Official Selection 2023

Best Local Short Fiction
(In and Out of competition)

Project TitleSynopsisDirectors
Fig.5A quest for the self. Amorette had gotten lost in her displaying of an extravagant form of herself. She sought for her lost self using paint; the process revealed the loss had never been. Nataly Chehade
Kasra Dameh Skouna short film, covering autistic people and their circle’s needs. Rania, a young woman, struggles to get her mother’s attention. The mother’s death leads to a deeper, more empathetic relationship between Rania and her brother, who deals with severe  autism. Autistic people may not be best at expressing by words, whoever, one thing is sure, they do know how to love! this short film is a visual metaphor of the reality we are missing out on.Pauline Gaby El Nawwar
mahkoum Each of us is a homeland with its own laws and rules… A world where our lives come as tourism, how many days or how many months do you come to noon and spit out… and a world when you are an immigrant from a second country and come to live on our behalf… and a world competes as the wedding of our republic.. And a world that comes to solve its problems for us… So protect yourself because you are a homeland for many people…mario antoine sankary
Talk to meFarid, who works abroad, locks himself on the last day of his stay in Beirut in his son Rawad’s room, to find what he is hiding there. Separated by a locked door, the dysfunctional dynamic between them intensifies, and the past resurfaces.Ribal Chedid
Shattered When everything is repaired from the outside, what do we do about the broken parts inside? This is the story of Yasmine. She often takes refuge in her imagination. After the Beirut explosion happens though, her coping mechanism does not work so well anymore…

Elyssa Skaff
Kindred Carlos, a 24-year-old young man, had recently just lost his father and is faced with life-changing events and responsibilities that he had never faced before with the help of an enigmatic mysterious person named Nick who claimed he was also close with Carlos’ father as well.Jad Chatila
Sorry About DreamlandSorry About Dreamland is about Dreamland, a Motel and a brothel in which the owner records his clients until a night he uncovers deeply hidden secrets happening in between the walls of the motel.Amir Sarkis
Le Poussin et les SourcilsPeacefully living together, Mira, a child psychologist and her boyfriend Wael, a struggling writer, get into a two-folded dilemma after sensing some odd events concerning one of Mira’s patients.Rami Samir Salloum
The Mail Thief – Short Film By Abbas AbbasKatie, a lady who likes to steal letters and correct their spelling mistakes, is surprised by a strange message from a young girl that brings back memories of her past.Abbas Abbas
TOUCHIt’s the story of an abandoned paper house that comes back to life and livens the family that used to live within.Karen Hamad
Lower GroundWhen a concierge begins to prepare dinner for his nephew, a resident demands his immediate assistance. The concierge finds himself torn between attending to his employer’s never-ending requests and the boy’s growing hunger. Left unsupervised, the boy sets out to make his dinner, ultimately taking a drastic turn..Firas Itani
Autostrade BeirutLama comes back to Beirut after a trip to France and sees her city in ruins due to the August 4th blast. Once home, she struggles trying to find a way to break up with her boyfriend whom she lost feelings for. Lama finds herself at crossroads between what was then and what is now.Pedro Hasrouny
ملكي NOT YOURS 15 years later, Jad faces a self confrontation and blames himself for not being able to protect it, from the recurring sexual abuse by a family member.Lama Mohamad Youssef
The LumpA young woman self reflects to her first ever anxiety attack.Rouba Noureddine
A LetterOn a sunny day in mid-November 2021, sixty-years-old SALAH’S life changed completely. While shaving his beard he falls down. His sun gets him a nurse to stay home with him because he’s busy and can’t take care of his dad that his life changed and now, he’s on the wheelchair. The presence of Nay the nurse in Salah’s life was something very important because she was everything for him. Nay was lonely her mother and sister are dead and she don’t know anything about her father Salah was like her father and her family.Farah Nabil El-Bitar
Maman le FilmLebanon, Mother’s day. Joey (20 years old) is preparing a surprise diner for his mom who is always abroad. But today is a special day because she is here, but not willing to stay till the evening, until they celebrate. Tortured with the idea of her leaving again, Joey tries to convince her mom to stay. But the mother is here for another reason: pushing her son to tidy his house and to accept change, for he might need to accept her death as well.Nadim Chidiac
