21st European Film Festival (26 November-8 December) – Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (21/11/2014)

During a press conference on 21November,the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, presented the 21st European Film Festival, which will be held from 26 November to 8 December 2014 at Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (Ashrafieh). The European Film Festival is organised by the Delegation of the European Union in collaboration with the embassies and cultural institutes of the European Union Member States, under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Culture Rony Arayji.

The European Film Festival will open on Wednesday 26November with the Italian film Il capitale umano (Human Capital) by Paolo Virzì, which was awarded 7 David di Donatello in 2014 (on invitation).

For this 21st edition of the European Film Festival, the programme includes a wide variety of screenings and events:

  • 41 recent long feature films and 2 short films from the European Union, allowing the audience to view prize-winning films screened at major international festivals, as well as the first or second productions of promising directors. 
  • 6 European science fiction films, dating from 1916 to 1980, most in their restored versions.
  • 1 feature film from Switzerland and from Serbia respectively, the Festival's guest countries this year.
  • 20 short films produced by students of ten Lebanese audiovisual schools.

Among the long feature films, the European Film Festival proposes 3 films for young audience. The European Film Festival also invites children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and refugees to these screenings.

In order to encourage young talents, the Festival will, for the 14th consecutive year, award 2 prizes for Lebanese short films made by students from the Lebanese audio-visual schools. The Festival will offer the winners the opportunity to attend a leading international short film festival in Europe thanks to Goethe-Institut and l'Institut français du Liban. The jury includes cultural attachés of EU Member States' embassies and cultural institutes in Lebanon as well as Lebanese cinema critics. The Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, will award the prizes on Monday 8 December.

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 (3-5 December), Nabatieh (4 December), Tyr (11 December), Tripoli (5-7 December), Jounieh (5-12 December), Zahle (8-10 December), and Deir el Qamar (11-15 December).  A number of films will be screened in the seven cities, in collaboration with the local Institut français du Liban.

Two special events will be organised by the Festival in collaboration with Metropolis Association and the Italian Cultural Institute respectively: (i) the screening of the Egyptian film Al Momia (The Mummy) by director Shadi Abdel Salam released in 1969, in its restored version, which is considered one of the most important Arab films of all times. The screening of the film will be accompanied by live music composed and performed by renowned Lebanese musicians Raed Yassin and Sharif Sehnaoui; and (ii) the screening of the Italian silent film Cenere by Febo Mari released in 1917, also in its restored version. The screening will be accompanied by live music composed and performed by renowned Italian musicians Giovanni Ceccarelli and Marcello Allulli.

Several guests will introduce and discuss their films in the cinema: Francesco Bruni, scriptwriter of the opening Italian film Il capitale umano; Lionel Baier, director of the Swiss film Les grandes ondes, who is also the head of the Cinema Department at l'Ecole cantonnale d'art de Lausanne; China Åhlander, producer of the Swedish long feature film Eat Sleep Die and short film On Suffocation; Italian musicians Giovanni Ceccarelli and Marcello Allulli. Other guests will confirm their presence later.

The guests will engage with students during workshops organised at Lebanese audio-visual schools.

The European Film Festival is organised with the contribution of LBC TV.

Tickets will be on sale for 5000 LL (2000 for students’ short films and 10000 LL for the cine-concert) from Saturday 22November 2014 at Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (Ashrafieh).

The full programme is available on the website and the Facebook page of the Delegation of the European Union: