Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) held its annual NDU International Film Festival - Beirut Shorts (NDUIFF), in collaboration with the Emile Chahine Foundation and presented by the Beirut Film Society (BFS), from November 29 through December 2, 2022, the 16th edition of the Festival hosting local and international names at the Main Campus’ Bechara el-Rai Theater.
The Film Fest commenced with opening speeches from Fr. Bechara Khoury, NDU President, Dr. Maria Bou Zeid, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (FH), and the NDUIFF’s organizers, NDU professors, Dr. Nicholas Khabbaz, Director of the Division of Audio Visual Arts (DAVA), and Sam Lahoud, Founder of the BFS. Emile Chahine made an appearance on the red carpet, the renowned actor, film critic, and professor heading the Jury, constituting other reputable industry professionals, including local talent, Cynthia Karam.
With a diverse selection of films submitted to both the National and International Competitions, the jury had some tough decisions to make; in true NDUIFF fashion, the shorts included productions from countries such as Sweden, Finland, Chile, the Czech Republic, the US, Egypt, Switzerland, China, and the Netherlands, to name just a few, several of which were collaborative efforts with Lebanese filmmakers. The variation in genre and format, from fictional narrative to animation to documentaries, showcased an impressive on-screen display, never subsiding in momentum and intrigue.
The end of the Festival saw to the award ceremony, a wrap on the show. This year’s winners:
- BEST ANIMATED FILM: Bestia / Hugo Covarrubias, Chile
- BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: Live Till I Die / Gustav Ågerstrand - Åsa Ekman - Oscar Hedin Hetteberg - Anders Teigen / Sweden, Switzerland
- BEST FICTION FILM: Neon Phantom / Leonardo Martinelli / Brazil
- SPECIAL JURY MENTION: Kingdom of Strangers / Randa Ali / Egypt, United States
- BEST SHORT FILM: The Disaster Cannot Be Contained / Diana Al Halabi / Lebanon, Netherlands
- BEST STUDENT FILM: So Cool / Marilyne Naaman / Lebanon
- SPECIAL MENTION FOR EDITING: Introduction to Perfect Heists / Hussein Fneish - Chelsea Choukeir / Lebanon
- EMILE CHAHINE AWARD FOR CINEMATIC EXCELLENCE: Introduction to Perfect Heists / Hussein Fneish - Chelsea Choukeir / Lebanon
- AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: Barefoot From Beirut / Andrew Dawaf / Lebanon, Germany
Congrats to the winners and to all those who participated. Your artistic visions continue to color our culture with creativity and a keen eye for beauty. See you next year.