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During a press conference on 19 January, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen, presented the 23rd European Film Festival, which will be held from 26 January to 6 February 2017 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 the Ministry of Culture.
The European Film Festival will open on Thursday 26 January with the Italian film Perfetti sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) by Paolo Genovese, which was awarded the David di Donatello for Best Film in 2016 (on invitation).
The programme of this 23rd edition of the European Film Festival includes a wide variety of screenings and events:
Among the long feature films, the European Film Festival proposes 2 films for young audience. The European Film Festival also invites children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and refugees to these screenings.
Two special events will be organised by the Festival: (i) the screening, in collaboration with Metropolis Association, of the German-French film Vampyr by director Carl Theodor Dreyer released in 1932. The screening of the film will be accompanied by live music composed and performed by the renowned Lebanese post-rock band Kinematik; (ii) the screening of the Portuguese film Arabian Nights. This three-part drama film by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, which is based on the One Thousand and One Nights, has surprised worldwide audiences with its structure. The Lebanese audience will discover this "fascinating and striking collage of stories" over the course of three different evenings.
In order to encourage young talents, the Festival will, for the 16th consecutive year, award two prizes for the 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 the 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.
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 Nabatieh (5-7 February), Tyre (8-10 February), Deir el Qamar (7-10 February), Zahle (13-16 February), Baalbeck (16-17 February), Jounieh (13-20 February) and Tripoli (22-25 February). A number of films will be screened in the seven cities, in collaboration with the local office of the Institut français du Liban.
The European Film Festival is organised with the contribution of LBCI.
Tickets will be on sale for 5000 LL (2000 for students’ short films and 15,000 LL for the cine-concert) from Friday 20 January 2017 at Cinema Metropolis Empire Sofil (Ashrafieh).