May promises to be a bustling period for the Beirut Art Film Festival (BAFF). A bouquet of events awaits the BAFF audience across Lebanon, ranging from screenings to panels and question-and-answer sessions, ensuring the attendance of culture and art aficionados.

Despite the challenging conditions, the Beirut Art Film Festival is set to illuminate the cultural landscape of Lebanon this May with its vibrant array of film screenings and panel discussions that will be broadcast across Lebanon. These events celebrate the rich cinematic and architectural heritage of Lebanon and foster a dialogue on preservation and innovation in the arts.

This year, 2024, celebrates the 10th anniversary of the acclaimed documentary series Zyara. For this significant milestone, BAFF, in collaboration with Home of Cine-Jam, is hosting a retrospective featuring 12 emblematic portraits produced from 2014 to 2024. These screenings underscore the resilience and positivity of individuals throughout Lebanon. Zyara, which translates as ‘visit’ or ‘encounter’ in Arabic, was initiated in 2014 by Muriel Aboulrouss and Denise Jabbour. It presents a poeticized series of filmed portraits, highlighting individuals who have transcended their greatest life challenges.

The screenings of Zyara are scheduled at five locations across Lebanon, with each session lasting 60 minutes and concluding with a Q&A session with the filmmakers.

Friday, May 10, at 8:30 PM at Hammana Artist House

Saturday, May 11, at 7:00 PM at Zgharta, Atelier Samih Zaatar

Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 PM at Zahle Municipality

Friday, May 17, at 7:00 PM at Mina – Trablus, Marsah

Friday, May 24, at 6:00 PM at Saida, Ishbilia Theatre, and ArtHub

These screenings are open to the public with free admission and do not require prior booking.

Moreover, BAFF is celebrating Trāblus as the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2024,” a city that has remained a gem on the Mediterranean through the ages. In partnership with the AUB Center for Arts & Humanities and Le Théâtre Béryte, and supported by the Saadallah & Loubna Khalil Foundation, BAFF is hosting significant panels on the Rachid Karame International Fair: Past, Present, Future. This discussion will include insights from the 90-minute documentary Niemeyer 4 Ever, directed by Nicolas Khoury in 2018. The documentary details Oscar Niemeyer’s architectural journey from its inception through the war and post-war years. Architect and urban planner Dr. Mousbah Rajab will discuss the ongoing restoration efforts of the Fair’s buildings. Additionally, architects Nicolas Fayad and Charles Kettaneh will share their experiences on the renovation project of the Guest House pavilion within the Fair, a project that garnered them the Agha Khan Prize in 2023.

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