Tag Archives: Film Festival

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.



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.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.





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.



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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No to Censorship Protest in Lebanese Movie Theater!

After 10 days of screenings, panels and events, the closing ceremony of the 9th edition of Beirut Cinema Days (a.k.a Ayam Beirut Al Cinema’iya) in Lebanon wasn’t quite usual.

After receiving several bans and censorship from the Lebanese General Security for many selected films in the festival including The Beach House by Roy Dib and The Preacher by Magdy Ahmed Aly, the festival tried to raise the voice in a different way and this cinematic revolution event proved that it really deserves this title.

In the past few days, several videos of filmmakers, organizers in the festival and supporters were posted on social media inviting people to join a protest scheduled during the closing ceremony of the festival at Metropolis Cinema in Sofil Center, Ashrafieh. This event took place tonight and many cinematic supporters, professionals as well as the public gathered in Metropolis Cinema holding their signboards, each one stating a different sentence, but all of them were saying “No to censorship”.

In order to see how this really happened in a very peaceful, decent and beautiful way, check out the following video and photos taken by the organizers a while ago.

Well done Beirut Cinema Days team and Lebanese audience!


Complete Winners List of the 2016 SAG Awards!

We continue our special coverage of the Awards Season and our next stop is the Screen Actors Guild Awards which took place last night in Los Angeles. The nominated names and titles were very competitive and it was hard to choose the winners, that’s for sure!

Check the complete winners list below:


Male Leading Role


Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Johnny Depp – Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Female Leading Role


Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back

Outstanding Male Actor Supporting


Christian Bale – The Big Short
Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay – Room

Outstanding Female Actor Supporting


Rooney Mara – Carol
Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
Helen Mirren – Trumbo
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Cast in a Movie


Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton


Outstanding Stunt Ensemble in a Movie


Furious 7

Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Jurassic World

Also Read: SAG 2016: Few Hot… and so Many Others Not!


Female Actor TV Movie or Miniseries


Nicole Kidman – Grace of Monaco
Queen Latifah – Bessie
Christina Ricci – The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

Susan Sarandon – The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
Kristen Wiig – The Spoils Before Dying

Male Actor TV Movie or Miniseries


Idris Elba – Luther
Ben Kingsley – Tut

Ray Liotta – Texas Rising
Bill Murray – A Very Murray Christmas
Mark Ryalnce – Wolf Hall

Outstanding Male Comedy Series


Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Louis C.K. – Louie
William H Macy – Shameless
Jim Parsons – Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Outstanding Female in Comedy Series


Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie

Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Ensemble Comedy Series


Big Bang Theory
Key & Peele
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black


Outstanding Male Actor Drama


Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Rami Malek – Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

Outstanding Female Actor Drama


Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife

Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Outstanding Ensemble Drama


Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones

House of Cards
Mad Men

Outstanding Stunt Ensemble Comedy or Drama


Game of Thrones
The Blacklist

Dare Devil
The Walking Dead

DIFF 2015: Winners of the Muhr Awards

After a whole week of screenings, press conferences and events, the 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival is coming to an end. As it’s the last day of the festival, we present to you the awarded films, actors and directors in the Muhr Awards.



Best Director
‘A Tale of Water, Palm Trees and Family’(UAE)
Nasser AlDhaheri


Best Muhr Emirati Short
Amna Al Nowais


Best Muhr Emirati Feature
‘Going To Heaven’(UAE)
Saeed Salmeen



Best Muhr Gulf Short
‘The Boss’(UAE, Iraq & Qatar)
Rizgar Husen


Special Jury Prize
Hind Al Fahhad



Best Muhr Short
‘Ave Maria’(France, Germany & Palestine)
Basil Khalil


Special Jury Prize
‘Mariam’(UAE, France, KSA, USA & Qatar)
Faiza Ambah



Best Actress: Menna Shalabi
Hala Khalil


Best Actor: Lotfi Abdelli
‘Borders of Heaven’(Tunisia & UAE)
Fares Naanaa


Best Director
‘We Have Never Been Kids’(UAE, Egypt, Qatar & Lebanon)
Mahmood Soliman


