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Arts and culture

Beirut Cinema Week 2014 set to be the biggest yet

BEIRUT | - June 06, 2014, 19h37
Par Sophie Spencer
Tonight, Friday 6th June is the start of the Beirut Cinema Week including the 11th edition of the annual Lebanese Film festival.
This is the first time that FLC (Fondation Liban Cinema) has collaborated with the organisers of the Lebanese Film Festival to present Beirut Cinema Week. The two organisations who share the objective of achieving increased visibility for Lebanese cinema and promoting the industry as a whole, have this year decided to combine efforts and create one all-inclusive cinema week to really put Beirut on the map as a centre of cinema.

The week will include the Lebanese Film Festival at Metropolis Sofil Theatre from 6th to 10th June, Beirut Cinema Project on the 10th and 11th where budding Lebanese filmmakers have the chance to meet with international benefactors, and an award ceremony ‘La Nuit des Mabrouk’ on 11th June at the Phoenicia Hotel.

‘La Nuit des Mabrouk’ will take the form of a Lebanese Oscars. A jury made up of representatives from the film industry and from funders will choose the best films in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best screenplay, Best director, Best actor and Best actress for Lebanese films released in 2013. After the awards ceremony there will be a gala dinner with French actress Anne Parillaud in attendance as well as music by Khaled Mouzannar, Zeid Hamdan and the ‘Monday Blues Band’.

The central aim of the festival is to provide a platform and audience for Lebanese films. It will showcase feature and short films made by Lebanese filmmakers or by foreign filmmakers in Lebanon. A jury consisting of big names in Lebanese cinema such as Nadine Labaki and Charif Ghattas, journalist and critic Pierre Abi Saab and Argentinian film director and producer Hernan Belon will choose the best films in the categories of best documentary, best fiction, best first film and the new category of best experimental film.

This year the festival will also be screening foreign films for the first time with special guest Argentina. Five Argentinian feature films will be screened and workshops will be given by two of their directors, Pablo Mazzola and Hernan Belon.


The organisers of the festival have faced certain problems this year. Originally scheduled for January, the festival was postponed after a series of bomb attacks in Beirut’s southern suburbs at the start of the year. Organisers, fearing for the safety of their audience and looking to attract a larger foreign audience, decided to reschedule the festival for the summer.

Additionally, censorship has been an issue. Each film must obtain a permit from the authorities in order to be screened. Organisers told Iloubnan on Tuesday that they were still waiting for the go-ahead about a number of more risqué films. This is following censorship trouble at the Cabriolet Film Festival last weekend, when organisers were forced to abandon the screening of one film and cut scenes from two others after general security deemed their content unsuitable.

Most of the directors will be present for their film screenings including the actor, director and journalist Nasri Sayegh, starring in 3 films and the artists Oman Fakhoury and Roy Samaha all of whom worked on ‘Incarnation of a bird from an Oil Painting’. It is sure to be a star-studded week so pop down to the theatre and check out some homegrown talent!
#Cinéma, #Lebanese_Film_Festival, #Lebanese_movie
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