Shi msh mazbutA look around an apartment that serves as a melting pot for young deranged minds.Hugo Hochar
Beyond the SeaRebecca, a twenty-for years old woman, lives with her mother in Beirut. Single mother, she struggles to bond with her son, Elias. The day before his sixth birthday, Elias asks if she can take him to see the sunset by the sea. Reluctant, Rebecca is forced to face the memory of a traumatic event that has been haunting her for years.Melinda Delaloye

Awal Marra


Ihtira’aAfter seeking emotional refuge within a secluded eroding hotel, a family is at crossroads between continuing to live in coexistence within dynamics of violence or choosing to break past their trauma.Sabina Botros
RefractionRefraction is an artistic exploration of a human state of mind, as a varying interface in an arbitrary spatial venture, in search of identity. Sabina Botros
Another perspectiveFollowing a major traumatic event that led her to develop a compulsive-hoarding disorder, Yasmina  attempts to get along better with life anew. Inadvertently,  she sinks down the spiral of denial and rage just as she tries to catch up on the many concerns sent in by someone from the past.Abir Hijazi
SHELLJamil is a traumatized man, will he become like his father, or will he end the loop?
SHELLJamil is a traumatized man, will he become like his father, or will he end the loop?
SaudadeMariam is reconstructing the ruins of her house between fragments of Beirut City and echoes of her memories.Robert Minassian
seahorse In a  different world, ADAM and HAYAT are faced with a twisted reality that is bigger than both of them. How will a man and a woman cope with a life threatening decision?Rawan Selim El Chami
The Sea WithinA young middle eastern woman goes through an emotional journey while trying to reach the “sea” to explore her inner self. Only to be challenged by her own consciousnesses and others.
Rena Elias
KhalilAfter Khalil saves a fish, he tries to find a safe spot for it in his house whilst hiding it from his father. Khalil and his mother are victims of domestic violence, which makes the fish his only escape. Will he save it?Sarah Safieddine
SPERMJohn was harassed by a priest at his monastic school at the age of 10, who overcame it by purifying the priest’s sins at the age of 20.Joseph Tanos
Can We Go Again?Leah, a cinema student, decides to tell her brother’s story through her final film project.Lourdes Francis
Dear spectator, I hope this film finds you well.The movie is about a girl who is living her normal life. But this one time we accompany her into her dissociative episode, unlocking past traumas.Bina Sakr
AlopeciaConfused about her illness for which she cannot find a cure, Hanin cannot live her love story with a boy normally after an accident that happened to her years ago caused her to lose her hair.Charbel Tony Hajj Moussa
The Thread of RemembranceWhen the present moment is caught between sharpness and degeneration, a young woman and her grandmother attempt to keep alive the legacy of memory through the poignancy of remembranceStephanie El Khoury
Tramway Beirut It’s 1992, in a small Lebanese village, Joe, an eight-year-old kid, loved to listen to his grandmother’s stories about Beirut, as she used to live there in the 60s. Since his family did not own a car, and his father only went there by bus for work, Joe dreamt of the day when he’ll be able to go and see it. When a big shift happens in Joe’s life, he runs away to find a city that doesn’t look anything like the city that his grandmother told him about.Geovany Fayek Mounzer
ThornNot all that glitters is gold..When a sinner longs for the innocence in him, despite the liberation of the body, the soul remains shackled in search of itself..Resisting the pain becomes a pleasure!Pauline Gaby El Nawwar
Illegal Ali lives with his mother in a poor neighborhood in Dahyeh (suburbs of Beirut).  After being fired from his job at a local shop, Ali struggles to make a living to help his mom with the house finances. Just like many of his peers, Ali finds refuge in illegal money exchange. With this new “job”, come new temptations, including drug dealing. How will Ali’s story unfold in a world of poverty, despair, and lawlessness?Rami El Khoury
Not Far From HereWhile attending an ‘Education and Peace’ conference in Beirut, Ramy unexpectedly crosses paths with his former love interest Farah. Although she’s pressed for time, he persuades her to have a brief catch-up at a nearby coffee shop. However, as Farah follows Ramy in her car, they get stuck in a massive traffic jam due to an unexpected detour.Jihad Saade
Out of CombatArmed with a CAMERA and PRESS vests, two journalists embark into covering breaking news at Lebanese-Palestinian borders.
