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Lebanese Movies

2015 was a blockbuster year for Lebanese film industry and the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2016, with films that received awards at many International Film Festivals.

 

Going back to the last decade, many Lebanese movies have gained global recognition, receiving international awards in eminent film festivals. Sales agents around the world have shown interest in those movies, allowing them to be distributed all around the world, namely, the USA, Europe and Australia.

 

Here below are  4 Lebanese movies that were very successful and awarded on the international scene.

Makhdoumin (2016)

Great News from Berlin! After the screening of “Makhdoumin” (A Maid for Each) at the 66th Berlinale Forum, Maher Abi Samra was awarded the Peace Film Prize.

Prior to Berlin Film Festival, the film was awarded at Venice International Film Festival 2014, and won two post-production awards.

Makhdoumin” is a documentary about domestic service in Lebanon where foreign domestic workers are contracted under a system of full custodianship that deprives them of basic rights.

 

Release Date

2016

Genre

Documentary

Length

67 mins

Director

Maher Abi Samra

Producer Sabine Sidawi Hamdan, Serge Lalou, Camille Laemle, Ida Ven Bruusgaard, Eirin O. Høgetveit, Jinane Dagher
Award Peace Film Prize at Berlin Film Festival, Post-Production Awards at Final Cut in Venice 2014
Language Arabic

 

About the Director

Maher Abi Samra was born in Beirut in 1965. He studied Drama Arts at the Lebanese University in Beirut and Audio-Visual Studies at the Institut National de l’Image et du Son in Paris. He has directed several short and feature length documentaries including “WE WERE COMMUNISTS”, which was selected at Venice IFF in 2010, followed by the more recent, A MAID FOR EACH “MAKHDOUMIN”, which was selected at the Berlinale Forum 2016

3000 Nights (2016)

Directed by Mai Masri, the feature “3000 Nights” won the Audience Award at the Annonay International Film Festival in France in February 2016.

“3000 Nights” made its world premiere in September 2015 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It then made its Arab world premiere in December 2015 as part of the Dubai International Film Festival’s 12th edition where it participated in the Muhr Arab Feature Films Competition.

Co-produced by the Lebanese “Sabine Sidawi”, the Palestenian” Mai Masri” and the French “Charlotte Uzu”, “3000 Nights” centres on a young newly-wed Palestinian school teacher who is jailed in a top-security Israeli prison where she eventually gives birth.

  

Release Date

2015

Genre

Feature-length (Drama)

Length

103 mins

Director

May Masri

Producer Sabine Sidawi Hamdan, May Masri and Charlotte Uzu
Award Audience Award at the Annonay International Film Festival
Language Arabic

 

About the Producer

Sabine Sidawi is a Lebanese film producer and distributor. In 2007, she founded Orjouane Productions which is one of the most renowned production companies in Lebanon today.

She has produced, co-produced and line produced more than 25 fiction and documentary films, including: “May In The Summer” by Cherien Dabis (post-production), “Beirut Hotel” by Danielle Arbid, “Carlos” by Olivier Assayas, “We Were Communists” by Maher Abi Samra and “Every day Is A Holiday” by Dima El-Horr.

Parisienne – Peur de Rien (2016)

After receiving Actress Award at Festival de Halees in France, "Parisienne - Peur de Rien" is currently in negotiations for theatrical and commercial release in the United States.

The French title of Danielle Arbid’s fourth feature, a study of a young Lebanese woman restlessly accommodating herself to her new home in Paris during the mid-’90s, translates to “fear of nothing.” Manal Issa, playing Lina in Peur de Rien (Parisienne), won the “Best Actress Award” at Festival de Halles in France in December 2015.

 

Release Date

2016

Genre

Feature-length (Drama)

Length

119 mins

Director 

Danielle Arbid

Producer

David Thion, Philippe Martin                                                

Awards Best Actress Award
Language French, Arabic

 

About the Movie

Inspired by Arbid's own experience of migrating to France, the movie unfolds like a cinematic epistolary tale. Arbid charts the stages of Lina's evolution — in intellectual, emotional, and sexual terms — from naive migrant to the Parisienne of the title. As Lina, Issa conveys uncertainty, curiosity, and the same confidence that no doubt brought Arbid herself to the point of being able to tell this story of a young woman whose drive, intelligence, and appetite for life propel her constantly forward


About the Director

Danielle Arbid was born on April 26, 1970 in Beirut, Lebanon.  Arbid left Lebanon at the height of the civil war in 1987, at the age of 17 to study literature at a faculty of letters in Paris, France. She also studied journalism while working as a freelance French Journalist for five years. Her interests in journalism lead to a career in filmmaking when she directed her first documentary “Seule avec la guerre” in 1999. She is known for “Parisienne” (2015), “Beyrouth hotel” (2011) and “In the Battlefields” (2004).

Looking at the Stars (2015)

Looking at the Stars” began as a short film in the University of Southern California’s M.F.A thesis program in 2013.

In September 2015, the movie  produced by the Lebanese expatriate Sabrina Chammas and directed by Alexandre Perlata won the gold prize in the documentary category. The movie was selected from 33 finalists whittled down from a record number of entries — 1,686 films from 282 domestic and 93 international colleges and universities, according to the Academy.

The Student Academy Awards is a national student film competition held in Los Angeles at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Each year over 500 college and university film students from all over the United States compete for awards and cash grants, with films being judged in four categories: Animation, Documentary, Narrative and Alternative. Each category has three winners: bronze silver, and gold.

 

Release Date

2014

Genre

Documentary - Short movie

Length

30 mins

Director Alexandre Peralta
Producer Sabrina Chammas, Alejandro Ernesto, Melissa Rebelo Kerezsi, Corina Maritescu, Chao Tao
Awards The Student Academy Awards
Language Portuguese

 

About the Movie 

The documentary follows the story of the dancers at the world’s only ballet school for the blind: the Fernanda Bianchini Association of Ballet and Arts for the Blind in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The movie focuses on portraying the girls’ desire to be known and appreciated for their skills in ballet, rather than defined by their disabilities.

A team of 13 students and alumni from University of Southern California USC, worked together on the movie, including producers Sabrina Chammas and Katrelle Kindred and Alexis Morrell.

 

About the Producer 

Sabrina Chammas earned her MFA in film production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and studied Communications and Business Administration at Northeastern University. Sabrina’s interests lie in socially conscious films that can help spread positive messages. She has produced several fiction and non-fiction films and is always looking for a good story to tell.  Sabrina has recently worked on a Oscar nominated documentary “The Square” alongside director Jehane Noujaim as executive assistant. She is currently working and living in Vancouver, Canada.

Film Industry Fact Book 2015