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Lebanese filmmaker wins prize at Cannes Film Festival

Lebanese filmmaker Ely Dagher was awarded a Palme d'Or prize in the short film category at the Cannes Film Festival for his project, "Waves '98." (Getty Images)

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Lebanese filmmaker Ely Dagher won a top award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival on Sunday for his short film “Waves ’98.”

Dagher, 30, won the Palme d’Or award after competing with more than 4,000 short films from around the world.

“Waves ’98” is a 15-minute “visual essay” that explores Dagher’s relationship with Beirut in 1998 as a teenager. Dagher said his attachment to Beirut became “more and more complicated” after moving from Lebanon to Brussels.

Dagher is the first Lebanese director to be awarded at the Cannes Festival since 1991, when famed filmmaker Maroun Baghdadi won the Jury Prize for “Out of Life” (Hors La Vie).

Bagdadi was internationally known for producing popular films with American director Francis Coppola, including several projects that became hits in France.

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival is held annually in southern France. The 2015 festival took place from May 13 to May 24.

The jury for the main competition included American filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, American actor Jake Gyllenhaal, French-Canadian actor and filmmaker Xavier Dolan, French actress and director Sophie Marceau, Spanish actress Rossy de Palma, Malian musician Rokia Traore, and British actress Sienna Miller.

WATCH the trailer:

WAVES’98 Trailer from Beaverandbeaver on Vimeo.

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