Jaafar Fadi El Assal
Daughters of MaryAs a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Noura (Stephanie) is no longer employed. She finds it difficult to find a new job because of her visa requirement status. The situation becomes complicated when she discovers that she has only three months to find a job as her residence permit goes expired in the European union.Ahmed Seddiek
Legal rightsAfter one year of Beirut explosion, Layla wake up from her coma to find herself divorced and her child gone with his fatherabed al hadi ziad al deiry
Farewell the film deals with the story of a boy in war, whose father fights on the frontline, leaving him a game that reminds his son of him. Upon hearing the sound of shelling, the boy rushed to search for his father and the film was made at that time to search on the battlefield. Joseph Abi Ramia
I’ll call you in a fewDuring his night shift break, Karim, a suicide hotline operator, is in the toilet talking to his best friend Nour who is having a breakdown over the phone. As the break ends the hotline  phone starts ringing. Karim goes back to his desk telling Nour that he must answer the call. Nour hangs up pissed off where Karim answers the other phone call. Yet he tries to stay connected to Nour by sending him several unanswered messages. Eventually he receives a message from a common friend that Nour got into an accident. Shocked and devastated Karim leaves the call rushing to the toilet with a surging breakdown taking over.
Carmen Sarieddine
My ToySarah and Salem are arguing about the toy, but at the end, there is another purpose behind while meeting Their parents.Mazen Haj Kassem
I know EverythingAn unexpcted text message interrupts Samer’s unusual dream. The message says, “I KNOW EVERYTHING”. Helplessly, Samer tries to track down the number of the unknown sender throughout the night. Is he scared of revealling something he did? Don’t we all have something to hide?  Rony Moukarzel
Wars Never EndYears after the Lebanese civil war, a Lebanese journalist uncovered information about Lebanese leaders and politicians during the civil war. He insisted on publishing it,  which puts  his life in danger.

Note: this movie is a 24 minute one-shot.
Ralph Rabih Haddad
SaltWaterZiad, a 24 years old socially disturbed sad person, living in a shell created by his own anxieties, struggling to adapt. As he tries to break from his keep, he realizes that it’s too hard, a struggle, so he gets back to his locale, his fish, best-friend and his alcoholic tendencies.. basically his routine.johnny Najem
FillLama, a Lebanese waitress in her 20’s, finds out that her lover is leaving the country for good. After her night shift, an odd encounter with a man takes an unexpected turn.Christelle Nasser Abdo
A Moment Between Silence and ChaosParents Fadi and Maya, alone for the first time in 20 years after their kid Ghadi has left the country, try to still feel involved in their child’s life while also confronted with the reality of their relationship.Omar Ziad Seaibi
CoalescentSophia is a 20-year-old girl under daily medication. When she decides to stop taking her pills, her reality starts unveiling while she realizes that her life was a complete lie.Ryan Kay
Pieces of TimeYasmine a 9-year-old girl, who loves to film on her little camera, retraces back memories together on their road trip to their olive tree land, many events happen, good and bad. Then a change happens, we realize that the dad was watching memories of his dead daughter. He goes on a walk with an empty mind yet full of suicidal thoughts thinking of suicide, however, when on the edge of the cliff he hears his daughter’s voice and back off.Perla Fady Eid
Select Your PlayerThe Line between Virtual and Reality becomes dangerously blurred and cycled and the mission is one “ Elimination” Mahdi Olayan
GaiaIn this compelling short film, we witness the journey of Gaia, a young girl struggling with derealization, a dissociative disorder that leaves her feeling disconnected from reality. Aya Daniel Daajeh
Finding the Beat“Finding the Beat” is a poignant and uplifting film that follows the journey of Tamer, a father whose relationship with his son, Sam, is challenged by their differing perspectives and Sam’s passion for birds and music. As Tamer grapples with understanding and accepting Sam’s unique abilities and needs due to him being autistic, his dedicated and loving wife, Mira, stands by his side, determined to bridge the gap between father and son.Tanya Krayem
