The Heinrich Böll Stiftung Beirut office (HBS) is holding its 6th annual Almost There Film Festival on Human Rights and Migration from 14th of September until 22nd of October 2022. This year’s edition, and for the second year, is set to take place in various locations all over Lebanon. The role we play is our topic of 2022. As usual, the screenings will be open to the general public and free of charge.

For the second year, the festival will be held in five separate cities around the country: Beirut, Hammana, the Bekaa Valley, Saida, and Tripoli. Our goal is to introduce these films to new audiences so that they can exchange and debate various viewpoints. Making it the start point of a wider discussion all around the country; one we want to promote both at the festival, and beyond.

We are waiting for you. Join us to watch, discuss and participate!

Black Mouse

Ahmad Naboulsi | Lebanon | 2021

Genre: Short Documentary
Original Version: Arabic
Duration: 20 min
Script: Tarek Fattal
Cinematography: Firas Mikati
Editing: Moussa Jassem
Sound Editing & Design: Ziad Moukarzel
Producer: Ahmad Naboulsi
Co-Producer: Bentley Brown.

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Between 1962-1975, Oscar Niemeyer was commissioned to design the Tripoli International Fair. As the structure was on the verge of completion, the events of the 1970s transfigured the structure into something gargantuan, incomplete, and abandoned - a white elephant. A biker’s trip through Tripoli becomes the backdrop through which we explore these events from the standpoint of the city’s residents. Oscar Niemeyer somewhere along this stream of consciousness, he reflects on the relationship between structures and the society that surrounds them, eventually commenting on what has become of the thing he built.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Ahmad Naboulsi is an independent filmmaker whose passion is exploring the complexity of the world’s different social dynamics and how culture plays a role in shaping our perception.

CONTACT
info@oobconcept.net     |     brown.bentley@gmail.com

SCHEDULE

14th of September - 8:15 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)
14th of October - 8:00 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)
21st of October - 9:15 PM @ Bayt Sada, Tripoli
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)

Erased, _Ascent of the Invisible

Ghassan Halwani | Lebanon | 2018

Genre: Film Essay
Original Version: Arabic
Duration: 76 min
Script: Ghassan Halwani
Cinematography: Ghassan Halwani
Editing: Vartan Avakian
Sound Editing & Design: Toni Geitani-Rami Sabbagh
Producer: Ghassan Halwani.

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Thirty-five years ago, I witnessed the kidnapping of a man I knew. 
He has disappeared since. Ten years ago, I caught a glimpse of his face while walking in the street, but I was not sure it was him. Parts of his face were torn off, but his features had remained unchanged since the incident, yet something was different as if he was not the same man.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: 71 Locarno Festival, Special Mention First Feature, 2018 (Switzerland) / Carthage Film Festival, Bronze Tanit for the Best Long Documentary, 2018 (Tunisia) / 40th Cairo International Film Festival, Fathy Farag Prize for Best Artistic Contribution, 2018 (Egypt)

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Ghassan Halwani lives and works in Beirut. After the short-animated film Jibraltar (2005), he was mainly involved in collaborations with Lebanese and Arab filmmakers, playwrights, contemporary artists, publishers, and musicians.  Erased, _Ascent of the Invisible (2018) is his first feature film.
He is currently contributing to the creation of a national archive dedicated to enforced disappearances in Lebanon. 

CONTACT
ghassanhalwani@yahoo.fr     |     http://mecfilm.com/index.php?id=3565

SCHEDULE

8th of October - 7:00 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)
21st of October - 5:00 PM @ Bayt Sada, Tripoli
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)
22nd of October - 2:30 PM @ Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Tripoli
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)

Grandad Was A Romantic

Maryam Mohajer | United Kingdom | 2019

Genre: Animation
Original Version: English
Duration:  5 min
Script:  Maryam Mohajer
Animator: Maryam Mohajer
Editing: Maryam Mohajer
Sound Editing & Design: Barnaby Templer
Producer:  Maryam Mohajer.

