Rio and São Paulo host Lebanese film festival

28 de outubro de 2017

São Paulo – The Brazil-Lebanon Culture Institute is organizing, from November 23 to 29, the film festival Overview of Lebanese Cinema "This is Lebanon", in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, simultaneously. The festival will have 19 Lebanese productions and other cultural manifestations. According to the institute’s vice-president and Culture director, Kátia Chalita, the programee includes representative examples of the current cinema of the Arab country.

The idea is to show what is new in Lebanese cinema, who are the new talent [of the country],” said Chalita to ANBA during a visit to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo. “The cinema expresses the concerns of the new Lebanese generations,” she added. In addition to contemporary movies, the show will show some “classic” productions, although still not old.

Among the films are “Parisienne” (“Peur de Rien”), by Danielle Arbid; “Waves ‘98”, by Ely Dagher, which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at 2015 Cannes Film Festival; and Ghadi, by Amin Dora. Also included in the programme are the comedies “Yalla Aa’belkon: Single, Married, Divorced”, by Elie Khalife: “Solitaire”, by Sophie Boutros”; and “Halal Love (and Sex)”, by Assad Fouladkar.

Other highlights are the documentaries “The Lebanese Rocket Society”, by Khalil and Joanna Joreige, and “Ya Omri”, by Hady Zaccak. The “modern classics” are “Out of Life”, by Maroun Baghdadi, from 1991, and “West Beirut”, by Ziad Doueri, from 1998.

According to Chalita, the curatorship is by Fondation Liban Cinema, Tripoli Film Festival, by producer company Né à Beyrouth and by Dreambox Films. “It [the selection] helps to recompose Lebanon’s image in Brazil,” she said. She pointed out that the perception on the Arab nation is closely linked to war and internal clashes, but in the movies there is a country full of beauty, vibrant culture, different traditions and also the contemporary concerns of Lebanese society.

Before the beginning of the festival, there will be a screening of the movie “The Insult” on November 21 in São Paulo and on the 22 in Rio. The production is by Ziad Doueri, the same of “West Beirut”, and it won the award for Best Actor at this year’s Venice International Film Festival for the work of Kamel Al Basha. The movie was also chosen to represent Lebanon in the 2018 Oscars for Best Foreign Film.

Simultaneously to the festival, there will be an exhibition of posters of Lebanese movies from 1950 to 2003, a concert by Lebanese percussionist Rony Barrak, and a movie session with the film “Ghadi” to 150 kids from the Lebanon Republic City School, from Vigário Geral, in Rio de Janeiro. The idea is to present to the students a little more of the culture of the country that gives its name to the school.

The film festival is sponsored by Lebanese bank Libank and has the support of the Arab Chamber, among other organizations.

Quick info

Overview of Lebanese Cinema “This is Lebanon”
November 23 to 29
In São Paulo, at Espaço Itaú de Cinema Augusta, Sala 3, Rua Augusta, 147, Consolação
In Rio, Espaço Itaú de Cinema Botafogo, Sala 4, Praia de Botafogo, 316, Botafogo
Free of charge. Registration needed at

Click here to visit the event’s website and read the full programme, synopses, trailers and side events

Further information
Email of the Brazil-Lebanon Culture Institute:

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani