Lebanese Film Is Competing In An International Film Festival

@LucienBourjeily | Daily News Egypt

Shakwa, a Lebanese film by the director Farah Shaer was screened during the opening night of the El Gouna Film Festival on October 23rd and will be competing in the official contest against other international Arab films.

In a time where the whole world is dealing with a national pandemic, the film industry has been dramatically affected. COVID-19 shook the global film industry, halting film production and closing cinemas.

“Great to be back on the film festival circuit during this tough year in the cinema industry,” Lucien Bourjeily, producer of the film Shakwa wrote under a picture with him and Shaer during the opening of the El Gouna Film Festival.

In the film Shakwa, Lebanese filmmaker Farah Shaer tells the story of Hoda who secretly leaves her house to report a crime her husband has committed.

Shakwa explores the relationship between women and the male gaze by using a unique element of camera movements, which in the film is one continuous take.

“A story that I was very eager to shoot in Lebanon, inspired by many real stories that women in my country are facing on daily bases, hoping one day the rulers will listen and change the laws in order for us to feel safe when living in this country,” Shaer wrote on Instagram.

Considering the film’s raw themes of rape, abuse, and governmental corruption, Farah had to seek funding outside Lebanon.

“This project is fully funded by the Royal film commission in Jordan. It is a segment in an anthology film about Arab women. I was lucky to have the full fund to be able to make this film,” the filmmaker told Euronews.

“As a Lebanese filmmaker, due to the fact that we live in a corrupted robed country, we don’t have funds for films from the government.”

El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) showcases a wide variety of Arab and international films. The festival’s aim is to achieve better communication between cultures through the art of filmmaking. It connects filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts in the spirit of cooperation and cultural exchange.

This year’s short film competition incorporates 18 films, with the top winner claiming the El Gouna Golden Star for Short Film Award receiving a financial award of $15,000.

The 4th edition of GFF started on October 23rd and will continue till October 31st in the resort town of El Gouna located on the Red Sea, Egypt.