Special Jury Prize
‘Let Them Come’(Algeria & France)
Salem Brahimi


Best Muhr Fiction Feature
‘As I Open My Eyes’(France, Belgium, Tunisia & UAE)
Leyla Bouzid


Best Muhr Non-Fiction Feature
‘We Have Never Been Kids’(UAE, Egypt, Qatar & Lebanon)
Mahmood Soliman


Check more posts & news on DIFF 2015

The 2016 Golden Globes Nominations are…

Everyone was waiting for yesterday’s announcement of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards nominations. The awards ceremony, which is going to take place on Sunday, January 10, will be hosted by Ricky Gervais on NBC Channel at 8 PM (Eastern time) / 5 PM (Pacific time) live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

As for yesterday’s announcement, here are the nominees of the 25 categories (film and television):

1. Motion Picture, Drama


Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

2. Motion Picture, Comedy


The Big Short
The Martian

3. Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama


Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

4. Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy


Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

5. Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama


Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

6. Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy


Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

7. TV Series, Drama


Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot

8. TV Series, Comedy


Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley

9. Actress in a TV Series, Comedy


Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

10. Actress in a TV Series, Drama


Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards

11. Actor in a TV Series, Drama


Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

12. Actor in a TV Series, Comedy


Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

13. Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture


Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

14. Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture


Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

15. TV Movie or Miniseries


American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Flesh and Bone
Wolf Hall

16. Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series


Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel

17. Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series


Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
Patrick Wilson, Fargo
Idris Elba, Luther
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

18. Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Limited Series or TV Movie


Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

19. Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Limited Series or TV Movie


Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair

20. Animated Feature Film


The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

21. Director – Motion Picture


Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom Mccarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian

22. Screenplay – Motion Picture


Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
Emma Donoghue, Room
Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, The Big Short

23. Original Song – Motion Picture


Love Me Like You Do, 50 Shades of Grey
One Kind of Love, Love and Mercy
See You Again, Furious 7
Simple Song #3, Youth
Writing’s on the Wall, Spectre

24. Foreign Language Film


The Brand New Testament (Belgium/France/Luxembourg)
The Club (Chile)
The Fencer (Finland/Germany/Estonia)
Mustang (France)
Son Of Saul (Hungary)

25. Original Score – Motion Picture


Carter Burwell, Carol
Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto, The Revenant

See you on January 10 for a Live Coverage of the
2016 Golden Globe Awards!

“Fairouz” Dazzles the Audience at the first Edition of the Beirut Art Film Festival in Lebanon!

After a year of preparation, the first edition of the Beirut Art Film Festival came to life with a great selection of documentaries from around the world. On Wednesday November 4 the festival was inaugurated with the presence of the organizers, partners, cinema professionals and public figures, all gathered at one place: Metropolis Cinema – Sofil, Ashrafieh (Lebanon).

Fairouz (1998) by Frédéric Mitterrand

The opening was consecrated with the 1998 documentary Fairouz by French journalist Frédéric Mitterrand. The documentary features interviews with our ambassador to the stars as well as a roundup of her life: from Al Basta invery where she led a modest life with her family, till her international huge success. Fairouz herself talked about her early life, her first steps in the music world and the crucial moment when she met Assi who would become her husband and lifetime partner and his brother Mansour Rahbani, a turning point in her career and life.

The message that was carried by the 1998 documentary is kind of prophetic. It tells the great deception of Fairouz who disappeared after her last ovation in 1994 in Beirut and wouldn’t return until her faith in Lebanon is restored.

Dalí’s Last Masterpiece (2015) by David Pujol
Dalí’s Last Masterpiece (2015) by David Pujol

The festival will screen a well-chosen bouquet of great documentaries that meet all people’s tastes and likings. A worldwide premiere of David Pujol’s Dalí’s Last Masterpiece is happening on November 5, 2015. Check the full program of the festival.

For more information, visit www.bafflebanon.org

The opening ceremony was organized by Luxury Limited Edition by Cynthia Sarkis Perros

Post written by Nadine Asmar