Lebanon has no shortage of talents across each and every discipline, and this talent is truly exemplified when coupled with opportunities like the ones an international platform provides.
The diaspora is full of successful Lebanese, and stories of how they continue to change the world and shape it. If our ongoing revolution is any indication, there is absolutely no shortage of creativity and brilliance in expression among Lebanese – and especially when they are passionate about a cause.
Amber Fares, Lebanese-Canadian filmmaker, documentarian, director and cinematographer is a clear example of when humanitarianism is at the heart of one’s craft.
Born in Canada to Lebanese parents, Fares began her education at the University of Western Ontario from 1990 to 1993, graduating with a B.A. in Sociology. From 1997 to 2000, she attended the University of Calgary, receiving an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business.
After the September 11 attacks, she left her career in marketing in order to go back to her roots and “deepen her understanding of life in the Middle East.”
In 2007, she enrolled in the film program at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School (GIFTS) located on Galiano Island, which assisted her in laying the foundation for co-founding SocDoc Studios with Avi Goldstein just two years later.
Fares has always been passionate about humanitarianism. She has also worked for the United Nations, Defence for Children International, and the British Consulate, providing her videography expertise for projects such as Peace Starts Here.
Peace Starts Here is a video series for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). It was filmed in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
One of her more recent and most successful projects is titled “Speed Sisters.” It’s Fares’ first feature-length documentary. It follows the first all-women race car driving team in the Arab World, made up of Noor Daoud, Marah Zahalqa, Maysoon Jayyusi, Mona Ennab, and Betty Saadeh.
The film, based in the West Bank where motor car racing has gained popularity despite the Israeli occupation, has garnered both popular and critical success globally. Some of the “Speed Sisters” and other subjects speak in English, while sections with Arabic speakers have English subtitles.
After Speed Sisters, Fares went on to co-produce. She was the cinematographer on the documentary The Judge, which “provides rare insight into Shari’a law, an often-misunderstood legal framework for Muslims, told through the eyes of the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts.”
The documentary went on to win a 2019 Peabody Award, an international and prestigious award that honors the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media.
Join us in congratulating yet another brilliant and powerful Lebanese woman on her new accolade!