Lebanon’s film industry is booming: new Lebanese talents are continuously emerging and a number of local productions have become internationally acclaimed, award nominated movies. In parallel, many international and national film festivals take place each year in Lebanon, in addition to workshops for producers, scriptwriters and directors.
Nevertheless, good venues to watch independent European cinema remain limited. To bridge that gap, the European Union is bringing European films to screens across Lebanon, notably through the yearly European Film Festival.
This event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019, provides opportunities for residents of Lebanon to experience the best of European film productions. During the festival, European industry experts also come to Beirut to engage in fruitful conversations and brainstorms with local talents.
After 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 cultural exchanges.
While providing entertainment, a film festival is also an important vehicle promoting exchange, understanding and tolerance, and a platform for social and political debate on key issues and global challenges such as migration, social identity, class, gender, climate crisis, just to name a few. Over time the festival is transforming to become more inclusive and accessible to people who conventionally have more limited access to culture, with an increasing offer in remote and rural areas of Lebanon as well as suburbs of Beirut.