Australian filmmaker and journalist Daizy Gedeon will be recognised at a Better World Fund (BWF) gala event in Cannes on Monday, where she will be presented with the Movie That Matters Award.
Given annually by Filmfestivals.com, the prize is for her new feature documentary Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour, which which will premiere in the Cannes Marche du Film next week.
The gala is one of a series of high-end advocacy events hosted by BWF, which drives support for United Nations causes.
Gedeon, who was born in Lebanon and raised in Australia, said she was “speechless” that the foundation had chosen to honour her film.
“It is humbling that the humanitarian message of my film has been acknowledged by a body that identifies and rewards “cinematic art in the service of humanity,” she said.
“The serendipity of our two worlds colliding is awe-inspiring and provides me with great hope that the message of my film may help in changing attitudes, hearts, and minds towards Lebanon and stimulate real change for a nation and a people that have endured more hardship than any other single race in history.”
Shot over four years and across four continents, the film addresses the 2019 October Revolution and the global social justice movement that was triggered among the millions of Lebanese diaspora who rallied to support their families and friends back home.
There are exclusive interviews with many of the key political leaders at the time, including Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (first interview given to a western journalist in 5 years at the time), former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, and prominent Hezbollah minister, Mohammed Fneich (first interview given by any member of Hezbollah to a western journalist since 2006 at the time).
Gedeon’s documentary is also the first about Lebanon to be released since the 2020 Beirut port explosion, which killed 211 people and left 300,000 homeless and caused more than $15 billion in damages.
The BWF has pledged to support the children of Lebanon during the Cannes Film Festival, providing financial assistance for a school program in the country via the René Moawad Foundation.
Previous award winners and attendees at the Better World Fund Gala include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Sharon Stone, Forest Whitaker, Wim Wenders, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Mary J. Blige.
This year the fund will honour filmmakers Barry Alexander Brown and Spike Lee.