Nadine Labaki (February 18, 1974, Baabdat, Lebanon)
Nadine Labaki (born February 18, 1974) is a Lebanese actress and director.
She is one of the well known directors in the Arabic music video industry. Nadine is usually credited for bringing artists into the scene.
In 2007, Labaki co-wrote, directed, and starred in her feature-film debut, Caramel, which became an international sensation at film festivals and went on to achieve box office success. It showcases a Beirut that most people are not familiar with.
Rather than tackle political and religious issues which have plagued Lebanon, she presents a romantic 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 garnered Labaki much acclaim as both a director and actress, and put her on Variety's 10 Directors to Look Out for List.
Her latest movie, Where Do We Go Now?, a musical comedy-drama set in an isolated village has won the 2011 People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Born in Baabdat, Lebanon, on 18 February 1974 to Antoine and Antoinette Labaki. 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 then directed adverts and many music videos for celebrated Middle Eastern singers, for which she won several awards in 2002 and 2003.
Her first video was "Tayr El Gharam" for the Lebanese artist Pascale Machaalani. Later on, she did another two videos for Noura Rahal, but these videos did not draw much attention. Her follow-up effort with Katia Harb for the music video of the song "Ma Fina" garnered more recognition.
Labaki's real breakthrough was Nancy Ajram's video "Akhasmak Ah." The video showcased Nancy as the waitress of a traditional Egyptian coffee shop where she serves and entertains male customers. The video raised controversy, but Nadine justified her use of this character as a powerful and attractive female figure.
Nadine continued to have huge successes—with Ajram, specifically, in videos like "Ya Salam" (which portrays the life of a sad star), "Lawn Ouyounak" (a magical wedding), and "Inta Eih" (a heart-breaking drama in which she was able to show us Ajram's acting ability).
The three videos gained huge popularity, and they were awarded with best-music-video honors.
Nadine also signed a Coca-Cola endorsement, where she does Coca-Cola Light commercials. So far, Nadine has done only one Coca-Cola Light TV commercial and a few promotional ads for the press.
Nadine also started exploring acting, initially in the Lebanese movie Bosta. However, she did not perform the singing shown in the film. In 2004, she took part in the Festival de Cannes Residence to finish writing Caramel, her first feature film which she shot in 2006.
She continued to escalate her career with her first feature film, entitled Caramel. In addition to directing the film, she acted in one of the lead roles. The film was met with much acclaim in Lebanon and around the Middle East.
It also premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival during the Directors' Fortnight. It continued its run at several other high-profile film festivals, including the Toronto Film Festival and AFI. Caramel grossed well over $13 million dollars, having cost $1.6 million to make.
It continues to expand in different countries around the world, including the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. Shortly after the movie release, Labaki married Khaled Mouzanar, the music composer for Caramel.
2007 Caramel or Sukkar Banat
(premiered in Cannes 2007). One of the main characters, she owned a salon with two friends.
2011 Where Do We Go Now?
(released and premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.)