Lebanese Cinema’s Journey at the Venice Film Festival throughout the years

La Biennale di Venezia is currently celebrating its 74th edition with a variety of films by acclaimed filmmakers from around the world. The spotlight in this edition is on the Lebanese film The Insult which is Ziad Doueiri’s fourth feature film and his first one to get in the official competition of the festival. The film was very well received by the international audience in Venice and by the press. While Doueiri is waiting for the jury’s final decision to perhaps bring home Lebanon’s first Golden Lion Award, we wanted to write this post to pay tribute to him and to his fellow Lebanese filmmakers who also took part of the festival in the past few years.

RANDA CHAHAL SABBAG

randa_chahal

Starting with the ladies, the late Lebanese filmmaker Randa Chahal Sabbag who passed away in 2008 from cancer, is one of the most celebrated female filmmakers in Lebanon and the Arab world.

She’s one of the very first ladies to become a director in the cinematic field. Here’s a look at her participation at the Venice Film Festival:

  1. Screens of Sand / Ecrans de Sable (1991)

In a city in the middle of the desert, the passionate friendship of ladies, Sarah and Mariam. One who saw the day after the oil boom and thinks that she can have everything with the power of money, the other is a survival of the war in Lebanon. In this desert, between bans and conflicts, the tension rises.

It was Chahal’s very first feature film. It premiered on September 8, 1991 at La Biennale di Venezia in the official selection.

  1. A Civilized People / Civilisées (1999)

While working in the city, a young woman finds love in the midst of war with an Arab soldier.

This film also premiered on September 4, 1999 at the festival in the official selection and was awarded the UNESCO Prize, before heading to the Toronto International Film Festival. Unfortunately, the film was banned in Lebanon because of some dialogues and characters.

  1. The Kite / Le Cerf-Volant (2003)

A young 15-year-old girl, Lamia, from a Druze community, who is forced to marry her cousin across the Israeli border, but finds herself in love with an Israeli soldier.

It is her last film which premiered on August 30, 2003 at the 60thVenice Film Festival as part of the Official Competition. It was nominated for the Golden Lion. Despite not winning the Golden Lion, she won 3 awards: the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, the Lanterna Magica Award and the Cinema for Peace Award.

Closing ceremony of the 60th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy on September 6th, 2003

4 years later, she took part of the jury of the Premio Venezia Opera Prima Luigi De Laurentiis section which was presided by the American producer Bill Mechanic. Today, her family is working on releasing very soon all her films as well as the scripts that she wrote but couldn’t turn into movies.

 

NADINE LABAKI

nadine_labaki.jpgThe second filmmaker who made it to Venice is the well-known female director Nadine Labaki. She took part of the Orizzonti (Horizons) jury at the 69th edition of the festival, awarding the Hong Kong documentary film Three Sisters the Best Film Award of the section. The jury was presided by the Italian actress and director Isabella Rossellini.

 

 

MAZEN KHALED

mazen_khaled.jpg

We don’t want to forget to mention the director Mazen Khaled whose film Martyr is also selected at this year’s 74th Venice Film Festival in the Biennale College Cinema section and got its world premiere there few days ago in the presence of the cast and crew.

 

 

Martyr (2017)

The last day of the life of a young man drowned on the coast of Beirut.

 

ZIAD DOUEIRI

Director Ziad Doueiri poses during a photocall for the movie And last but not least is the Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri who takes part of the festival for the first time and in the Official Competition alongside internationally acclaimed filmmakers such as Darren Aronosfky, Ai Weiwei, Guillermo Del Toro, Abdellatif Kechiche and Robert Guediguian. The film is written by Doueiri and the screenwriter Joëlle Touma and was described as “gorgeously short and classily acted feature” and “a fascinating piece of work” by The Hollywood Reporter. It will be released on September 14 in Lebanese theaters and on January 26, 2018 in US theaters.

The Insult / L’insulte (2017)

In today’s Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices.

 


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Sonia Rykiel: The Queen of Knitwear Dies at 86

Sonia Rykiel’s influence in the world of fashion was seen and often compared to Coco Chanel’s. Both advocated in favor of liberating the woman’s body from sombre tones and skirts. She was seen as a symbol of eccentricity with her designs and it fitted her well since she wanted to make clothes to stand out from the crowd.

Known as the “queen of knitwear”, Sonia Rykiel opened her first boutique in Paris in the 60s. She dressed major figures like Francoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan and Audrey Hepburn. She will be remembered through her stripes, her flame hair and her perseverance despite her illness.

Cannes 2016: The Fairytale Kicks Off Tonight!

It is finally THE time of the year! The Cannes Film Festival’s official opening is scheduled for tonight, May 11th 2016. As we are waiting for the stars defilé on the red carpet, we recall the magical moments of Cannes 2015. Last year, Naomi Watts dazzled in her Elie Saab gown and Fan Bin Bing amazed us in her Ralph & Russo dress. To check the list of our best and unforgettable fashion moments, check our gallery!

We will update you with the best looks of this year’s festival! So stay tuned!

Follow all our Cannes Film Festival updates on #CineTrotterCannes

 

Meet the Jury of the 69th Cannes Film Festival!

As announced previously, the jury president for this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival will be the Academy Award-winning Australian director, screenwriter and producer George Miller. Few minutes ago, the jury members who will be choosing one winning film out of 21 nominated in the competition were announced. 

George Miller – President
(Director, Writer, Producer – Australia)
Arnaud Desplechin (Director, Writer – France)
Kirsten Dunst (Actress– United States) 
Valeria Golino (Actress, Director, Writer, Producer – Italia)
Mads Mikkelsen (Actor – Denmark)
László Nemes (Director, Writer – Hungaria)
Vanessa Paradis (Actress, Singer – France)
Katayoon Shahabi (Producer – Iran)
Donald Sutherland (Actor – Canada)

 

The 69th Cannes Film Festival will open on May 11 at the Palais des Festivals.

Follow all our Cannes Film Festival updates on #CineTrotterCannes

Cannes Film Festival 2016: Final Lineup Announced!

As announced before, the Cannes Film Festival will open with the new Woody Allen movie Cafe Society on May 11 with the presence of the cast and crew of the film, and the jury president this year will be the Academy Award-winning director George Miller .

Today, the official lineup was announced few minutes ago and here is the full list of movies in the feature film and short film categories:

Competition
Toni Erdman, directed by Maren Ade (Germany)

Julieta, directed by Pedro Almodovar (Spain)
Personal Shopper, directed by Olivier Assayas (France)
American Honey, directed by Andrea Arnold (UK)
The Unknown Girl, directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne (Belgium)
It’s Only the End of the World, directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada)
Slack Bay, directed by Bruno Dumont (Germany)
Paterson, directed by Jim Jarmusch (USA)
Rester Vertical, directed by Alain Guiraudie (France)
Aquarius, directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho (Brazil)
From the Land of the Moon, directed by Nicole Garcia (France)
I, Daniel Blake, directed by Ken Loach (UK)
Ma’Rosa, directed by Brillante Mendoza (Japan)
Bacalaureat, directed by Cristian Mungiu (Romania)
Loving, directed by Jeff Nichols (UK)
Agassi, directed by Park Chan-Wook (South Korea)
The Last Face, directed by Sean Penn (USA)
Sieranevada, directed by Cristi Puiu (Romania)
Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven (France)
The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (USA)
The Salesman, directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

 

Un Certain Regard
Varoonegi, directed by Behnam Behzadi (Iran)

Apprentice, directed by Boo Junking (Singapore)
Voir du Pays, directed by Delphine Coulin & Muriel Coulin (France)
La Danseuse, directed by Stephanie di Giusto (France)
Clash, directed by Mohamed Diab (Egypt) | Opening Film
La Tortue Rouge, directed by Michael Dubok de Wit (Japan)
Fuchi Bi Tatsu, directed by Fukada Koji (Japan)
Omor Shakhsiya, directed by Maha Haj (Israel)
Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot, directed by Eran Kolirin (Israel)
After The Storm, directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu (Japan)
Hymyileva Mies, directed by Juho Kuosmanen (Finland)
La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis, directed by Francisco Marquez & Andrea Testa (Argentina)
Caini, directed by Bogdan Mirica (Romania)
Pericle Il Nero, directed by Stefano Mordini (Italy)
Captain Fantastic, directed by Matt Ross (USA)
The Transfiguration, directed by Michael O’Shea (USA)
Uchenik, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov (Russia)
Hell or High Water, directed by David Mackenzie (Britain)

Out of Competition
The BFG
, directed by Steven Spielberg (USA)

Goksung, directed by Na Hong-Jin (South Korea)
Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster (USA)
The Nice Guys, directed by Shane Black (USA)

Special Screenings
L’ultima Spiaggia, directed by Thanos Anastopoulous & Davide del Degan (Italy)

A Chad Tragedy, directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad)
The Death of Louis XIV, directed by Albert Serra (France)

Le Cancre, directed by Paul Vecchiali (France)
Wrong Elements, directed by Jonathan Littell (USA)
La Forêt de Quinconces, directed by Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (France)
Chouf,  directed by Karim Dridi (Tunisia)

Midnight Screenings
Gimme Danger, directed by Jim Jarmusch (USA)

The Train to Busan, directed by Yeon Sang-Ho (South Korea)
Blood Father, directed by Jean-François Richet (France)

Short Film Competition
La Laine Sur Le Dos, directed by Lofti Achour (Tunisia, France)
Dreamlands, directed by Sara Dunlop (UK)
Timecode, directed by Juanjo Gimenez (Spain)
Imago, directed by Raymund Gutierrez (Philippines)
Madre, directed by Simón Mesa Soto (Colombia)
The Girl who Danced with the Devil, directed by João Paulo Miranda Maria (Brazil)
Après Suzanne, directed by Félix Moati (France)
4:15 P.M. The End of the World, directed by Catalin Rotaru & Gabi Virginia Sarga (Romania)
Il Silenzio, directed by Farnoosh Samadi Frooshani & Ali Asgari (Italy)
Fight On A Swedish Beach, directed by Simon Vahlne (Sweden)

Cinéfondation Selection
In The Hills
, directed by 
Hamid Ahmadi (The London Film School – UK)
Submarine, directed by Mounia Akl (Columbia University School of the Arts – US)
The Noise Of Licking, directed by Nadja Andrasev (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design – Hungary)
All Rivers Run To The Sea, directed by Alexandru Badea (UNATC “I. L. Caragiale” – Romania)
Somewhere, directed by Mélody Boulissière (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs – France)
Gabber Lover, directed by Anna Cazenave Cambet (La Fémis – France)
The Alan Dimension, directed by Jac Clinch (NFTS – UK)
Trash, directed by Alexandre Gilmet (INSAS – Belgium)
Dobro, directed by Marta Hernaiz Pidal (film.factory – Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Guilt, Probably, directed by Michael Labarca (Universidad de Los Andes – Venezuela)
The Reasons In The World, directed by Ernesto Martínez Bucio (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica – Mexico)
1 Kilogram, directed by PARK Young-ju (Korea National University of Arts – Republic of Korea)
Aram, directed by Fereshteh Parnian (Université Lumière Lyon 2 – France)
Nest, directed by Saurav Rai (Satyajit Ray Film & TV Institute – India)
The Sleeping Saint, directed by Laura Samani (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Italy)
Whatever The Weather, directed by Remo Scherrer (Hochschule Luzern – Design & Kunst – Switzerland)
Anna, directed by Or Sinai (The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School – Israel)
Business, directed by Malena Vain (Universidad del Cine – Argentina)

As for the Short Film Corner, you can check the full catalogue of the selected movies here.

Follow all our Cannes Film Festival updates on #CineTrotterCannes

Cannes Film Festival 2016’s Lineup – Watch it Live!

The 2016 committee of the Cannes Film Festival will be announcing, in the next few minutes, its official lineup for the following categories: Official Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Special Screenings and Midnight Screenings. Watch the conference in the following live streaming video:

Follow all our Cannes Film Festival updates on #CineTrotterCannes

MTV Movie Awards 2016: ‘Star Wars’ is the Biggest Winner!

During the 25th annual MTV Movie Awards held at the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California, the nominations and winners list were really different from the ones of the previous awards shows especially the Golden Globes and the Oscars. The show, hosted by actors Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, included the Generation Award and the Comedic Genius Award.

