Arab Media Industry

This May, the biggest names in the film industry will gather in the city of Cannes in southern France for the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival - the largest international showcase of cinematic art.

Unsurprisingly, the official selection for the festival includes films from the Middle East and the Arab world.

"In the Fade," by Turkish director Fatih Akin, has been nominated for the Palme d'Or - the most prestigious award in the festival.

Additionally, two Middle Eastern films have been selected for the Un Certain Regard category, which is dedicated to young talents and innovative work: "Dregs", directed by Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof and produced by UAE-based Kaveh Farnam, as well as "Until the Birds Return", directed by Algerian Karim Moussaoui.

Arabs actually have a long history at the Cannes festival, dating back to the festival's very first edition in 1946, with Egypt being the first Arab country to be represented at the event. This is thanks to Egyptian actor and director Youssef Wehbi, who was part of the official jury at the first-ever Cannes Film Festival, and his compatriot Mohammed Karim, whose film "Dunia" was screened there.

Since then, Arabs have not only participated but also won awards at the annual festival, most notably through films that depict the plight of our ever-turbulent region.

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