Alfonso Cuaron, Nadine Labaki, More Foreign-Language Directors Honored by American Cinematheque

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Alfonso Cuaron, Nadine Labacki, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Hirokaazu Kode-Eda and Lukas Dhont attend The 2019 Golden Globes Foreign-Language Nominees Series at the Egyptian Theatre.

Five nominated directors gathered at the Egyptian theater for the Golden Globe Foreign Language Nominees Symposium.

American Cinematheque gathered the five Golden Globe-nominated foreign language film directors — Alfonso Cuaron for Roma, Nadine Labaki for Capernaum, Lukas Dhont for Girl, Hirokazu Kora-eda for Shoplifters and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck for Never Look Away — at the Egyptian theater for the Golden Globe Foreign Language Nominees Symposium.

A pre-panel reception was held at Liaison Restaurant + Lounge across the street from the theater where the directors and VIP guests were treated to an Italian feast of chicken parmigiana, rigatoni and grilled vegetables.

Von Donnersmarck is a three-time Globes nominee, previously nominated for The Lives of Others and The Tourist. The filmmaker spoke about what he saw as the most challenging part of going through the awards process.

“It’s always a little strange because in directing you’re used to shaping the world the way you want it and here obviously things are completely out of my control," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "That’s a novel exercise for a director.”

Belgium director Lukas Dhont was enjoying his nomination for his first full-length feature film, Girl, about a trans teen who wishes to be a ballerina. The young director said that he wanted to challenge traditional gender norms with his movie.

“It’s based on a story I read in 2009 about this young trans girl in the world of classical dance,” Dhont said. “What really interested me as a filmmaker was the combination of this world of classical dance, which is still to date very binary and very divided into roles for men and roles for women and this young woman who really challenges that idea.”

Cuaron spoke about the line he walked between fact and fiction in making a film about his childhood housekeeper, Libo, in Roma.

“I fictionalized certain situations and incorporated society at large. To say that is my memory is not to say that it's not fiction because there’s nothing more [of a] liar than memory,” the Oscar winner said. “Memory is the biggest liar. Most of these memories I at least shared the lie with my sister and with Libo, but I would never directly say that that’s the way things happen.”

Following the reception, there was a desserts and drinks reception in the Egyptians' courtyard, where guests were able to enjoy cocktails and pastries while discussing their favorite foreign films.