Showbiz-wise, Heaven Without People is one of the hottest topics in Lebanon right now.
Since its release in 2017, before its smashing arrival on Netflix last week, the acclaimed Lebanese movie was nominated for and won several international awards.
Heaven Without People, written and directed by Lucien Bourjeily and produced by Farah Shaer, who also plays a character in the film, has scored 21 nominations for awards:
Dubai International Film Festival (2017): Muhr Arab Award for Best Director – Feature, and Muhr Award for Best Actress (Farah Shaer), Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Fiction Feature.
Cairo International Film Festival (2018): Salah Abu Seif Award – Special Jury Award, and Best Arabic Film.
Cinequest San Jose Film Festival (2018): Global Landscape Award.
Hamburg Film Festival (2018): Critics Award.
Los Angeles Film Festival (2018): World Fiction Award for Best Film.
Miami Film Festival (2018): Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award for Best Screenplay.
Middle East Now (2019): Middle East Now Award.
St. Louis International Film Festival (2018): Joe Pollack and Joe Williams Award for Best Narrative Feature.
The Lebanese Movie Awards (2019): Best Lebanese Motion Picture, Best Lebanese Director – Motion Picture, Best Ensemble Cast – Lebanese Motion Picture, Best Writing – Lebanese Motion Picture, Best Cinematography – Lebanese Motion Picture, Best Editing – Lebanese Motion Picture, and Best Sound Design – Lebanese Motion Picture.
Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema (2018): Golden Palm for Best Film.
The team behind Heaven Without People has taken home the following 7 awards from 5 international film festivals, since 2017:
Dubai International Film Festival (2017): Muhr Special Jury Prize (two awards).
Cinequest San Jose Film Festival (2018): Global Vision Award.
Festival des Cinémas Arabes à Paris (2018): Best Ensemble Cast and Special Jury Prize for Best Film.
Festival du Film Arabe de Fameck (2018): Grand Prix for Best Film.
Washington DC Filmfest (2018): Arabian Sights Jury Award for Best Film.
Unsurprisingly, witnessing the international acclaim of Heaven Without People has been a very uplifting experience for its crew.
“[I’m] so glad that this passionate and diligent work done by all those who worked on the movie has been appreciated and loved by so many film festivals we’ve gotten in,” Producer and Actress Farah Shaer told The961.
After expressing gratitude for the awards that the film has won, Shaer said that, after the recent Netflix release, “with all this positive audience feedback,” the team is now fueled “to keep going and push to break more boundaries artistically.”
On that note, Lucien Bourjeily, the writer and director of Heaven Without People, explains to The961 that the amount of interaction and feedback that the film is getting after its worldwide launch on Netflix has been positively overwhelming for him.
“I’m genuinely enjoying discussing it with the audience online and offline,” he says. “Finally. I would just like to say Kudos to each and every one of the talented cast and crew of the film. They were so earnestly involved and dedicated to this passion project from the first day.”