Neither the difficult economic conditions in Lebanon nor the Corona virus prevented cinema lovers from gathering again to enjoy watching a bouquet of short films that deal with issues of oppression, freedom, immigration and others.
In the open air on the staircase of Gemmayzeh in the neighborhood that was badly damaged by the explosion of Beirut’s port last year, viewers of all ages sat watching the performances of the “Cabriolet” Short Film Festival, which lasts for three days (from the fourth to the sixth of this June).
The festival’s program, which presents its shows for free on six screens and raises the slogan “Existence”, includes 56 films dealing with the meanings of existence and survival in a series of tapes signed by directors from Lebanon, Europe, the United States and Australia.
The festival opened its activities on Friday evening with the film “The Hakam al-Azaar” by the young Lebanese director Fayez Abu Khattar, which deals with the story of a young man who decided to protest against the Lebanese regime.
And 19 films were shown on the first night, including the movie “Aida” by the Lebanese Hanin Abi Khalil, and there was an Arab participation by the Egyptian Basma Sharif and her movie “Rahma”.
On the second night, 18 films were shown, including “Room 16” by Lebanese actress Carol Abboud and directed by Danny Saliba, for which he won the Best Director Award at the European Film Festival in London.
The Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki, who was chosen as the artistic face of the festival, had released a video recording a few days ago on her Instagram account under the title “A Message of Hope” to invite to the festival.
Labaki also appeared to the audience in an audio recording at the opening of the festival, in which she said, “Our dreams are many, our ambitions are great, and the art about us sells and sells the world, even the painful ones, because we were here and we will stay.”
Labaki’s appearance came according to a tradition that the festival follows every year by choosing a director or actor, bearing his name in the course in his honor.
Zina Yassin, who participated as an assistant director in the opening film, said, “Gemmayzeh did not die and continued to shine despite the explosion.”
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