Round tables and screenings of documentaries and fictional films, in addition to the workshops that will be included in the Beirut Art Film Festival (BAF) in its eighth edition.
Under the title “Solidarity”, the festival will honor the late poet Etel Adnan on the first anniversary of her death. As for the “Golden Fireflies” award, which is awarded every year to one of the bright Lebanese women in the world of cinema, it is won by Deniz Jabbour and Muriel Abou El-Rous for their electronic series “Visit”.
About twenty documentaries, other films and a third revolving around the world of ballet, will be screened by “Beirut Art Films” over 11 days at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (University of Alba), from 8 to 18 November.
The festival will open its activities with the film “For the left hand”, followed by a meeting via the “Zoom” application. The film features pianist Norman Malone, film producer Howard Reich and music director Gordon Kane.
Festival organizer Alice Mogagab expresses her joy and enthusiasm for organizing this event for the eighth year in Beirut, despite all the crises she is going through. In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he states: “We resist with art and, as the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze says, art resists death, slavery, shameful acts and shame. flag of art and culture for our country, Lebanon, under the title (Solidarity). With him we can overcome all the barriers and obstacles we face “.
Moghabgab has garnered the interest of the international community in Lebanon’s cultural and artistic march. “It is a company that values our artistic talents and always tries to support them by all means. In this event there is an effective contribution from various foreign countries, including Belgium, Switzerland and Italy ”.
Mogagab did not forget to praise the zeal of the Lebanese, some of whom did not hesitate to support the festival so that it could see the light as the Khalil Warda Foundation. “I helped pay 10 percent of the festival costs, because it trusts Lebanon’s capabilities for the resurrection.”
This time the festival has chosen the University of Alba for the screening of the participating films. As Mogabgab mentions, in the context of his speech, it is a support for students. Tickets sold to see the cinema go to university scholarships that are offered to those who have excelled or who have financial problems. He further expresses that these films are lessons of a different kind for them, providing them with a rich cultural background. The festival has awarded students and university professors special cards that give them the right to attend the entire program for free.
Among the films shown are two films on the art of ballet, “Escapist Ballet” and “Winter Riese”. They allow viewers to witness the most beautiful representations of this world art. Mogagab commented: “Since it is impossible to bring these two shows directly to Lebanon, we have decided to show them in theaters. The quantity of costumes and the large number of dancers require many precautions that we cannot get close to. This type of film helps to recreate the Lebanese who are currently suffering the most serious economic and political crises ”.
One of the round tables included in the festival is that of the late Lebanese poet Etel Adnan. Mogagab tells us about its contents: “It is a tribute to Etel on the first anniversary of his death. Yves Michaux, who accompanied her and was one of her dearest, talks about it. He dedicated many writings to her and accompanied her in all phases of her. The late poet is also a close friend of her and I have a close relationship with her. She deserves this honor, which will shed some light on her character and her work. “
The festival also includes a round table on the theme of photography and its relationship with memory. It is launched through a documentary film signed by the plastic artist Huda Kassatly, in which he presents photographs of the Syrian city of Aleppo and his memories there, as his mother is from there, and includes images of this city destroyed by war, and shows how the man is primarily and ultimately responsible for the actual destruction and construction.
The festival dedicates 3 films to Pier Paolo Pasolini on the centenary of his birth. He wanted to shed light on this international director so that the new generations would get to know him closely, especially since he was a fan of Lebanon and visited him in 1974.
Among the other films screened by Beirut Art Films there is one called “Small Happiness”. It is a film by Aimee Boulos, who is the first to found the Faculty of Cinema of the Jesuit University. She recounts her journey and her memories of her through the main stations she has experienced.
As for the “Golden Fireflies” award, this year it belongs to the two performers of the electronic series “Visit”. And he continues to be successful for 8 years until today, through his “online” him shows. Thus, her directors, Deniz Jabbour and Muriel Abou El-Rous, will win this award, which the festival awards every year to one of the women who work in the field of cinema in Lebanon. Director and actress Zina Daccache won it last year for her film career. Alice Mogagab explained to Asharq Al-Awsat: “About two months before Pier Paolo Pasolini left, he wrote about people who knew how to illuminate the cinema with bright works, even if small. He recalled how our world is only fascinated by big lights, even though small ones play an important role in their own way, and he called them at that time (the fireflies). Hence the idea of this award (Golden Fireflies), which honors those who try to break the darkness with small lights, but which soon radiates and leaves their mark on the world. This award sheds light on those people who don’t deserve to go unnoticed. Honoring them is our duty, and it is an expression of our appreciation for their skills and their work in the field of cinema ”.