Here’s the complete list of the winners:

MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Creed (Warner Bros.)
Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Jurassic World (Universal Pictures)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

TRUE STORY
Concussion (Columbia Pictures)
Joy (20th Century Fox)
Steve Jobs (Universal Pictures)
Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)
The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)
The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

DOCUMENTARY
Amy (A24)
Cartel Land (The Orchard)
He Named Me Malala (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS-TWC)
The Wolfpack (Magnolia Pictures)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix)

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina (A24)
Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures)
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy (20th Century Fox)
Morena Baccarin – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Chris Pratt – Jurassic World (Universal Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (20th Century Fox)
Matt Damon – The Martian (20th Century Fox)
Michael B. Jordan – Creed (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Will Smith – Concussion (Columbia Pictures)

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Amy Schumer – Trainwreck (Universal Pictures)
Brie Larson – Room (A24)
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Dakota Johnson – Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal Pictures)
John Boyega – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
O’Shea Jackson Jr. – Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
Amy Schumer – Trainwreck (Universal Pictures)
Kevin Hart – Ride Along 2 (Universal Pictures)
Melissa McCarthy – Spy (20th Century Fox)
Rebel Wilson – Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures)
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Will Ferrell – Get Hard (Warner Bros.)

BEST ACTION PERFORMANCE
Chris Pratt – Jurassic World (Universal Pictures)
Dwayne Johnson – San Andreas (Warner Bros.)
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Lionsgate)
John Boyega – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Vin Diesel – Furious 7 (Universal Pictures)

BEST HERO
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)
Chris Evans – Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Dwayne Johnson – San Andreas (Warner Bros.)
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Lionsgate)
Paul Rudd – Ant-Man (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

BEST VILLAIN
Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Ed Skrein – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Hugh Keays-Byrne – Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)
James Spader – Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Samuel L. Jackson – Kingsman: The Secret Service (20th Century Fox)
Tom Hardy – The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

BEST VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
Amy Poehler – Inside Out (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Andy Serkis – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Jack Black – Kung Fu Panda 3 (20th Century Fox)
James Spader – Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Lupita Nyong’o – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Seth MacFarlane – Ted 2 (Universal Pictures)

ENSEMBLE CAST
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Furious 7 (Universal Pictures)
Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Lionsgate)
Trainwreck (Universal Pictures)

BEST KISS
Amy Schumer & Bill Hader – Trainwreck (Universal Pictures)
Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan – Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal Pictures)
Leslie Mann & Chris Hemsworth – Vacation (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie & Will Smith – Focus (Warner Bros.)
Morena Baccarin & Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Rebel Wilson & Adam DeVine – Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures)

BEST FIGHT
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) vs. Ajax (Ed Skrein) – Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) vs. The Bear – The Revenant (20th Century Fox)
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) vs. Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) – Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) vs. Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Rey (Daisy Ridley) vs. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) vs. Lia (Nargis Fakhri) – Spy (20th Century Fox)

GENERATION AWARD
Will Smith

COMEDIC GENIUS AWARD
Melissa McCarthy

How Zaha Hadid was of Major Influence on Fashion

She may be best known for her architectural designs. Nonetheless, Hadid had a major impact on the fashion industry not only through the Chanel famous Mobile Art Pavilion she designed, or Atelier Swarovski’s installations she created to commemorate its 20th anniversary but also through jewelry and fashion pieces.

Through her collaborations with Danish label Georg Jensen, Swiss brand Caspita and Lebanese Aziz and Walid Mouzannar, Hadid proved herself to be polyvalent and interdisciplinary, getting her inspiration to conceive jewelry from architecture and sculpture. She also collaborated with Lacoste, United Nude and Melissa Shoes to create some “futuristic” shoe designs. This is just a short list of Hadid’s contribution and vision to the fashion world.

It doesn’t seem surprising to know this side of her when we hear her confess to Vogue: “Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is how you place the object on the person”.

Bryan Singer’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’… Coming this May!

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

Glamour Hits the City Centre of Beirut!

SS2016 collection has officially kicked off at the City Centre Beirut yesterday evening through a glamorous fashion and jewelry show which featured the crème de la crème of Lebanese and Western designers. The event, organized by the one and only Cynthia Sarkis Perros (Luxury Limited Edition), transformed a typical mall into a sizzling catwalk.

As usual, we couldn’t but pick our best of the night and our short list includes:

  • Azzi & Osta’s magnificent gown with gold embellishments and origami folds, a very particular signature of the designers.
  • Rami Kadi’s embroidered dress and its delicate cape.

Check out more photos and dresses here.

Photos: © CineTrotter 2016

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