Beirut Art Film Festival is coming back on November 18, 2021, with a VIIth Edition on the theme of Inspiration!

NNA - At this moment when the Lebanese are going through the worst crisis in their modern history, existential, political and economic, and helplessly witnessing the massive exodus of their youth, BAFF will highlight, in this VIIth Edition, prominent artistic revolutions and few great cultural battles led by films directors, visual artists, writers, architects, dancers all around the world; and who inspired and then paved the way for changes to the better.

 

Therefore, it is with a program spread over a full year, from November 18 to 28, 2021, at the Monnot Theater in Ashrafieh, then from December 12, 2021 to October 30, 2022 online, that the Beirut Art Film Festival and its cultural partners, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the Embassies of the United States of America, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Goethe Institute stand to affirm their confidence in the search for a better future for Lebanon and for its people. Partners, coming from diverse horizons, join their efforts to participate into the cultural survival of Lebanon, beyond the surrounding distress and gloom; material bankruptcy must not in any case become cultural; because without culture there is no society.

Art is inspiration, and cinema its diffusion.

The pandemic, the economic bankruptcy then the double explosion of August 4, 2020 bore down on Beirut cinemas, that closed their doors one after the other. Two years of prolonged confinement affected both cultural and social life. Directors and actors are deprived of their audience, which is now deprived from recent national and international productions; this VIIthEdition of BAFF is largely dedicated to cinema and its revival, BAFF calls and will act for the urgent return of the 7th art in theaters all over Lebanon.

 

After each screening, whether it is in person or online, BAFF will offer discussions around the film between the audience and art historians. Rendezvous throughout this cultural year with George Arbid, history of architecture; Caroline Hatem, history of dance; May El Koussa and Hady Zaccak, history of cinema; Lama Tyan, history of music; Vincent Cartuyvels, Alice Mogabgab Karam and Jean-Philippe Theykens, art history.

 

Finally, because art only touches deeply into the heart when it participates in the fight for dignity, the organizers of BAFF are proud to offer entirely ticket sales at the Monnot Theater sessions to the Lebanese NGO AFEL, Association du Foyer de l'Enfant Libanais, which has become a reference in Lebanon in the field of protection and education of destitute and mistreated children. Tickets are on sale for 30,000 L.L. at the entrance to the theater before screenings.

 

Online events, from December 12, 2021 to October 30, 2022, are all free.

 

Les Rendez-vous during this VIIth Edition

 

• Opening of BAFF VII, Wednesday November 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Monnot Theater with a tribute to Borhane Alawiya (1941-2021), father of modern Lebanese cinema, by Hady Zaccak followed by the screening of the film Un message du temps de l'exil, 1989, 52 minutes, directed by Borhane Alawiya. Four characters: Abdallah, a former militiaman, and Karim, a jobless journalist, live in Paris ... Rizkallah, a car salesman, operates his business in Brussels ... Nessim, a surgeon, has settled in Strasbourg. They do not know each other ; they have in common only exile. They are brought together by the voice and memory of the narrator. In partnership with Nadi Lekol Nas.
• Hady Zaccak Retrospective in Byblos, organized by BAFF, in partnership with the Municipality of Jbail, CLAC Byblos and Carakib Carajib. A selection of 7 films by the Lebanese director, documentaries and fictions, is offered at CLAC, Vieux Souk, on November 19, 20 and 21, 2021, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Free entry.
• Monday, November 22 at 4:00 p.m. at the Monnot Theaterlecture and book signing of Hady Zaccak's book The Last Screening, a Biography of Cilama Tripoli, (618 pages, 31 x 25 cm., 2021, Editions ZAC Films, 350,000 L.L.). This book tells about the rise, development and fall of "Cilama" with its temples, its rituals, its stories, its films, its stars…

 

• Sunday November 28 at 8:00 pm, screening of the film The Blue Inmates, 2020, 75 minutes, directed by Zeina Daccache. In her third documentary, Zeina Daccache’s third film emerges shedding the light on inmates suffering from mental illness and facing a life sentence in prison.

The “Golden Fireflies”, an annual prize, newly founded by the BAFF and rewarding the women of Lebanon in their commitments to civil society, will be awarded after the screening to Zeina Daccache, actress, director and producer, founder of Catharsis, association working for therapeutic theater.

• Sunday 12 December 2021 at 8:00 p.m., launch of BAFF VIIth Online Edition with the screening of the film Betty Boop Forever, 2020, 52 minutes, directed by Claire Duguet, followed by a discussion with the film director on the creation of stars in the cinema.

 

• Sunday, October 30, 2022, online closing of BAFF VIIthwith the screening of the film Il ne suffit pas que Dieu soit avec les pauvres, 1978, 70 minutes, directed by Borhane Alawiya, on the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathi (1900-1989) , who has, throughout his career, tried to modernize the architectural traditions of Egypt by demonstrating that local knowledge can be modernized and meet the demands of progress. Discussion after the screening with Georges Arbid, architectural historian. -- BAFF
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