The 28th edition of the European Film Festival in Lebanon closed on Wednesday 4th of October 2023 at Galaxy Grand Cinemas with the short film competition award ceremony, followed by the Avant-premiere of Lebanese feature film ‘Riverbed’.
Ambassador of the European Union to Lebanon, Ms. Sandra De Waele, awarded the Best Short Film Prize equally to three short films selected by an international jury, in the presence of Ambassador of Poland, Mr. Przemyslaw Niesiolowski, Director of Goethe-Institut Libanon, Ms. Anne Eberhard, and Cinema project manager at Institut français du Liban, Ms. Leïlah Gruas-Girling:
Crow Man, directed by Yohann Abdelnour, won the Institut français du Liban Award, for succeeding in tackling a universal topic in a masterful and well-executed animation, editing and sound design.
Talk to Me, directed by Ribal Chedid, won the award offered by the Embassy of Poland in Lebanon. The engaging story, set in a ‘huis-clos’, tackles multiple subjects in a consistent narrative, carried by a strong performance by the lead cast.
2019, directed by Aya Debs, Shahnaz Amro, Hasan Ali, Nidal Alkadi and Yousef Tellayh, won the Award by Goethe-Institut Libanon. This collective work by five students enrolled in Marsam Al Hakaya, an independent educational initiative in the art of animation, was found to be an original representation of Lebanese struggles through the imagination of a child.
The newly-introduced Audience Award was given to Crow Man, by Yohann Abdelnour.
The jury was composed of: Mrs. Vesna Chamoun (Cultural Program Coordinator at Goethe-Institut Libanon), Ms. Leïlah Gruas-Girling (Cinema project manager at Institut français du Liban), Ms. Adriana Lada-Lis (Cultural Officer at the Embassy of Poland in Lebanon), Mr. Jim Quilty (Film and Arts Writer) and Ms. Laure Stemmann from the Metropolis Cinema Association.
The European Union through the awards supports the talent of emerging filmmakers from Lebanon. This year’s winners will have the opportunity to attend an international film festival in France thanks to l’Institut français du Liban, a study visit on the occasion of a film festival in Poland through support by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Lebanon, and an international film festival in Germany in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Libanon.
The awards ceremony was followed by the Avant-premiere of Lebanese feature film ‘Riverbed’ in the presence of the film’s team including director Bassem Breche, producer Jana Wehbe, and main cast Carol Abboud and Omaya Malaeb. ‘Riverbed’ won multiple awards in its international festival run, such as Best Performance Award, Special Mention Best Arab Film Award and Special Jury Award at the Cairo International Film Festival 2022, and the Special Jury Award at Festival du Cinéma Méditerranéen de Tétouan 2023. The film will be released in Lebanese cinemas starting October 5.
The Festival continues its regional run throughout the month of October and will have multiple film screenings in Hermel (6 October), Jounieh (11-13 October), Saida (12-14 October), Zahle (13 October), Tripoli (14 October) and Bekaa (15 October). All regional screenings are by free entrance.

Source: National News Agency-Lebanon