Hosted by Fondation Liban Cinema and Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival
The Sursock Museum and the Institut français du Liban are scheduled to host two remarkable cinematic events from June 15th to 17th. The first event, organized by Fondation Liban Cinema, and the second by Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, will bring together film professionals, film students, and film enthusiasts for an unforgettable experience.
Both events will feature engaging discussions, enlightening panels, film presentations, networking opportunities, and film screenings attended by esteemed local and international film professionals. A notable highlight of the events will be the esteemed presence of iconic French filmmaker Leos Carax.
These special events will commence with a special open-air screening at the Institut français du Liban. “Mauvais Sang,” directed by Leos Carax himself, will be screened in its restored version. The film stars Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Julie Delpy, and Michel Piccoli.
On June 16th, Fondation Liban Cinema will culminate its initiative to revive Lebanese cinema, which has been adversely affected by the financial crisis and the aftermath of the August 4th explosion. Over the past year, this initiative has provided crucial support to 13 film projects and more than 25 filmmakers, including directors and producers, through two key programs: the Creative Entrepreneurship Program for Film Producers and the Lebanese Film Fund. The European Union has been instrumental in making this initiative possible through their generous financial support.
The closing event of the initiative, the “Local Film Industry Day,” aims to foster connections and dialogue among professionals in the local film sector. It will delve into the current opportunities and challenges faced by Lebanese filmmakers, with a focus on collaborative solutions to overcome these hurdles. The event will commence with welcoming words by His Excellency Ralph Tarraf, the Ambassador of the European Union, and Maya De Freige, President of the Fondation Liban Cinema. They will discuss the initiative’s outcomes and its resounding success. Additionally, the filmmakers behind the nine projects awarded grants from the Lebanese Film Fund will present their works, followed by presentations from the five producers who participated in the Creative Entrepreneurship for Film Producers training program, conducted in collaboration with the ESA Business School and Smart ESA.
The day will continue with an engaging talk by Gianluca Chakra, the producer and distributor behind Front Row Filmed Entertainment. Chakra will share insights on the growth of his company and the evolving needs of the film market. This will be followed by a discussion on producing films with micro budgets, featuring producers Lara Abou Saifan and Christelle Younes, alongside director Elie Khalifé.
As the first day draws to a close, attendees will be treated to a second open-air screening of “Holy Motors,” also directed by Carax and starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. The second screening will also take place at the Institut français du Liban in the presence of the filmmaker.
The second day, hosted by Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, the region’s first and only festival dedicated to horror, thrillers, fantasy, and sci-fi genres, will feature a series of captivating talks under the label “Maskoon Talks.” These discussions will provide a platform for engaging debates on genre cinema, which has seen a growing interest in the Arab region. The day will commence with an intriguing conversation with Leos Carax, shedding light on his penchant for crafting surreal and fantastical worlds in films like “Mauvais Sang” (1986), “Holy Motors” (2012), and “Annette” (2021), which have left an indelible mark on the history of Cinema.
The “Maskoon Talks” program will also feature a thought-provoking panel discussion with Evrim Ersoy, the artistic director of the ‘Beyond’ film festival, Antoine Waked, the artistic director of Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, and Gianluca Chakra, the CEO of Front Row Film Entertainment. This engaging conversation will delve into the growth and development of horror, fantasy, and thriller films in Arab cinema.
Furthermore, a lecture led by esteemed sound designer Rana Eid will offer insights into her recent work and experiences in films such as the horror film “Evil Dead Rise” and the critically acclaimed “Rebel” by directors Adil El Arbi et Bilall Fallah. “Rebel” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 to great acclaim and will be screened to conclude the three-day cinematic event.
Maskoon Talks are supported by a grant through Global Media Makers, a partnership between Film Independent and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is held in partnership with the Institut français du Liban, Aflamunah, and sponsored by Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Chateau St Thomas, Sofitel Beirut – Le Gabriel, and restaurants Mayrig and Marinella.
For more information, please follow the social media platforms of Fondation Liban Cinema and Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival.