A 3-day neighborhood film festival “Cinema Gemayze” hopes to raise funds to restore a heritage home in the historical Gemmayze, a neighborhood facing the Beirut Port that was severely damaged during the Beirut blast.
After the tragic blast of August 4th, Lebanese people, both young and old, took it upon themselves to rebuild their homes and neighborhoods with little to no help from their government.
During renovations, volunteers from a company working to restore an old building in Gemmayze free-of-charge were inspired by the sight of a white tarpaulin placed on the building’s facade.
For a brief moment away from the pain and emotions, they imagined a scenario where the screen was used for projecting films… instead of what it was actually being used for.
That’s where they had the idea to launch a neighborhood film festival in the yard of that building to raise funds that will allow them to fix what’s left of a nearly demolished heritage home.
Starting December 11th, the Cinema Gemayze festival, also named “راجعين عالبيت” (“we’re coming home”) will screen Lebanese films, by both professional directors and students, to celebrate Lebanese creativity and ingenuity.
Now, a couple of dozen young students and graduates are mobilizing to organize the event from its promotion on social media to the very details of lights and sound.
In addition to finding a clever and engaging way to support the company working pro bono to restore the home, the festival’s director Rouba Noureddine told The961, “We’re here to help revive Gemmayze, watch some movies, and help this house get back on its feet.”