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A child documents the love life of her grandad – a man who has a reputation for being a passionate romantic. She tells the story of how her grandad came across a picture of her granny for the first time, and decided at that moment that she must be the love of his life. He marries her, and they start a family together, but grandad’s boundless romance never dies. It will take him in unforeseen directions.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: BAFTA Film Award, Best British Short Animation, 2020 (UK) / Rhode Island International Film Festival, First Prize Best Animation Short, 2020 (USA).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Maryam Mohajer is an award-winning animator-director who was born in Tehran, Iran just before living through a revolution, war, and immigration. With a background in painting, she discovered animation after moving to the UK where she got her MA in animation. Her short films have been screened at many festivals across the UK. She lives and works as an animator, writer, and director in London.

CONTACT
mmplondon@yahoo.co.uk 

SCHEDULE

17th of September - 8:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
8th of October - 4:55 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa

Horn

Ghasideh Golmakani | Iran | 2018

Genre: Short Fiction
Original Version: Persian
Duration:  8 min
Script:  Ghasideh Golmakani
Cinematography: Morteza Sobhani
Editing: Emad Khodabakhsh
Sound Editing & Design: Youssef Eskandari
Sound Recordist: Mohammad Kianersi
Producer: Ghasideh Golmakani.

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An Iranian woman tries to find a place to park her car in Tehran to be on time for a business appointment. Men in the streets disturb her concentration while she is driving, but she finds a solution to confront them.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: 12th edition of the Festival Internacional De Cine Invisible Film, Special Mention, 2022 (Spain) / 5th Tripoli Film Festival, Special Mention, 2018 (Lebanon).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Ghasideh Golmakani was born in Tehran (Iran), into a family of journalists and artists. She studied in Paris in History of Art and Cultural Studies at the Sorbonne. She directs films in which she tries to show the contrasts and contradictions of Iranian society.

SCHEDULE

17th of September - 8:15 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
8th of October - 4:45 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa

How my Grandmother Became a Chair

Nicolas Fattouh | Lebanon, Qatar, Germany | 2020

Genre: Short Animation – Family Drama
Original Version: Silent
Duration: 10 min
Script:  Nicolas Fattouh
Animation Director: Till Machmer
Editing: Frédéric Schuld
Sound Editing & Design: Simon Bastian
Producer:  Fabian Driehorst, Nermine Haddad.

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Grandmother loses her five senses one after the other until she transforms into a wooden chair. 

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: Festival de Cine de Oriente, Best Animation, 2021 (Colombia) / Carthage Film Festival, Silver Tanit Award, 2021 (Tunisia) / IFVA Awards – Hong Kong Arts Center, Animation Silver Award, 2021 (China).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Nicolas Fattouh (born 1994 in Monsef, Lebanon) is a visual artist and director. He participated in many local and international exhibitions. He graduated from Academie Libanaise Des Beaux Arts in animation. In 2018, his debut “How grandmother became a chair“ received production grant The Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. In 2019, he opened the Fattouh Art Gallery in Monsef.

CONTACT
fabian@fabianfred.com | https://fabianfred.com

SCHEDULE

15th of September - 6:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
24th of September - 5:30 PM @ Hammana Artist House, Hammana
8th of October - 4:00 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa
15th of October - 6:30 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida
22nd of October - 10:00 AM @ Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Tripoli

(All screenings are followed by a 30-minute discussion)

Scheherazade’s Diary

Zeina Daccache | Lebanon | 2013

Genre: Feature Documentary
Original Version: Arabic
Duration:  80 min
Script:  Zeina Daccache
Cinematography: Jocelyne Abi Gebrayel
Editing: Michele Tyan
Sound Editing & Design: Raëd Younan
Producer: Catharsis-Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy.

