Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Senior Lecturer and Founding Director of NDU International Film Festival (NDUIFF) Sam Lahoud was invited to participate as a speaker on September 23, 2017, in the “Lebanese Diaspora Energy (LDE),” which was launched in Las Vegas, USA, in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants. This event aimed at showcasing the success stories of select Lebanese residents and expatriates, and motivating them to stay connected to their homeland while celebrating their heritage and promoting a positive image of Lebanon around the world.
Lahoud contributed to a panel focused on exploring avenues for cooperation and partnership between Lebanese diaspora talents in North America and Lebanon. The panelists also tackled initiatives to support the movie industry in Lebanon. Also discussed were incentives provided through the Central Bank of Lebanon for investments in the sector. In addition, the panel highlighted the role of the Lebanese and pan-Arab media in North America and the name and image branding of Lebanon through different media platforms.
The LDE adopted in its final recommendations the suggestions of Sam Lahoud on establishing the Lebanese Film Committee and an entity to promote the Lebanese culture abroad.
The purpose of the LDE is to present to the Lebanese diaspora a distinct occasion to return to their roots, become acquainted, interact, meet, get news, and develop a valuable cultural and social connection with their homeland. This event also enables influential Lebanese residents to meet thousands of leading key players and decision-makers from the diaspora and to share with them investment opportunities in Lebanon and abroad as well as to discuss proposals on how best to manage Lebanon’s assets.
Lahoud, who is also founding chair of Beirut Film Society, founding director of Beirut International Women Film Festival, and member of the National Film Commission at the Lebanese Ministry of Culture, also launched in his capacity as founder and program director the Lebanese Film Festival in Canada, which took place in Montreal and Ottawa between September 10 and 20, 2017. He said that in the coming years the festival would reach every Lebanese in each Canadian city.