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Films by Oscar-nominated Lebanese directors Nadine Labaki and Ziad Doueiri are to be screened in the Middle East to raise money for the Red Cross following the devastating explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4.
The Beirut Relief Screenings is an initiative by Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment and its partner the Kuwait National Cinema Company together with the UAE arthouse cinema Cinema Akil, where the screenings will take place.
West Beirut, Doueiri’s 1998 feature debut set in 1975 during Lebanon’s devastating civil war, will be shown alongside Where Do We Go Now?, Labaki’s 2011 comedic drama set in a Lebanese village where the local women go to extreme measures to stop their husbands from warring. Doueiri was Oscar-nominated in 2018 for The Insult, while Labaki followed this up in 2019 for Capernaum (becoming the first female Arab director to be nominated).
All proceeds from the ticket sales of the screenings — which will take place Aug. 10 and again over the weekend of Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 — will go to the Lebanese Red Cross relief efforts.
“Both West Beirut and Where Do We Go Now? are reflections of a Lebanese society that through unity, work to overcome the conditions of a volatile political geography” said Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra. “These films also carry in them the scars felt by Lebanese that have lived and survived the war.”
Added Chakra: “I am part Lebanese and spent a large chunk of my youth in school and university in Beirut. Same applies to some of our team. The place is near and dear to our hearts. Seeing the damage from that explosion truly affected us all at Front Row and these screenings with our close partners Cinema Akil are a way for me to give back to my home country. I’m confident in Lebanon’s people and in their ability to always rise above tragedy and move forward.”
The explosion at Beirut port has left more than 200 people dead, thousands wounded and an estimated 300,000 homeless and without access to basic needs and resources.
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