Congrats to the director!
One of the film industry’s most prestigious events, the Cannes Film Festival returned this month for its 72nd edition. Several movies from around the world premiere and compete at the 11-day festival, including Syrian documentary, For Sama, which won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize.
This year, several highly-anticipated films premiered in Cannes, including Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie. Not only that, but this year also included five contenders from the region, one of which was the Syrian documentary. For Sama, was directed by Waad Al Kateab and Edward Watts and was featured in the Special Screenings category. The documentary teels the story of the film’s 26-year-old Syrian filmmaker and her struggles with love, war and motherhood over the course of five years in Syria.
This film is the first feature to be directed by Emmy award-winning duo, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. The documentary, which has been described as “a love letter from a young mother to her daughter” received a standing ovation at the festival. It bring a voice to the unique experiences of being a woman during wartime. Winners of the Golden Eye Documentary Prize are automatically eligible to apply for the Academy Award in the Best Documentary category.
In an interview with France 24, Waad said of the movie: “The film was made to justify to my daughter Sama the very cruel choice we had to take.” The family stayed in Syria during the bloodies stage of the conflict, as the filmmaker’s husband was a doctor at Aleppo Hospital, and who was subjected to shelling while at work.
View this post on Instagram
The film first premiered in March, at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary. It also received the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival. For Sama FRONTLINE documentary, which is American television’s longest running investigative documentary series. The film’s win at the Cannes Film Festival, marks the first time that a FRONTLINE movie has been honoured with this award. Following its U.S. theatrical release this summer, a broadcast version of the Syrian feature is slated to premiere both on FRONTLINE (PBS) in the U.S. and internationally on Channel 4 later in 2019.