Tag Archives: TIFF

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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TIFF 2014: What’s hot and what’s definitely not!

It might not be as glamorous as the Academy Awards or Cannes Film Festival, but TIFF has its own fashion moments.

Our picks: Best dressed of TIFF

Reese Witherspoon is absolutely flawless in her Saint-Laurent little black dress.

Reese Witherspoon in a Saint-Laurent little black dress
Reese Witherspoon in a Saint-Laurent little black dress

She is stunning in her purple wool-blend brocade dress from Dolce and Gabbana.

Reese Witherspoon in a Dolce and Gabbana purple wool-blend brocade dress
Reese Witherspoon in a Dolce and Gabbana purple wool-blend brocade dress

Among all her amazing looks this year, I have to say that nothing looks more perfect than this white Chanel on Keira!

Keira Knightley in a Chanel white dress
Keira Knightley in a Chanel white dress

Jessica Chastain is gorgeous in her black-and-white Christian Dior cocktail dress.

Jessica Chastain in a Christian Dior black-and-white cocktail dress.
Jessica Chastain in a Christian Dior black-and-white cocktail dress.

British actress Kate Beckinsale in an Azzaro jumpsuit that suits her perfectly!

Kate Beckinsale in an Azzaro jumpsuit
Kate Beckinsale in an Azzaro jumpsuit

Felicity Jones is absolutely perfect in her Armani Privé frock!

Felicity Jones in an Armani Privé frock
Felicity Jones in an Armani Privé frock

Sarah Gadon is amazingly classy in Antonio Marras

Sarah Gadon in Antonio Marras
Sarah Gadon in Antonio Marras

Anna Kendrick is cute in shell pink.

Anna Kendrick in shell pink dress
Anna Kendrick in shell pink dress

Amanda Seyfried is perfection in Valentino.

Amanda Seyfried in Valentino
Amanda Seyfried in Valentino

Julian Moore is dazzling in white Chanel.

Julian Moore in a white Chanel
Julian Moore in a white Chanel

Jennifer Aniston stuns in her little black dress.

Jennifer Aniston in a little black dress
Jennifer Aniston in a little black dress

Jane Fonda wows us in Elie Saab.

Jane Fonda in Elie Saab
Jane Fonda in Elie Saab

And in her Haney black pantsuit.

Jane Fonda in a Haney black pantsuit
Jane Fonda in a Haney black pantsuit

Indian Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra is amazing in her Alice + Olivia BW dress.

Priyanka Chopra in an Alice + Olivia BW dress
Priyanka Chopra in an Alice + Olivia BW dress

Sophie Desmarais is absolutely gorgeous in her BW outfit.

Sophie Desmarais in a BW outfit
Sophie Desmarais in a BW outfit

Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu is fabulous in a SS2014 Georges Hobeika half-sleeve crop top embroidered with Swarovski crystals and flower-shaped sequins over a yellow organza and tulle skirt.

Zhou Dongyu in a SS2014 Georges Hobeika
Zhou Dongyu in a SS2014 Georges Hobeika

Our picks: Worst dressed of TIFF

Kristen Bell shocks in this Etro jumpsuit. What was she thinking when she chose it!

Kristen Bell in an Etro jumpsuit
Kristen Bell in an Etro jumpsuit

Aubrey Plaza disappoints despite the hot pink of her Marni dress.

Aubrey Plaza in a Marni pink dress
Aubrey Plaza in a Marni pink dress

Miss Peregrym is another huge fail in white.

Miss Peregrym in white
Miss Peregrym in white

No and no and no to Noami Watts in Antonio Berardi. The waist design is pure ugliness.

Noami Watts in an Antonio Berardi dress
Noami Watts in an Antonio Berardi dress

Cara Delevingne’s green mermaid dress is a total failure.

Cara Delevingne in a green mermaid dress

Hailey Steinfield in her D&G floral dress… not quite sure what she was thinking of!

Hailey Steinfield in a D&G floral dress
Hailey Steinfield in a D&G floral dress

Not sure what’s going wrong… but in the end it is a definite No for Elizabeth Banks in Chloe.

Elizabeth Banks in Chloe
Elizabeth Banks in Chloe

After 2 dazzling looks, Reese Witherspoon disappoints us with this dotted dress which is a complete failure.

Reese Witherspoon in a dotted dress
Reese Witherspoon in a dotted dress


What’s your opinion? Share with us your comments below!