Issues of terrorism, religious extremism, refugees and rights of marginalized groups are highly featured in all categories
The 17th edition of Beirut International Film Festival, which is scheduled to be held from the 4th until the 12th of October 2017, is marked by the presence of a large number of prominent movie stars, including world renowned directors, producers and festival directors, who will be celebrating 20 years since BIFF was first launched, with a rich program that features some of the best movies winners of global awards or screened in international competitions. Like previous editions, the festival opens an opportunity for the Middle Eastern movies that focus on the most important political and social issues in the region. Terrorism, religious extremism, refugees and rights of marginalized groups are highly featured in this year’s edition, within the competition of documentaries and short films and in other categories.
In a press conference held on Wednesday at Le Gray Hotel in downtown Beirut, BIFF Director Colette Naufal recalled that “the festival was born in 1997, when Lebanon as a whole and Beirut in particular, were undergoing a massive reconstruction after the civil war, with an aim to keep Beirut on the worldwide map of filmmaking, pushing the boundaries set by a region in constant turmoil.”
She added that “Lebanon, known for its freedom of expression, allowed us to turn the Beirut International Film Festival into the ideal platform for filmmakers from around the world who have a message to convey.”
This year, the Festival will be held in Metropolis Empire Sofil, Ashrafieh, opening with “La Cordillera” by the Argentinian Director Santiago Mitre, in the presence of the director and his wife and the actress in the movie Dolores Fonzi. The film’s story is about the new Argentinian President Hernán Blanco (Ricardo Darín), for whom the personal is political, and vice versa. The film’s director Santiago Mitre describes his film, that premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, as a necessarily critical look at the world of politics.
BIFF will close the shows with Motion Picture film “Loving Vincent” by British Director Hugh Welchman and Polish Director Dorota Kobiela, about the last days in the life of the painter Vincent Van Gogh prior to his suicide. It took seven years, 125 painters from all over the world and 65,000 hand-painted frames to turn a live action feature into a one-of-kind animated film.
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