Post Production Film Projects

Beirut in the Eye of the Storm

Country: Lebanon

Rntime: 73 min

Synopsis

Shot over a period of one year, Beirut in the Eye of the Storm follows four remarkable young women artists as they interact with the momentous October 2019 Lebanese uprising and confront the devastating aftermath of Covid-19 and the massive explosion in Beirut’s port in August 2020 which decimated the heart of the capital and ruptured the lives of its people.

Noel, Michelle, Hanine and Lujain are four talented young artists from different backgrounds who took to the streets of Beirut along with hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to demand major economic and political reforms, and an end to the corrupt sectarian system. The euphoria of the popular uprising was abruptly halted when the economy collapsed and Covid-19 struck Lebanon four months later, followed by the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port.

Sisters Noel and Michelle Keserwany, are multi-talented avant-garde songwriters whose satirical music videos reflect the imagination and determination of the Lebanese youth. Hanine Rehab is a journalism student whose political insight and probing videos defy her young age and take us into another side of Lebanon we rarely see. Lujain Jo is an Iraqi camerawoman who documented the protests from the onset. Having experienced domestic violence herself and the uprisings in Syria and Iraq, she has a unique insight into the Lebanese uprising and its connections to the Arab Spring that started 10 years ago.

These women are breaking stereotypes and pushing boundaries. What happens in Lebanon is a barometer for the region’s struggle for social justice. Will the successive blows that have hit Lebanon in the past few months, from Covid-19 to the apocalyptic blast in Beirut’s port succeed in destroying their struggle or will they find new ways to resist and hold onto their dreams of building a new Lebanon?

Director: Mai Masri

Mai Masri is a Beirut based filmmaker who studied film at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley, USA. Her films were screened worldwide and won over 90 international awards including the trailblazer award at Mipdoc Cannes in France (2011) and the lifetime achievement award in El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt (2019). Her debut feature film, 3000 Nights (2015) was premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and won over 28 international awards.

Known for humanistic and poetic style, Mai reached international acclaim with her films: Children of Fire (1990), A Woman for Her Time (1995), Children of Shatila (1998), Frontiers of Dreams and Fears (2001), Beirut Diaries (2006), 33 Days (2007), and 3000 Nights (2015).

She also co-directed with her late husband filmmaker, Jean Chamoun : Under the Rubble (1983), Wild Flowers (1986), War Generation – Beirut (1988), Suspended Dreams (1992), and produced: In the Shadows of the City (2000), Hostage of Time (1994), Women Beyond Borders (2004), ), Lanterns of Memory (2009).

 

Producer: Sabine Sidawi

Beirut-based producer Sabine Sidawi founded in 2007, Orjouane Productions, one of the most renowned production companies in Lebanon today.

Sabine has produced, co-produced and line produced more than 25 films, fiction and documentaries which have been screened and awarded at international festivals and sold around the world. Sabine Sidawi has recently produced: Notturno by Ginafranco Rosi, 3000 Nights by Mai Masri, Makhdoumin (A Maid for Each) by Maher Abi Samra, Parisienne by Danielle Arbid, Une Histoire de Fou by Robert Guédiguian, We were Communist by Maher Abi Samra, 74 a reconstitution of a Struggle by Rania Rafei , and was the middle-eastern line producer of Carlos by Olivier Assayas,…

Soon she will release Maya Tabet’s first mid-length documentary Nasmet Tango

Sabine is now developing the feature films Suzanne et Osmane by Danielle Arbid, Miakhara by Mark Karam, and Grey Glow by Michèle Tyan and is in post-production of the documentary Beirut: In the Eye of the Storm by Mai Masri and is finalizing the post-production of Michel Kammoun’s second feature film Beirut Hold’em.

A strong believer in co-production, she has always supported and worked with Lebanese, Arab and international directors and crew. Sabine has been teaching film production in two major Lebanese universities since 2009 and has participated in several international conferences as an expert in Middle-East Film Production.

 

 

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