A film written, filmed, produced and directed by Sarney Bejjani and Sacha Bitar, Audio Visual Arts and Film students at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) has made the cut to the 41st VGIK International Student Film Festival, one of the most iconic student film showcases.
“Junkyard” is inspired from real-life aspirations, and tells the story of two 27-year-old friends residing in Lebanon, Julia and Rayane. Due to the crisis in Lebanon, Julia decides to venture on in search of a more promising future. Together, they take one last road trip to sell Julia’s car. The rest will have to remain a mystery!
This film was initially set out to be Sarney and Sacha’s senior project, where they both poured their hearts into it to portray the tragic situation in Lebanon and the damage, both physical and psychological that was caused by the unforgettable 2020 Beirut explosion. In the movie, they described the dread, confusion, and surreal moments, which have become every Lebanese’s new reality.
“When it gets too loud, we raise our voice”, Sacha explained.
Among the many challenges of shooting the film was the country going on full lockdown due to covid-19. However, Bejjani and Bitar admit the challenges of a pandemic production were ultimately a bonus because the effort made it worth their while.
Sarney said, “Don’t wait for a hopeful sign to succeed, take the risk and see where your film can take you”.
With an academic direction from the Division of Audio Visual Arts (DAVA), Sarney and Sacha received the finest academic support in each phase of the film's production, from brainstorming to script execution and film promotion.