Nadine Labaki’s ‘Capernaum’ to debut at Cannes in May

Nadine Labaki. (AFP)
Updated 15 April 2018
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Nadine Labaki’s ‘Capernaum’ to debut at Cannes in May

  • "Capernaum” will be the second of Labaki's three feature films to premiere at Cannes
  • KSA soon to announce its official selection of contributing films for Cannes 2018

DUBAI: Acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker and actress Nadine Labaki will premiere her latest film, “Capernaum,” at the 71st Cannes Film Festival next month, according to the festival organizers, who announced details of this year’s lineup on Thursday.
Labaki’s socially conscious, humorous-but-dramatic work has made her one of Lebanon’s — and the Arab world’s — most prominent filmmakers. “Capernaum” will be the second of her three feature films to premiere at Cannes after 2011’s “Where Do We Go Now?”
Few details of “Capernaum” have so far been released, but the film reportedly focuses on a rebellious teen who decides to sue his parents for having him. Like Labaki’s previous features, “Capernaum” apparently uses mainly non-professional actors.
The Middle East will have a strong presence at Cannes this year, with Egyptian-Austrian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky’s “Yomeddine” also on the program.
Both films will compete in the festival’s official competition, while its “Un Certain Regard” section will include two more Arab features — “Sofia,” Moroccan filmmaker Meryem Benm’barek’s debut movie, and Syrian director Gaya Jiji’s “My Favorite Fabric” — also a debut film.
Later this week, Saudi Arabia will announce its official selection of contributing films for Cannes 2018.
Following the Kingdom’s decision to allow cinemas in the country, the Saudi Film Council announced that Saudi Arabia will have its own pavilion at the festival this year.
Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux told “Deadline,” “(This) is a great way of opening up global opportunities for (Saudi’s) creative talent. The many young filmmakers among the Saudi delegation will have access to the world’s most prestigious film festival, including meaningful interactions with leading, international film industry professionals.”


4 ex-presidents among hundreds at Barbara Bush’s funeral

Updated 21 April 2018
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4 ex-presidents among hundreds at Barbara Bush’s funeral

  • President Trump's misses out on attending former first lady Barbara Bush's funeral
  • Former US presidents and their spouses attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush

HOUSTON: Four former presidents joined ambassadors, sports stars and hundreds of other mourners on a gray, rainy day Saturday at the private funeral for Barbara Bush, filling the nation’s largest Episcopal church a day after more than 6,000 people paid their respects to the woman known by many as “America’s matriarch.”
President George H.W. Bush was helped into the cavernous sanctuary with a wheelchair behind his sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and other Bush relatives to remember his wife of 73 years who died at their home Tuesday at age 92.
Also seated near the front of the church, in the same pew, were two other former presidents — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — along with their wives and current first lady Melania Trump.
Flags were flown at half-mast for the wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the nation’s 43rd as the service began at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, as the choir sang “My Country Tis of Thee.” The church is adorned with sprays of yellow garden roses, yellow snap dragons, antique hydrangeas and other flowers.
Among the other roughly 1,500 guests were former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and professional golfer Phil Mickelson, along with Karl Rove, and other former White House staff. Many were seen embracing in the church before the service.
President Donald Trump isn’t attending to avoid security disruptions and “out of respect for the Bush family and friends attending the service,” according to the White House. He released a statement Saturday saying his “thoughts and prayers” are “with the entire Bush family.”
A burial will follow at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Houston. The burial site is in a gated plot surrounded by trees and near a creek where the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953, is buried.
The family has said Barbara Bush had selected son Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, to deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of her husband.
The funeral program shows that her grandchildren will also play prominent roles: her granddaughters will offer readings during the service and her grandsons will serve pallbearers.
On Friday, a total of 6,231 people stopped by the church to pay their respects. Many of the women wore the former first lady’s favorite color, blue, and trademark pearls.
After seeing how many people had lined up to pay their respects to his wife, former President George H.W. Bush decided to attend — he sat at the front of the church in a wheelchair, offering his hand and smiled as people shook it, for about 15 minutes.
Barbara and George Bush were married longer than any other presidential couple when she died Tuesday at their home in Houston. She was 92.
One of just two first ladies to have a child elected president, Barbara Bush was widely admired for her plainspoken style and her advocacy for causes including literacy and AIDS awareness.
Barbara Bush was known as the “Enforcer” in her family, the glue who kept the high-powered clan together. Eight of her grandsons will serve as pallbearers.