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Filmed during and after the ten-month drama therapy/theatre project set up in 2012 in Baabda prison by drama therapist and director Zeina Daccache. This gripping and tragicomic documentary features the women inmates who, through their unprecedented theatre initiative entitled “Scheherazade in Baabda”, challenge societies that oppress women. In the course of their artistic journey, these “murderers of husbands, adulterers and drug felons” reveal stories of domestic violence, traumatic childhood, a failed marriage, forlorn romance, and deprivation of motherhood that become the narratives of this self-revelatory film, with flamenco dance to boot.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: URTI Grand Prix-Arman, Trophy for Author’s Documentary, 2014 (France) / 11th edition of the Lebanese Film Festival, Best Documentary Prize, 2014 (Lebanon) / Malmo Arab Film Festival, Al Araby TV Network Award, 2014 (Sweden).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Zeina Daccache, is a Lebanese actress, director and drama therapist (studied at USJ Beirut, Ecole Philippe Gaulier- London and KSU in USA). She works as an actor, is a drama therapist working in different social sectors, and has directed the wining award film 12 Angry Lebanese in addition to several others. Zeina is the founder and director of Catharsis-Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy.

CONTACT
zeina@catharsislcdt.org | https://linktr.ee/zeinadaccachelebanon

SCHEDULE

17th of September - 8:45 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
8th of October - 5:00 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa

(Both screenings will be followed by a 30-minute discussion)

Shadow Game

Eefje Blankevoort & Eefje Blankevoort | The Netherlands | 2017

Genre: Documentary
Original Version:  Arabic, English, Kurdish (subtitled in English)
Duration:  90 min
Script: Eefje Blankevoort & Els van Driel
Cinematography: Ton Peters nsc
Editing: Patrick Schonewille
Sound Editing & Design: Mark Glynne, Tom Bijnen
Producer: Iris Lammertsma.

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Every day teenagers who have fled their war-torn countries try to cross Europe’s borders in search of protection and a better life. They travel through a shadow world we never see; a world of minefields, bears, fast-flowing rivers, smugglers, and border guards. Risking their lives, the teenagers undertake a treacherous journey that often takes months or even years. Along the way, they grow up fast. Shadow Game (89 min, was shot over three years, partly by the main characters themselves on their phones) is a journey through the dark side of Europe with teenage refugees as our guides.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: UNHCR Refugee FilmFestival WILL2LIVE 2021 (Japan) / Festival Cinéma & Droits Humains, 2021 (France) / Human Rights Film Festival Zurich, 2021 (Switzerland) / 
WatchDocs Human Human Rights Film Festival Berlin, 2021 (Germany).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Els van Driel (Alkmaar, 1976) is an independent cross media journalist and director. She studied art history and social-cultural theology at the University of Amsterdam. She initiated the award winning youth documentary series ‘Just Kids’ where she worked at IKON television.
Eefje Blankevoort (1978) studied History at the University of Amsterdam. She regularly spent time in Iran where she studied. She has developed into an all-rounder in journalism. Eefje is the co-founder and director of documentary production agency Prospektor.

CONTACT
olivier@javafilms.tv | www.javafilms.tv

SCHEDULE

16th of September - 7:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)
24th of September - 6:30 PM @ Hammana Artist House, Hammana
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)
7th of October - 6:30 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa
(Sollowed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)
15th of October - 7:30 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)
22nd of October - 11:00 AM @ Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Tripoli
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion and a reception)

Song Sparrow

Farzaneh Omidvarnia | Denmark, Iran | 2019

Genre: Short Animation Drama
Original Version: Silent Film
Duration: 12 min
Script: Farzaneh Omidvarnia, Mehdi Rostampour
Cinematography: Alireza Barazandeh
Editing: Ehsan Vaseghi
Sound Editing & Design: Ramin Abousedgh
Producer: Farzaneh Omidvarnia.

