“Filmmakers” Wins First Prize at the 6th Annual NDU Film Festival

Director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya receiving his award from Head of Jury Mr. Emile Chahine

Director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya receiving his award from Head of Jury Mr. Emile Chahine

The closing and award distribution of the 6th Annual NDU Film Festival took place on Sunday November 25, 2012 at Notre Dame University, Zouk Mosbeh where the movie “Filmmakers”, directed by ALBA student Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya won the first prize.

An average of 10 student production short movies from different universities were screened per day for a period of one week at NDU. The movies were divided into three main categories: Fiction Films, Documentaries and Animation. The selected movies for this festival were all of high quality and prize worthy in terms of production. Because of that, a lot of directors were granted various prizes by the sponsors of the festival in appreciation of their hard work. Grand Cinemas for example has offered its three winning directors the opportunity of screening their movies on their big screens. But, only three lucky directors had their films chosen for the top three main awards:

1- “Filmmakers” by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (ALBA)

2- “Tajalli” by Chadi Abi Chacra (IESAV)

3- “Ya Heik… Ya Mbala” by Georges Nehme (USEK)

Starring Alain Saade, Wissam Fares and Charbel Aoun, “Filmmakers” is a 23 min film about two young brothers  from a suburb of Beirut, come across the idea of smuggling cocaine, using film reel boxes. To provide a cover, and with no idea whatsoever about film making, they decide to shoot a movie.

This movie turned out to be a great success with the accomplished and perfectionist crew members. It can be clearly seen that each actor played his/her role well to an extent where you can’t believe that it’s acting anymore especially when they had the special appearance of journalist Marcel Ghanem in the LBCI studio of “Kalam Ennas” (This film also won the “Best Actor” prize in the festival for Alain Saade‘s role). Everything seemed to be real even though the movie’s idea is unusual in the Lebanese film industry and closer to the western culture than the eastern one; however, director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya was clearly aware of this fact which made him place some Lebanese inserts like having a fanatic christian guy insult a girl for her “hijab”. He also knew how to play around with the setting of the plot which helped him in putting people at ease with the story line without feeling strange.

What was impressive is that other than having a plot going on with beautiful directing and out of chronology artistic shots, this movie has different types of debatable characters especially the psycho director (Alain Saade). He never ceases to amaze us with his attitude. In summary, he really deserved the “Best Actor” award. But of course, Wissam Fares and Charbel Aoun were also outstandingly into their different characters that served in making the story very close to reality and the movie ultimately extraordinary.

Congrats“Filmmakers”! You surely deserve even bigger awards and international appreciation! Good luck.

by Miriam Atallah

Director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya

Director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya

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