Development Feature Documentary Film Projects



Sweden / 90 min

Director: Cherine Karam

Producer: Clara Harris, Mario Adamson



Amidst a turbulent modern reality in Beirut, Depot-Vente – the most celebrated vintage shop in Lebanon – sticks out as a buoyant island of hope that seems insulated from the reigning gloominess. Depot-Vente’s founder, the charismatic Nawal, has cultivated a space in which Aya, Karim and Mike, along with other outcasts of society can find community and be themselves. In doing so, Nawal has rightfully earned her title as emm el kell (the mother of all).

Director: Cherine Karam

Cherine has worked for 10 years in creative and artistic fields as a facilitator rather than as an artist, first at an advertising agency and then in a contemporary art gallery. Throughout these experiences, she has supported and followed artists closely as they were developing their ideas into artworks. More recently, she came to realise that she wanted to be in a more creative role herself. Thinking further about which creative medium she would focus on naturally led to filmmaking, which combines her love for writing with her fascination for cinema as a means of storytelling. In Amourby Haneke, Georges says to his wife: “I don’t remember the film either, but I remember the feelings”. To her, this is what filmmaking boils down to and what she now aspires to do: create emotions.

Producers: Clara Harris-Mario Adamson

What draws us to this project is not only Nawal, the charismatic founder and driving-force behind Depot-Vente, but also the young people who meet there, who are grappling with the stresses of economic and societal pressure. Amidst a political landscape that makes for a turbulent modern reality in Beirut, the shop becomes a safe haven for those who visit, as well as providing a crossroads at which people from all walks of life converge. Inspired by Nawal’s defiance amidst a regime that promotes exploitative working conditions and repressive sexual freedom, director Cherine Karam presents a world which prioritises generosity of spirit and in doing so, empowers. Cherine has spent many years visiting the shop, benefitting personally from its nurturing atmosphere. In doing so she has developed a longstanding friendship with Nawal, giving her unique access to the shop, and a genuine understanding of its impact on the community. Having worked in the arts for over 10 years, Cherine is familiar with curating the creative process and articulates her vision with great confidence and attention to detail.