Beirut International Women Film Festival to resume this year

Beirut International Women Film Festival to resume amid crisis
2 min read
18 July, 2021
Continuing its tradition of honouring women in the arts, the opening night on Monday will recognise Aimee Boulos, the founder of Beirut's Monnot Theatre
Lebanese residents watch a film at a drive-in cinema in Byblos. [Getty]

Lebanon will resume an acclaimed annual film festival featuring productions directed by or centring around women, offering a rare glimpse of normalcy in a country crippled by economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

The Beirut International Women Film Festival (BIWFF), which was cancelled in March 2020 due to a lockdown following the spread of Covid-19, will kick off its fourth edition in presence on Monday.

Continuing its tradition of honouring women in the arts, the opening night will recognise Aimee Boulos, the founder of Beirut's Monnot Theatre and a key figure in Beirut's "Fondation Liban Cinema", who is credited with introducing alternative cinema to more mainstream audiences by curating the Vox Cinemas City Centre in Beirut.

The BIWFF will include 90 shorts, feature films, documentaries and animations from around the world screened at Beirut's LFA-Cinema Abraj alongside seminars and masterclasses.

The festival was founded in 2017 in Lebanon with the mission of highlighting the role of women as leaders in their societies and seeking social change by providing equal opportunities for Lebanese and foreign women filmmakers.

The 2020 edition would have recognised the achievements of Lebanese actress Takla Chamoun and Lebanese-French filmmaker and activist Delphine Seyrig.

Lebanon is facing yet more misery after premier-designate Saad Hariri failed to form a government, and as France prepares to host an aid conference on the first anniversary of the country's port blast.

Hariri's exit Thursday comes amid a financial collapse branded by the World Bank as one of the planet's worst since the 19th century.

His departure leaves the country rudderless as Lebanon faces soaring poverty, a plummeting currency, angry protests and shortages of basic items from medicine to fuel.