It was such an exciting experience to attend this year’s edition of the NDU international film festival, sponsored by Bank of Beirut. The festival has been going strong since it was first introduced back in 2006, showcasing some of the finest young filmmakers in the country. I’ve been attending the festival for several years now, but this time was certainly different as I had the chance to interview some of these young talents and discuss their movies.
The opening ceremony featured a heart-warming tribute to one of Lebanon’s greatest filmmakers: Nadine Labaki. What followed was a week filled with short movies, both local and international. At the end of each day, the public voted for their favorite Lebanese movie, and the winners (5 in total) all won cash rewards, courtesy of Bank of Beirut. In addition to that, filmmaker Elie Salameh won a trip to Cannes and a trophy for his impressive work in “Fly My Love”.
Below you can watch the interviews that were held at the closing ceremony and in which I got to interview the winners of the public vote.
A powerful documentary that follows the story of Fatat and her son, who escaped the war in Syria and settled in Lebanon. By tackling this sensitive subject, filmmaker Ibrahim Harb has managed to create one of the most memorable experiences of the festival. Harb’s future plans are already in the works as he plans to make a sequel to his documentary.
Anthony Khawand’s love for documentaries is reflected in his hilarious and heartfelt movie about a barber who admired Elvis Presley so much, he named his barbershop “Salon Elvis”. You’ll sing, you’ll laugh and you may even cry just a little bit. “Salon Elvis” was definitely one of the highlights of the festival.
Suspenseful and thrilling, “Turning Point” by Gerard Daccache is living proof that short movies can be blueprints for future feature films. With the award he received and the exposure he deserves, Daccache may even plan to direct his own thriller in the future. I, for one, cannot wait.
Movies about Lebanese rock bands is something that we’ve never seen before, which makes “T-Sharp” by Rami Lattouf all the more refreshing.
Filmmaker Elie Salemeh won a trip to Cannes, courtesy of Bank of Beirut, for his impressive work in “Fly My Love”, which focused on the relationship between a mother and his son. Talking in front of the audience at the closing ceremony, Salameh vowed to use this award as an inspiration for his future projects.