TOUCHIt’s the story of an abandoned paper house that comes back to life and livens the family that used to live within.Karen Hamad
In the Absence of LightA failed actor in his mid-20s is torn between joining a burgeoning resistance movement to fight against a tyrannical enemy force or remaining trapped at home, bound by duty to his overprotective mother. As he grapples with his conflicting desires for freedom and acceptance, he must ultimately choose between pursuing his own destiny or sacrificing himself for a cause greater than himself.Charbel Chouchany
FailureIn Miss Lina’s class, Ibrahim, an 11-year-old student, lacks motivation due to her strict teaching style. Miss Lina is known for her harsh critiques and grades, especially towards Ibrahim, who struggles academically. However, Ibrahim surprises everyone by displaying exceptional talent and determination in a chess competition.Nadine Imad El sayegh
Water DropThe year 2049, in a devastating earth with no human life, a young man is looking for water and a new life. In his hallucination he meets his deceased mother, who gives him hope and patience.Leo El Ahmad
PunctureIn hopes of escaping the constant stress induced by his mother, young Karim spends most of his time doing drugs with his best friend Joe. What begins as chill and fun ends up leading to far bigger problems.Mario Ghabali
Broadcast Reversed“‘Broadcast Reversed’ is a mockumentary short film that incisively satirizes the media’s role in enforcing traditional gender roles and the pervasive practice of gender-based tokenism in Lebanese political appointments. Framed as an authentic newscast on a local Lebanese channel, the film opens with a striking headline story: the official appointment of a man as a minister.
The narrative tracks the media’s coverage of this groundbreaking appointment in a reimagined reality, capturing the reactions from female government officials. Amid the unfolding broadcast, the male presenter boldly challenges the status quo, expressing his discontent with the biased representation live on television. As a result, ‘Broadcast Reversed’ emerges as a potent critique of media, tokenism, and entrenched societal norms.”
Alex El Dahdah, Taline Bedikian
Hush, يلاتنامAfter her pregnancy, Yusra, a young mother-to-be, endured one of the most traumatizing experiences that a mother could go through.gaelle elian hamawi
Crow ManIn the middle of the dark woods, next to a lake, a little girl and her grandpa live together in a small wooden cabin. The old man is ill and slowly passing away.  Death, a bizarre creature, is coming for him. The little girl knows it, and wants to confront death and kill it.Yohann Abdelnour
WAR, EXPLOSION, DEPRESSION & OTHER TPES OF PILLOW TALKThroughout her nights with her lovers, Rayane finds herself going through her stories of war, explosion and depression, something she is not truly aware of.Pamela Saade

Best Local Feature/Medium Length

Red WaxIt is one of those routine mornings, in 2014. It is Elie Oustakarian’s Goldsmith workshop, which is located in Bourj Hammoud; a Lebanese district, where most of the citizens are of Armenian origin. Elie Oustakarian, a skilled goldsmith jeweler, runs his own workshop in a suspicious manner. Tony, Garo, and Saro are his employees. Tony informs Elie that his former business partner, Ariss, is sent to prison. Sossy; a certified Syrian engineer from Damascus, escapes from war to find herself in Elie’s workshop. She tells Elie that she desperately needs a decent job to support herself and her son who is in Armenia. Elie agrees to give Sossy a chance. In addition, Garo informs Elie that their gold caster is being suspicious of them for reducing the gold karat. Elie asks for a new gold caster, but turns out that Bourj Hammoud has run out of skilled goldsmiths and jewelers because of the economic crisis in the country and the Arab world. Elie receives his first blow when he gets a message from Ariss, who is recently released from prison, through one of his former diamond setters. As time passes by, Sossy discovers that unusual things are happening in the workshop. Moreover, Elie gets another blow when he loses one of his important customers. Elies blames the mishaps to his employees. Unable to tolerate the unfairness, Sossy quits her job. Finally, Elie envisions a young man – a detective. He gets his final blow when the young man puts all the pieces together to find out that Elie is after the imprisonment of his former business partner, Ariss. In the end, Elie gets detained and his workshop is closed and sealed down with a red sealing wax.
Mardig Otjian
ElektraSet in the desolate wreckage of Beirut’s Piccadilly Theater after decades of war, the film recounts three days in the life of a writer and actors. As they seek to revive the ghostly theater with a production of Sophocles’ “Elektra,” the actors witness the vivid dreams of the writer who has to confront the contempt and lies of the two-faced actors and ultimately her own murder.Hisham Bizri
TnaashAfter the August 4th Beirut Port explosion a judicial reform brings about the first trial by jury in Lebanon where 12 citizens are about to decide the fate of an illegal Syrian refugee accused of brutally killing a social activist known for helping the damaged community after the blast, but will they be able to put aside their pre-existing issues to offer an impartial verdict?Boudy Sfeir
Tripoli06The film tells the story of a poor family who lives in Hayy El Tanak (the tin street), which is by far the poorest neighborhood in Tripoli. The family consists of a mother, a father and 4 children. The hero is a 12 year-old boy, he works in collecting aluminum drink cans in Tripoli streets in order to make some money to help his parents feed their children. The father keeps looking uselessly for a job while the economic situation gets worse. The film shows the family’s life along with some dramatic developments that hit the family when the father makes up his mind to migrate illegally by sea towards the Italian coasts along with his family. However the tragedy strikes when the migrants boat drowns and all the family members die except the boy who happens to be the film’s hero as he is rescued along with some other migrants by the Lebanese naval forces while the rescue operations continue looking for the dead migrants’ corpses.Wassim Oraby
Agonythe last moments of a metastatic son furiously wishing to end his life to free his loved ones from the pain of seeing him suffer.Karim Ibrahim Chreyteh
My DuniaBased on true events, this feature film illustrates Dunia’s life. A woman who is seeking to live her life and enjoy her femininity despite her different looks. She embarks on a relationship with Mazen, a handsome guy, whose sexual life and behavior are a tribute to freedom. An unforeseen incident changes both their lives.Marwan Miled Kassis

Best International Feature Fiction

GOOD GUY WITH A GUNWill Greenwood, a Chicago teenager forced to come to terms with his father’s violent death, visits a small town and finds solace in a group of local kids. When the town bully threatens Will’s new friend, how far will he go to protect him…especially with a gun?   It is a coming of age drama where young men and guns come crashing together….John Mossman
UNVEILEDA Muslim woman (Farash) wears a mandatory hijab in public while secretly unveiling her true self in acting class. When her religious husband (Saeed) finds out, she is forced to choose between her faith and passion. Her freedom of choice comes at a costly price as their daughter (Maryam) is torn apart between the two.Mostafa Keshvari
GUILLOTINETHE GUILLOTINE was built on the ideals of The Enlightenment, an attempt to instill grace to an otherwise brutal expression of justice. Organized within 5 factual tales, we examine the Guillotine’s role in history, from The French Revolution to the Fall of Saddam Hussein. At times humorous and ironic, poignant and thoughtful, these stories also reflect the morality of their times, tracing the philosophical attitudes about capital punishment, and the power structure that allows it to be. From a necessary evil to cold-blooded amusement, the blade falls with no less detachment.Ray Izad-Mehr
IMANAbdallah, an Arab Muslim civil engineer married to Irene, a Greek Cypriot woman, has to come to terms with his own responsibility in the collapse of a building in an Arab refugee settlement, which causes the death of 7 people. Having been radicalized, Iman and Leila, two young Europeans of Arab origin, are sent to Cyprus, with a secret mission. Michelle, a lonely 17-year old girl, child of a broken family, falls for Angelos, a handsome, domineering young man. Three stories, each involving characters whose actions may mean the difference between life and death, are defined by their search for redemption from their past, their guilt, their loneliness.CORINNA AVRAAMIDOU, KYRIACOS TOFARIDES
It’s Spring…Aram Amatuni is a retired special forces spy who has devoted his entire life to serving and protecting his country and to creating a lawful government.  His son, Gnel, is a successful businessman who to this day hasn’t forgiven his father for putting the needs of his country before the needs of his own family.  This conflict between father and son reaches its climax when Amatuni’s grandson, a talented violinist who has the opportunity to study in one of the best European music academies, inspired by his grandfather’s ideology goes against his own father’s wishes and enlists in the mandatory military service from which his father has freed him using all of his connections.   The unexpected war further severs the father-son relationship, leading Amatuni to take a road of no return.
