Thirty-three European films will be presented at the 18th European Film Festival in Lebanon which will be held from 24 November to 4 December in the two theatres of the Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (Ashrafieh) in Beirut.
A Delegation press release said the festival would open with the Polish Film The Winner by Wiesław Saniewski (on invitation), and would close with a recent feature film from Lebanese Director Rania Attieh (Black Pearl Award, 2010 Abu Dhabi Film Festival). On the last day of the festival, Beyrouth après rasage (After Shave) by Lebanese director Hany Tamba (César for the Best short film in 2006) will pay tribute to late famous Lebanese actor Mahmoud Mabsout, known as Fahmen, who played the leading role in the film. The Festival will also include a feature film from Switzerland and from Norway, the Festival’s guest countries this year, and 20 short films produced by students of ten Lebanese audiovisual schools.
In order to encourage young talents, the Festival will, for the eleventh consecutive year, award three prizes for the Lebanese short films. Instead of cash prizes, the Festival will reward winners with the opportunity to attend one of the three leading international short film festivals: one winner will attend the Premiers plans Angers Festival (France), the second one will attend the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (Germany), and the third one the Krakow Film Festival (Poland). The jury includes cultural attachés of EU Member States’ Embassies and cultural centres in Lebanon as well as Lebanese cinema critics. On Sunday 4 December, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, will award the three prizes.
The European Film Festival will also take place in Tripoli (1-4 December), Jounieh (2-8 December), Saida (8-10 December) and Zahle (13-17 December), with a number of films being shown in the four cities.
Within the framework of the Festival, the German silent film Nosferatu, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, will be screened. The film is considered to be a masterpiece of Germany’s expressionistic cinema and screening will be accompanied with live music performed by the group More Dust Under The Carpet. The Festival will also propose two films for children and make screenings available to children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Several special guests will introduce and discuss their films in the cinema: Wieslaw Saniewski and Grazyna Molska, respectively director and producer of the opening Polish film The Winner, Anders F. August, scriptwriter of the Danish film Applause, Ludovic Bource, composer of the original soundtrack of the French silent film The Artist, Alexandru Maftei, director of the Romanian filmHello, How Are You?, as well as Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia, directors of the Lebanese film OK, Enough, Goodbye. Some guests will hold workshops with Lebanese audiovisual schools’ students, and others are due to confirm their presence at a later stage.
The European Film Festival is organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon in collaboration with the Embassies and Cultural Institutes of the European Union Member States, under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Culture and with the contribution of LBCI TV. (ENPI Info Centre)