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Based on real events, in Austria 2015, and in Ireland 2019: A Group of refugees try to reach a safe country in search of a better life. They pay a smuggler to convey them across the borders in a fridge truck. However, the freezing temperature of the truck turns their hopes for a better future into a fierce struggle for survival.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: 20th Lebu International Film Festival, Best animated short film 2020 (Chile) / 12th Wimbledon International Short Film Festival, Winner, Audience Award, 2020 (UK) / 3rd Panama Animation Festival (PAF), 2020 (Panama).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Farzaneh Omidvarnia was born in Iran, Graduated from University of Tehran, faculty of Fine Arts. Following her graduation, she began to focus on creation of fabric sculptures and writing short stories. Her artworks soon appeared in several art exhibitions in Europe and Iran, and she published her first collection of short stories in 2016.  In 2017, she directed and produced her first animated film “To Be“ (6 minutes, drama). The movie was acclaimed internationally and won prizes in different festivals. Her second film “Song Sparrow“ has been qualified for Oscars 2021. She is now based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

SCHEDULE

16th of September - 7:15 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
7th of October - 6:15 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa
15th of October - 7:15 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida
22nd of October - 10:45 AM @ Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Tripoli

Struck

Sarah Kaskas | Lebanon | 2021

Genre: Documentary
Original Version:  Arabic
Duration:  6 min
Script:  Sarah Kaskas
Cinematography:  Sarah Kaskas
Editing: Sarah Kaskas, Teddy Tawil
Sound Editing & Design: Victor Bresse
Producer:  Beirut DC International Media Support Danish-Arab Partnership Programme In partnership with Legal Agenda
Executive Producer: Karaaj Films / as part of the “One Year Later” Project by Beirut DC.

Read more

One year after the Beirut Port explosion, director Sarah Kaskas narrates her trauma through a collage of her fragmented memory. Together with the voices of survivors, they attempt to process their collective grief.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: Malmö Arab Film Festival, 2022 (Sweden) / ALFILM Arab Film Festival Berlin, 2022 (Germany) / Liberation DocFest Bangladesh, 2022 (Bangladesh) 

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Sarah Kaskas is a Lebanese filmmaker, music composer, and film educator. In 2016, Sarah co-founded Karaaj Films, an independent production company that focuses on documentaries and fiction films dealing with identity and marginalized communities in Lebanon. Under Karaaj Films, Sarah has written and directed the short and feature documentaries that have received several awards. Sarah now resides in Beirut, developing her first feature fiction.

ONTACT
liliane.rahal@gmail.com     |     Karaaj.films@gmail.com 
http://sarahkaskas.com/about/http-sarahkaskas-com-documentary-film/struck-2021

SCHEDULE

14th of September - 7:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)

Tangle

Malihe Gholamzadeh | Iran | 2019

Genre: Short Animation
Original Version: Silent Film
Duration:  8 min
Script: Maliheh Gholamzadeh
Editing: Naser Fakour
Sound Editing & Design: Ali Ghasemi
Producer:  Seyed Javad Hossieninezhad.

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Tangle is about the people who lost their homes in the war and who were forced to leave all their memories and loved ones behind. It is also about life and striving to survive on the geographical borders of hope and depression while reaching for all the things that can connect us to this water and land despite constantly getting ignored and interrupted.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: Anthem Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize, 2019 (USA) / Tehran International Short Film Festival, Best Animation & Winner of Diploma of Merit Art and Experience, 2019 (Iran) / 11th Wimbledon International Short Film Festival, Audience Award, 2019 (London) / 16th Sedicicorto International Film Festival, Special Mention, 2019 (Italy).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Maliheh Gholamzadeh was born in 1983 in Iran. She has a Master of Directing Animation, Sooreh University, Tehran and Bachelor of Graphic Arts, University of Applied Science and Technology (Neyriz branch). She has directed two short animations, winning awards at national and international festivals.

