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Newsletter November 2020

1. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW in the USA and in Bosnia Herzegovina
2. IN VITRO awarded and showing in Brazil and the USA
4. DVD of the month - CHRONIC
5. Lockdown - in mec film's own account

1. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW in the USA and in Bosnia Herzegovina

Sarah Francis’ reflections on the moon can be viewed in November online in the LABOCINE Magazine (in the USA only) and is invited to the Pravo Ljudski Film Festival in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegivina).

A group of people roams in a bare landscape around a set of swings as their only settlement, as if mapping, exploring, reorganizing the open territory they are in. As they move, changes in soundscapes make them virtually cross geographies. In the sky, a moon-like satellite roves above their heads, following them like an omen. The moon, once symbolizing cyclical times, myths and new beginnings, is now the satellite waiting to be conquered and colonized. Reality and fantasy intertwine in an existential quest. Is a new beginning really possible? As below, so above.
documentary, Sarah Francis, Lebanon 2020, 70 min, b&w and color, Arabic with English subtitles

2. IN VITRO awarded and showing in Brazil and the USA

Larissa Sansour and Soren Lind’s Sci-Fi won the Theme-Sensitive Award at the Imagine Science Festival New York (USA). The film can be viewed in the USA online through November at the LABOCINE Magazine. Also in Novembre in Vitro shows at the Cine Cipó - Insurgent Film Festival in Brazil.

In Vitro is set in the aftermath of an eco-disaster. An abandoned nuclear reactor under the biblical town of Bethlehem has been converted into an enormous orchard. Using heirloom seeds collected in the final days before the apocalypse, a group of scientists are preparing to replant the soil above.
In the hospital wing of the underground compound, the orchard’s ailing founder, 70-year-old Dunia is lying in her deathbed, as 30-year-old Alia comes to visit her. Alia is born underground as part of a comprehensive cloning program and has never seen the town she’s destined to rebuild.
short Sci-fi, Larissa Sansour & Soren Lind, Palestine/Denmark/UK 2019, 28 min, 1:2.66, Arabic with English subtitles


The multi-awarded film by Ghassan Halwani shows in November at the Documentary Dream Show in Tokyo (Japan) as wel as at the Urban Lense Film Festival in Bangalore (India).

Thirty-five years ago, I witnessed the kidnapping of a man I know.
He has disappeared since.
Ten years ago, I caught a glimpse of his face while walking in the street, but I wasn’t sure it was him.
Parts of his face were torn off, but his features had remained unchanged since the incident. Yet something was different, as if he wasn’t the same man.
essay-documentary, Lebanon 2018, color and black & white, 76 min, Arabic and English with English subtitles

4. DVD of the month - CHRONIC

Chronic ('A Shafir)
Beirut is a city where any person can experience loss at any moment . Walid lost his hope for love. May couldn't say goodbye to her lover. He died in the sea. Antoine was about to lose his own life.
Omar a photographer lost his male lover in an explosion. He casts the three and invites them to his studio, and together they express stories of sex, love and trauma in the city of Beirut. Visitor after visitor, chapter after chapter, Omar loses control and provokes danger.

"Chronic" was first of all born out of a need and an urge to do it, to write and to film it.
The film results from am accumulation of experiences and stories that I lived and heard in my life and as a citizen of Beirut. Beirut, as I see it and live it, is a city that makes you live with a constant feel, a chronic feel, of losing something or someone. I have always felt that I am on the edge of a big change, on the edge of falling. In the past few years, I went through different stories of loss: I lost a lover, I lost a grandfather and I lost, at some point, hope in Beirut, in Lebanon and in the big childhood dreams. Those experiences marked me hard, they changed the way I look at things and affected my daily and creation behaviors.
Omar and I resemble a lot. The process that Omar adapts in the film resembles my own process as a director and writer of Chronic. Omar followed what he felt, he needed to transmit sensations, to ask questions and to capture and archive stories, emotions and faces. This is exactly what pushed me to do "Chronic" so I can live this same journey through images and sounds.
From the idea till the last steps of the post-production, I tried to conceive the film in total freedom: I wanted to explore a free form and narrative construction. I rarely asked myself big questions of where the film is going. Scene after scene, dialogue line after dialogue line and shot after shot, the film ‘somehow’ constructed itself. From a deep feeling inside of me and with a big trust and connection with the crew and actors, we all went together on this “adventure” as I like to call it.
(Mohamed Sabbah)

feature fiction, Mohamed Sabbah, Lebanon/Germany 2017, 89min, Arabic
Subtitles: English
synopsis, credits, director's bio
PAL, region free

Lebanon, Diaspora, Beirut, Queer Cinema

Beirut Cinema Days (Lebanon)
International Queer & Migrant Film Festival Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival (Tunisia)
QFest Split (Croatia)
Well Played - Arab Film Days Berlin (Germany)
Kooz Arab Queer Film Festival Haifa (Palestine)
Pink Life QueerFest in Ankara (Turkey)

Price: 20,00 EUR (homevideo rights)

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5. Lockdown - in mec film's own account

During times of simultanous international lockdown online screenings are often programmed with very short notice. On the mec film website you find updates all screenings.