Arab films win big at Toronto Film Festival

Updated 18 September 2019

Arab films win big at Toronto Film Festival

DUBAI: Two Middle East-made films have won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Filmmaker Oualid Mouaness’s “1982” won the Netpac award and  director Feras Fayyad’s “The Cave” nabbed the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.

Oualid Mouaness’s debut film “1982” takes place against the backdrop of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Actor and director Nadine Labaki takes on the role of a school teacher in the award-winning film.

In “The Cave,” documentary filmmaker Fayyad returns to Syria to film a team of female doctors who treat casualties in an underground hospital as the war rages on outside and sexism hampers their life-saving work inside.

“The Cave” has been picked up by NatGeo for theatrical and TV release in the US.


US celebrities Janelle Monae, Seth Rogen and more donating to Minneapolis protesters’ bail

Updated 57 min 6 sec ago

US celebrities Janelle Monae, Seth Rogen and more donating to Minneapolis protesters’ bail

DUBAI: US stars Seth Rogen, Steve Carell and Janelle Monae are among the high-profile celebrities donating money to help Minneapolis demonstrators who have been arrested make bail.

This week, protests erupted across the United States after a video, circulated online, showed a Minneapolis police officer  kneeling on an African American man’s neck and ignoring his pleas of “please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man.” 

The man, George Floyd died on Monday, while pleading for air as the officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes.

People have been posting screenshots across Twitter and Instagram  showing donations made to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit organization which pays bail for low-income citizens who can’t afford it.

Writer Lincoln Michel recently started a chain on Twitter asking people to match his donation to the organization where it eventually gained the attention of high profile celebrities, including Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, Ben Schwartz and many others who are donating in response to Michel’s Tweet. 

Musicians like Kali Uchis, Noname, Kehlani and Unknown Mortal Orchestra also posted screenshots of their donations to the freedom fund, too.

Floyd's death and subsequent demonstrations sparked a considerable amount of debate and outrage online, with celebrities like half-Palestinian models Bella and Gigi Hadid, part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik and musician Beyonce demanding justice for Floyd online.