SCHEDULE

15th of September - 7:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
24th of September - 6:15 PM @ Hammana Artist House, Hammana
22nd of October - 2:15 PM @ Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Tripoli

The Feeling of Being Watched

Assia Boundaoui | United States | 2019

Genre: Documentary
Original Version: English
Duration:  87 min
Script: Assia Boundaoui
Cinematography: Shuling Yong
Editing: Rabab Haj Yahya
Sound Editing & Design: Filipe Messeder
Re-recording mixer: Luciano Vignola
Producer: Jessica Devaney, Assia Boundaoui, Alex Bushe
Co-Producers: Amel Monsur, Daniah El Harezi, Din Clarke, Anya Rous.

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In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counter-terrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” With unprecedented access, the film weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: Blackstar Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Documentary, 2018 (USA) / Milwaukee Film Festival, Documentary Jury Award - Special Mention, 2018 (USA) / Camden International Film Festival, Audience Award, 2018 (USA).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Assia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, VICE, and CNN and was the recipient of a first place, Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, for her reporting in Yemen. She directed a short film on hijabi hair salons for the HBO LENNY docu-series. The Feeling of Being Watched is her feature directorial debut.

CONTACT
jessica@multitudefilms.com

SCHEDULE

15th of September - 8:00 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
24th of September - 9:00 PM @ Hammana Artist House, Hammana

(Both Screening will be Followed by a 30-minute discussion)

The Second Evasion

Diana Moukalled | Lebanon | 2021

Genre: Documentary
Original Version:  Arabic
Duration: 35 min
Script:  Diana Moukalled
Cinematography: Farah Chaya
Editing: Farah Chaya
Sound Editing & Design: Farah Chaya
Producer: Daraj Media.

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A Year has passed since the Crime at the Beirut Port: Will the Criminals Evade Again?
The results of the investigation were not announced, and not a single official was prosecuted. The families of the victims are stuck in the memory of the fateful day. The Lebanese war leaders had previously escaped from their crimes through a general amnesty law they passed in 1990, will the perpetrators of the port explosion escape in the same way?

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
A Lebanese journalist and documentary producer/director with almost 30 years of experience in media. She has covered hot zones in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and many more. Diana has shot more than 50 hours of documentaries, tackling socio-political issues in the MENA/Arab region and globally. She covers topics such as gender issues, minorities, and human-interest stories.

CONTACT
diana.moukalled@daraj.com     |     www.daraj.com

SCHEDULE

14th of September - 6:30 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
7th of October - 5:00 PM @ Bayt Lamme, Beqaa
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)
14th of October - 6:30 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)
21st of October - 8:00 PM @ Bayt Sada, Tripoli
(Followed by a 30-minute discussion)

The Unknown Sweet Potato Seller

Ahmed Roshdy | Egypt | 2017

Genre: Documentary Fantasy - Drama
Original Version:  Arabic
Duration:  15 min
Script:  Hamdy Hassan, Ahmed Roshdy
Cinematography: Mohamed Mosaad
Editing: Islam Lamey
Sound Editing & Design: Sama Abdelhady, Adham Zidan, Sammy sayed
Re-recording Mixer: Adham Zidan /Producer: Ahmed Roshdy.

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An Egyptian artist named Khaled decides to investigate a murder case of a child who is selling sweet potato in Tahrir Square. He receives visions and nightmares about the child during his journey of investigation until he reaches a point where it is a dead end, and the case takes him to an outcome that is out of his exceptions.

AWARDS
Among many others, some prestigious: Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Outstanding Achievement Award, 2018 (India) / Miami Short Film Festival, Best Emerging Media Story Storytelling, 2017 (USA) / Zawya Film Festival, Best Animation Film, 2018 (Egypt).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in the animation department. His first short film titled “Night“ was screened in 9 festivals & won two awards & three honor certificates. His latest animation short film “Tarot“, won 10 awards & was chosen to be part of the final international contest in Hollywood, California. His new film “The Unknown Sweet Potato Seller“ was screened at Dubai film festival as a world premiere in December 2016.

CONTACT
roshdyartworld@gmail.com

SCHEDULE

16th of September - 7:00 PM @ Dar El Nimer, Beirut
14th of October - 7:30 PM @ Ishbiliya Theater, Saida