25th European Film Festival
The 25th European Film Festival will be held from 24 January to 4 February 2019 at Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil in Beirut. The European Film Festival is organised by the Delegation of the European Union in cooperation with the European Union Member States, under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Culture.
This 25th anniversary celebrates a quarter of a century of cultural collaboration between the European Union and Lebanon. The European Film Festival has not only become a landmark in Beirut's cultural agenda, but also a platform to promote freedom of expression and lively discussions. The subjects of the films screened at the festival have developed over 25 years, to tackle matters of interest to both Lebanese and European societies.
The European Film Festival will open on Thursday 24 January with the Romanian film 6.9 on the Richter Scale by Nae Caranfil (on invitation). Romania currently holds the Presidency of the European Union.
Two special events will mark this year's 25th anniversary. The festival, in partnership with Cinematheque Beirut, will celebrate the long-time collaboration between Europe and Lebanon by presenting three films co-produced with France, Germany and Sweden. All shot and produced in post-war Beirut, Ghassan Salhab's ''Beyrouth Fantôme'', Jocelyne Saab's ''Once Upon a Time Beirut'' and Layla Assaf's ''Al-Sheikha'' will be screened for the first time since their release in the 1990's.
Also in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the European Film Festival in Lebanon, 8 Lebanese illustrators will exhibit their interpretation of acclaimed European films during one unique moment of gathering. The works of Tracy Chahwan, Ghadi Ghosn, Carla Habib, Nour Hifaoui, Joseph Kai, Karen Keyrouz, Mohamad Kraytem and Raphaelle Macaron will unveil for this occasion the importance of film poster design.
In addition, the programme of this 25th edition of the European Film Festival includes a wide variety of screenings and events:
- 34 recent long feature films from the European Union Member States and 1 feature film from Switzerland, allowing the audience to view prize-winning films screened at major international festivals, as well as the first or second productions of promising directors.
- 1 feature film in tribute to Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci.
- 1 ciné-concert with the live music of Two or The Dragon (the electro-acoustic duo of Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout) who will perform live their original compositions for the classic surrealist film "Le Sang d'un Poète" directed by Jean Cocteau in 1930.
- 12 short films produced by students of Lebanese audio-visual schools, which will be screened in the presence of the students and their film teams during a special running that will conclude with the awarding of the 3 Best Short Films.
- 1 panel discussion, 'Bienvenue au Langage - conversation autour du Livre d'image de Jean-Luc Godard’ will be held with producers Fabrice Aragno and Mitra Farahani.
Among the long feature films, the European Film Festival proposes 4 films for young audience. The Festival also invites children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and refugees to these screenings.
In a continuous effort to promote and showcase European culture to the widest possible audience throughout the country, the European Film Festival is scheduled to take place in Saida (1-3 February), Nabatieh (4 February), Tyre (5 February), Jounieh (4-8 February), Tripoli (7-9 February), Zgharta (8 February), Deir el Qamar (11-15 February), Zahle (18-19 February) and Baalbeck (20 February). A number of films will be screened in the nine cities, in collaboration with the local office of the Institut français du Liban.
Tickets will be on sale for 5,000 LL (2,000 LL for the students’ short films and 15,000 LL for the cine-concert) from Saturday 19 January 2019 at Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (Ashrafieh).