Roman Musheghyan
MayaMaya, a shape shifting soul collector seeks to lead a group of unsuspecting non-believers into the afterlife. As space and time become a blurred mirror of reality and Maya’s mysterious abilities take on a dark and ominous tone, fear becomes the only key to salvation. For this group of unsuspecting victims, their deepest terror becomes their only way outPaul C Hemmes
The WhirlpoolBeauty Lyuba is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her relationship with her husband has come to a standstill – she is tired of enduring bullying and insults, but cannot find the strength to leave. Together with her friends, Lyuba goes on a retreat in the Russian outback, where shamans perform secret rituals to help the wards face their fears. But it so happened that Lyuba’s main fear is a meeting with herself. And from yourself, unlike the clergy, do not run away.Den Hook
BLACK MOONThe story of three siblings and the rebellion of a town to defend a river. An unexpected piece of news will make them make decisions that will change their destinies forever because what flows can be as appeasing as it is implacable.TONATIUH GARCÍA
MURUInspired by actual events in 2007 New Zealand, Tearepa Kahi’s gripping feature stars Cliff Curtis as a Māori police officer torn between his obligation to his community and his duty to his badge, when government armed forces raid a remote Indigenous community accused of harbouring a domestic terrorist cell.
This gripping action thriller is not a re-creation of recent history, but a response to historical oppression and state paranoia on the other side of the world, cast by the long shadow of 9/11. MURU is a Māori concept for ‘forgiveness’.
Tearepa Kahi
FRAMECharles is a renowned photographer who has worked with the best, made his mark and who now works in his own photography studio that doubles as his apartment. All seems well, but something is missing. A craving he can’t satiate nor comprehend, which will inevitably take a toll on his morals, work ethics and sanity, without sparing those who have the misfortune of crossing his path. JP Charlebois, MYRAI
WOMAN IN THE MAZEA young woman rents a house in America’s largest ghost town, Jerome, Arizona for a business trip, but soon discovers that the house is cursed and traps any woman who enters it. The house transforms into a maze, making it impossible for the woman to escape. Will she be able to break the curse and escape the maze before it’s too late? or will she become the next victim of the cursed house?
Mitesh Patel
The Way
Tata Feodoridi, Konstantin Frolov
That Cold Dead Look In Your EyesLeonard and Marie were very much in love once. Not anymore. She wants him out of her apartment by the time she gets back from her trip to Stockholm. But Leonard doesn’t have many options. He’s a mediocre line cook at a struggling restaurant. During her trip, Marie’s father Dennis comes to stay in her apartment. He was a popular photographer at one time but now finds himself treading water in an ocean of irrelevance. Can Dennis turn his career around? He’s not a fan of Leonard and Leonard’s not a fan of his. Things are about to get tense and weird. Meanwhile, there are mysterious black boxes popping up all over the city. No one knows where they came from or what they’re for, but their presence seems suspiciously sinister. Onur Tukel