The Department of Audio Visual Arts (DAVA) at Notre Dame University–Louaize (NDU) has again proudly produced another successful student: Manon Nammour.
Nammour, writer-director and NDU alumna, has been selected as one of the “Arab Stars of Tomorrow,” a Dubai Film Festival (DIFF) and Screen International (U.K.) magazine initiative that aims to highlight the future standouts in the field of Arab cinema. The announcement came during a press conference held during the DIFF.
Her second short film, On The Ropes, made a strong imprint during last year’s festival. The film is a reflection of a Lebanese society through the lens of a particular family whose members’ lives are suspended in limbo – akin to everything else in Lebanon.
“The film is a true reflection of the endless Lebanese situation, where nothing seems to move ahead,” Nammour said. “We’re always stuck in the middle; we never get a clear answer on what the future holds for us. I captured this outlook through a family that is stuck and unable to move forward.”
She added, “They liked the script. It did not take much to convince them. They understood my vision from the outset. I explained that the family would not be attractive as characters, but they did not mind. As a young director working with experienced actors, I had to make sure we stuck to my vision. Sometimes they would suggest things to try and help me, but I had to lay down the law and stay true to what I was trying to achieve.”
The choice comes as no surprise, as Nammour has been on a successful roll for the past few years. She first debuted while working on art direction and production design for a number of shorts, including, most recently Bahij Hojeij’s Good Morning.
Today, she is gearing up to shoot her third short, Barakat.
Beside filmmaking, Nammour has been heavily involved in the NDU International Film Festival (NDUIFF) of which she said, “I have been a part of the festival since my early days, first supporting the needs of the jury and then more recently serving as the chief festival coordinator … I love the world of short films. Through the NDUIFF I have met many established filmmakers who still make shorts alongside features, because there is more creative freedom when working on shorts than when working on features.”
Currently, she is writing her debut feature screenplay. “I am in the early stages, so I cannot say much about it just yet,” she said.