the Cannes Film Festival Residence in order to write Caramel, her first feature film. In 2006 she went on to direct and play one of the lead roles in Caramel, which showcases a Beirut that most people are not familiar with. Rather than tackle political issues which have plagued Lebanon, she presents a comedy that deals with five Lebanese women who live in Beirut and gather at a beauty salon and deal with issues related to love, sexuality, tradition, disappointment, and everyday ups and downs.
The film premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and was a commercial success in the summer of that same year. It sold worldwide and collected important prizes at many festivals around the world, garnering Labaki much acclaim both as a director and actress, and putting her on Variety's 10 Directors to Watch List at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2008 the French Ministry of Culture and Communication gave Nadine Labaki the insignia of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.
In 2010 she directed and starred in her second feature film “Where Do We Go Now? which tackles in a very humorous way a delicate subject about a village in which church and mosque stand side by side, and in which women try to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war.
The film also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the " Certain Regard" category in 2011. It was an international success and won the Cadillac people’s choice award at the Toronto film festival. It also collected many other awards in festivals around the world, like Cannes Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Stockholm film festival. The film was also nominated for best foreign film at the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles.
Nadine also starred in Stray Bullet directed by Georges Hachem in 2010.
She will next appear opposite, Hiam Abbas and Lubna Azabal in the french production “Rock The Casbah” directed by Laila Marrakchi .