8th Edition of the Lebanese Movie Awards

In a venture that was both daring and impassioned, a young cinephile named Emilio Eid made a bold move. In 2014, at the tender age of 19, he resolved to bring due recognition to Lebanese Cinema by orchestrating a major event, thereby inaugurating the first edition of the Lebanese Movie Awards modeled after the French César Awards and American Oscars. Nine years later, the eighth edition slated for July 6, 2023 at the Casino du Liban, attests to the triumph of his ambitious endeavor.

His objective: to promote the industry from within, by and for its practitioners. His aspiration: Lebanon boasting one day its own Academy of Motion Picture Arts. As we await the possible realization of this dream, an eclectic and representative jury, a microcosm of our local scene, prepares to select the laureates among 9 feature films, 3 documentaries, and 3 short films nominated for this eighth edition.

Emilio Eid’s audacious ambition has not only come to fruition but has also ensured that our film industry has now its own coveted accolade. This idea was not however born out of a taste for glamour or a desire to engage industry professionals in a frivolous social affair. An autodidact captivated by darkened cinemas and films from an early age, Eid began by knocking on the doors of La Voix du Liban aged 16 while still in school, proposing a live show focusing on the latest movie releases. Charmed by his fervor, La Voix du Liban provided him with a platform, and his program achieved unexpected success. He remembers how his classmates would call in to partake in the contests he hosted. In the same vein, still driven by an insatiable desire to share the moving artistry of cinema, he started his own blog, The Lebanese Movie Guide, becoming a go-to source for behind-the-scenes information. This allowed him to build connections with the key players in the Lebanese cinema—distribution and production houses, directors, actors, etc.—enabling him in 2014 to approach them to partake in the inaugural Lebanese Movie Awards.

“There has always been an audience problem with Lebanese cinema, hence my need to create an event to unify and make its activities known to the public,” he explains. “Indeed, Lebanese films are showcased in various international festivals, but are sometimes a little known to the public, despite our increasingly significant output—up to 20 films per year over the last decade. It is imperative that this recognition happens here first.”

Undoubtedly, the sheer purity of his intent and the seriousness of his personal commitment have convinced over 700 professionals to participate in the glamorous red-carpet spectacle since 2014, following this young man brimming with youthful vigor and enchantment, on his remarkable journey. Emilio has since 2020 divided his time between the Swiss mountains, where he reinvents himself as a ski school instructor during the winter months, and the world of Lebanese cinema, which he unites once a year in summer.

Sponsored by Emile Chahine, who was also his university professor and to whom he attributes high esteem, he swiftly garners the support of Lebanese directors, producers, and actors, who bow to the professionalism exhibited in the jury’s selections and the award presentations.

So, to whom will the 14 trophies of this 8th ceremony be awarded? The date is set for July 6.

The 9 feature films nominated include:

  • A State of Agitation (Elie Khalifé)
  • Beirut Holdem (Michel Kammoun)
  • All this Victory (Ahmed Ghossein)
  • 1982 (Oualid Mouaness)
  • The Sea Ahead (Ely Dagher)
  • Death of a Virgin and the Sin of Not Living (George Peter Barbari)
  • Costa Brava, Lebanon (Mounia Akl)
  • Memory Box (Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige)
  • Broken Keys (Jimmy Keyrouz)

Article penned by Maya Trad.



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