As the curtain comes down on the 69th Cannes Film Festival, all eyes are set to be on two films that are coming from the region. Both stories, though told in vastly different mediums, are about societies and how one's environment can either change a person into a hero or a villain.

Film: Bilal
Director: Ayman Jamal and Khuram H. Alavi
Starring: Adewale Akinnuoye, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain

Bilal is based on the true story of one of the leading luminaries in Islamic history, Bilal Ibn Rabah. It is a tale of oppression, slavery and honour as a young man takes the righteous path to become a hero. The animation is produced by Dubai-based studio Barajoun Entertainment with a budget of USD30 million and it took over three years to complete. A project like Bilal is no easy feat," said Director of Bilal and Founder of Barajoun Entertainment Ayman Jamal. "The combination of realistic textures and stylised features is rare in animation. It is as exciting as it is challenging." Watch the trailer here...

Film: Forushande
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahb Hosseini, Babak Karimi

Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi is back with his seventh film, once again, subtly and expertly portraying the complexities of the Iranian social fabric. As with his previous films, Forushande touches on how societal changes can impact a person, this time turning a mild-mannered man into a an unpleasant human being. Set during modern time, the protagonists in the film are a couple who has to reassess their romance as the man is consumed by everything that is happening around him. 

Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi