Beirut International Women Film Festival (BWFF) in its 2nd edition honors Lebanese Actress Wafaa Tarabay.
Laaziza, 7 months pregnant, is rejected without consideration by her husband. She will give birth at her big brother’s house and will live there with her son Ihsan. Few years later, Ihsan will begin his first year at school, when his father shows his desire to have him back. Against the refusal of her brothers, Laaziza decides to take her son to the doorstep of the house that was once closed in her face, with one adamant thought : the future of Ihsan is above anything else.
The love story between Maryam and Gabriel starts by coincidence but feels like a match made in heaven. It also marks an emotional tide change in Maryam´s life in Berlin as a single mom of three daughters. Only one crucial thing stands between her, Gabriel and a “happily ever after” – prison bars. Nevertheless, the love Maryam feels empowers her not only to live in the moment, but to be true to herself when Gabriel suddenly starts to show a different side to his character.
Longing for connection, a Muslim immigrant woman secretly joins an acting class. Acting empowers her to unveil her true-self beyond limitations as passion and faith collide.
Dinara, comes to the city of her childhood to sell her grandmother's house. Suddenly, former classmates come to visit her, and they tell her that recently they committed a murder and now they need money to 'get clean.' Dinara's refusal provokes classmates to act more harshly and tougher and very soon they arrive from being former classmates to being just a group of people from different social strata. Between them, there is a conflict based on differences of view, worldviews and way of life.
Set in 1954, four women meet at Dar Joued, a correction facility for women who disobey their husbands. Under the jailer’s authority, the Jaida, inmates endure humiliations, privations and torture. Despite tough daily conditions, they find hope and joy in their emerging friendship
Lena and Meryem escape from the war in Syria. Lena is a ten- year-old girl who has lost her family in the war. She finds herself forced to make her way to Turkey with her baby sister and their neighbour Meyem, along with the other refugees. Lena wants to return home, while Meryem’s hope is reach Europe. While showing Meryem and Lena overcoming the hurdles of a big city in a foreign country and becoming heroines of their story.
Elpida has reached a critical juncture in her life – unquenchable desires, the longing for love, her own body, even time itself all seem to conspire against the routine existence she had been enduring as wife and mother. As her tenuous hold on reality begins to crumble, Elpida finds herself uncertain as to what is real and what is her imagination, leading her to the brink of catastrophe. Can a “pause” mark a new beginning for her?
Susan lives in London, England with her lovely family. She loses her husband in Afghanistan war. She suffers but she keeps her Love and hope alive. In this film Susan is the symbol of love and kindness. She faces lots of challenges in her life, though she tries hard to keep this kindness and love, even in the very difficult situation she is facing. While she is alone, full of pain and misery, one unexpected moment happens and this is just the beginning !
A millennial American girl befriends a Lebanese housewife and disrupts her ordered life; one night they become accidental partners-in-crime.
Salem and Halima have no news of their son who has left illegally for Italy. Ahmed sells smuggled diesel oil on the road to Libya. One day, he decides to be smuggled overseas to Italy. For months there has been no word from him. Through their story, we follow the itineraries of precarious youth, parents who struggle in silence for the sake of their family, and the fate of acutely marginalized region. Is their son found? Is he alive or dead?
A young American pilot forced to bail out near the coast of China after a bombing raid on Tokyo in World War II. He is saved by a young local widow who risks her life as she hides the injured man.
After studying literature at Cairo University, Dunia, 23 years old, wants to become a professional dancer. She attends audition for an oriental dance contest where she recites Arabian poetry without any body movement. She explains to the perplexed jury that a woman can't move her body or evoke act of love when society ask women to hide their femininity. She is selected and meet Beshir, an intellectual and activist who will supervise her thesis on ecstasy in Sufi love poetry.
Grandmother Susu (80 years old), her daughter Doaa (50 years old) and her grandchild Saad (16 years old) are forced to flee Syria after the beginning of the revolution to live in different scattered places, with the one thing left to share being their personal stories and human experiences are microcosms of two stories: one of a population that has spread all over the world, and the other of a homeland that might have changed forever.
One day, Dutch filmmaker Van Der horst was given her inheritance: 6 square meters, one sixth of a small, wooden house in the Russian countryside where her mother grew up. She began a journey into the past, back into the childhood of her Russian mother and her five sisters, all of whom struggled with fear, famine and war in Stalin’s Russia, experiences that left them scarred to their very soul.
Lizette Risgaard is the President of The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, the first woman in charge of the Danish labour movement. Over the last years the Confederation has lost 500.000 members. But with her belief in community, she jumps into the fight for decency and justice. In this film we’re at the center of political power and decision making, where every member makes up the community and every vote can tip the scale for – or against – solidarity
The filmmaker visits her grandmother Emilia in an apartment building on San Cipriano Road, where she lives together with her two sisters and one brother, all over ninety years old. As husbands and wives have passed away, the four are left again with each other. Rummaging through co-living situations and memories well kept, the family portrait also reveals the filmmaker’s search for clues as to how to live her own life, comparing two generations of women 70 years apart from each other.
LIFE INTERRUPTED is a powerful film featuring intimate stories of three survivors including the filmmaker herself, confronting a life- altering diagnosis and refusing to step down. These resilient women share their journeys as they cross into and return from, the world of breast cancer. They respond to their disease process and the rebuilding of their lives with honesty, dignity, humor, and grace.
This film gathers nine survivors of gender violence, among whom there is an architect, a university professor, a cleaning lady and a student. They all share a weekend in the countryside, in the heart of the Basque Country. That is where we gather their testimonies, their conversations on their past of violence as well as a message of hope and their experience overcoming what they had gone through.
Asia is “missing” 150 million women because parents are choosing to give birth to boys and aborting daughters. Zoning in on personal stories from South Korea, China, India and Vietnam, the film explores the regional and global consequences of this dramatic gender imbalance. A revelatory documentary that weaves together elements of politics, economics and medicine, showing women – both then and now – as the plaything of political and criminal interest groups.
A woman accompanies her husband for an audition. The thing that happens there leads her for an important decision...
To escape an early marriage arranged by her father, Zana has to make a courageous decision.
It is through the strange daily routine of a persona enclosed at home that the painful tension of being manifests in its most radical forms. Between staying and leaving, sleeping and waking up, the persona becomes haunted by its own specter as photographs, dates, voices, travel diaries, childhood memories are intertwined and juxtaposed as well as reflective of his own uncertain destiny. She remains indecisive.
It is the story of a couple whose relationship takes violent and destructive forms and whose protagonists are trapped in a spiral of power and impotence. The story is told without words, but with an even more expressive choreography, oppressive soundscape and scenography.
On her 50 years wedding anniversary day with Caio (Othon Bastos), Dora (Suzana Faini) decides to act guided by her true desire. A desire that will change the course of their lives.
1991 in the Soviet Union. An Estonian girl, a Russian boy and one American soda.
When Camille meet Etienne, there is something more than usual. But she has a secret which will ruin everything between them. When she runs away and then he catches her, the complicity turned to incomprehension. Despite their shared desire, those two hearts will hurt each other.
The old man Yerbolat whose past became his shadow and followed it all life, still couldn’t left past in his past. He lived the life, without dreaming of the future, his only consolation are his memoirs from his carefree youth which force his heart to fight, still to hurt bitten. In the evening of life, he comes back to places of the childhood to endure again the best moments of life. But time is ticking away, what remained from his childhood? Whether still somebody waits for him?
You want to drink your coffee peacefully but instead you end up in a situation where people start to stir up hatred against refugees – what do you do? While waiting for her train in a café a young woman (Olivia) suddenly ends up in a situation where the barista chases away a begging girl and starts to stir up hatred against refugees with two customers. Olivia has to decide whether to simply leave the place like another customer does or to take action.
Today, ales is ready. She returns to the terrace she once lived on with her mother, to finally free herself from the traumatic memory of this human being who stole her innocence forever. If her silence has never allowed her to exorcise this wound, her inner strength has guided her to this day of redemption and will allow her to regain peace.
A thirty year old pickpocket, Michel, and a young girl, Paulette. On a summer afternoon, Paulette sees Michel steal a wallet, and decides to follow him. The two embark on a journey across the streets of Paris and form an unlikely friendship."
In the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape is used as a “weapon of war” for more than 15 years. Martha writes a teenage girl’s guide to surviving sex.
Fed up with her “Lame Duck” status, The Upstart decides to face down The Patriarch in this 1940’s feminist throw-down.” Created by an all-woman Canadian crew, this short historical drama explores the barriers, historic and contemporary, to women making films.
San Miguel tells the story of Ana, a devout 9-year-old girl that has to deal with the solitude that comes with having a mother who remains in a paralyzed state of grief. Unable to go back or move forward, Ana’s only hope is to alleviate the pain of her mother. San Miguel paints a story of womanhood, lineage, and the power of religion in a devout family.
Irina, a hard-working single mom, lives with her only son Ivan, 19 years old, in a modest apartment, and tries to keep educating him despite he’s a young adult. One day, she sees a video showing a gang rape, and finds out her son is involved in it.
Bahar’s simple but happy life changes after her husband purchases Meryem as a second wife. After spending a day filled with tension, the women will realize that they’re not that different from each other. Asri is about a girl who has to suffer for a safe space, a woman who’s afraid of being replaced in her own home, and a man who is in denial of his infertility in a patriarchal society.
Loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, The Divine Way takes viewers along on the protagonist’s epic descent through an endless labyrinth of staircases. As the woman journeys deeper, the staircases mutate and she is trapped and pulled into their dangerous landscape, conducting us through more than fifty magnificent locations.
Joy, a mother of a 4 year-old girl, finally decides to file a case under domestic violence against her abusive husband, Dante.
In a world driven by vanity, a clueless hair stylist tries to win her boss’ approvalby sacrificing her golden hair.
When 30-year-old Anja gets pregnant, she thinks increasingly often about her own father whom she has not seen in a long time. With a heavy heart, she decides one day to visit him.
Jad and Rania, a Lebanese couple living in New York City, struggle to achieve their shared dream of breaking into the entertainment industry due, in part, to the typecasting of Middle-Eastern actors
In a Cairo regular morning of a working day, a clash erupts, in a one direction side street of a crowded neighborhoods. A face-to-face confrontation between two car drivers; a raging angry driver and a frightened determined one. Shall the driver in the right direction submit just because she's a woman?
Vivaldi, only just teenager, is already a former promise in fencing. Suddenly unable to win, she is obliged by her mother to look at herself again in a videocassette: her competitions override pictures of the last holiday before the separation within the family. Due to a glitch in the device, the past resurfaces in the guise of enigmatic fragments. One of them, footage shot by herself when she was little, will reveal what was withheld from her, summoning her to face the passage to adult life.
Jully, a 14 years old teenager girl with a sturdy character and captain of her city's basketball team, is struck by the tragic car accident of her parents. Overnight, she is placed in a foster care with her little sister Charlie. Jully prefers to hide the truth from her friends, and she is going to learn how to integrate herself and overcome her anger and sadness. Basketball will be the key for her adaptation that seems impossible.
Sara, a 22 year old girl is a babysitter to a 7 year old Matin. One day Matin tells a story that makes Sara plan to steal something from the house.
Sayid, a refugee doctor from Syria, has just received a Danish residence permit, and is about to embark on establishing a new life in rural Denmark together with his son Adnan. At the same time as having to learn a new language, he faces the challenge of maintaining his boy’s respect, in a situation where Adnan’s assimilation seems to be going somewhat faster than his own.
Four teenage girls find their friendship put to the test while suspended high above Beirut on a Ferris wheel. As secrets are revealed and tensions rise, this claustrophobic drama culminates in an unexpected confession.
Sometimes a life of a girl can be hard, full of struggles and misery, but few are those who would tell! Cella's story is a real sample, she is a dreamer, lover, abused, discriminated and have some miss of self -confident! Even though she love life, and she keep moving forward, a passionate fighter. Every man on earth is a secret itself, as well as every girl too, her feelings are deep like an ocean. This movie will tell the psychological state of the most week girls, it will show us a few of ho
Set in 1942, a woman tries to create a perfect pure race child to please Hitler.
Hanna, a melancholic woman comes to Lebanon after 12 years absence. She wants to find her twin brother who has been kidnapped during the Lebanese Civil war.
Saleem and Raya meet at Raya’s place. Saleem enters the toilet and somehow gets stuck. Between the inside and the outside, trials and disappointments, laughter and hope, memories and screams, are all being shared at the doorstep.
This is a movie that speaks in behalf all the raped victims in Brazil and in the world. Let’s not keep in silence. Stop believing that’s the victims fault. The guilty is who attack, the guilty is the aggressor!
For ages, Dalit women have suffered from a triple discrimination based on their gender. “Mahila” introduces us to three generations of Dalit women who represent a movement that is changing the face of India. Young Indira gets her parents full support to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Jaysree leads a women farmers’ cooperative that negotiates fair prices for their dairy production. And, finally, Mary Rani is the first Dalit woman to be elected president of her village.
A young woman's joyful tour of Malta turns bad, as she discovers how small an island becomes when you're up against the wrong abortion laws.
Working underground in the year before the legalization of cinema in Saudi Arabia, a team of mostly women makes its first feature film. Anonymous accounts of their experience are brought together in a melancholic narration. In the spirit of first films, a filmmaker documents the production in Jeddah with his first 8mm video camera from childhood.
Family in Exile is an intimate documentary, set in Morocco, about the conflicts within the filmmaker’s family. It is a daughter’s quest to understand her father’s refusal, over many years, to interact with her and her mother. Through a series of revealing conversations with family members, stories touching on gender tensions, religious beliefs, and parent/child relationships are evoked. It is a personal visual letter of resistance by a daughter to a dictatorial father.
SOULALA is a short documentary about a Syrian refugee, Lana Fahmi, a passionate contemporary dancer who had to start her life twice because of the Syrian war. Living in exile, Lana uses the power of dance to keep her intimately connected to her past life in Syria.
While trying to make a documentary about the broken relationships among some Arab families in Toronto , the filmmaker finds hidden secrets behind the closed doors during the preparation for the interview of three ladies from different backgrounds. Will they tell The Truth?
Little Rebel is about Isatou Jallow. Since seeking asylum in the USA in 2012, Isatou has pursued graduate degrees at the UW Law School while she continuously advocates for women and people with disabilities. Dimensions of Isatou’s epic journey are deeply human, harrowing, transcendent, tenacious…and part of the American immigrant story.
A woman walks home at night. She is overwhelmed from behind by a stranger. He grabs her and tries to rip off her clothes. They fight. The point of view switches between man and woman. Reality and fears blur into each other.
Three generations of Moroccan women exchange feelings and anecdotes while preparing the traditional ceremony of Eid Al Adha.
The film takes you through the daily life of an impoverished poor woman in a big city, questioning the glamour associated with Women's Day. Amidst the heat, dirt and dust of a metropolis, the struggles of everyday existence of a road side vendor woman hits you hard as we follow her from dawn to dusk. The character of a young girl living in open surroundings contrasts sharply our customary obeisance to international notions of womanhood.
Girls for Change, an initiative created and developed by Beirut Film Society was launched from the Grand Serail under the patronage of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Mr. Jean Ogasapian and the Minister of State for Displaced Affairs Mr. Mouin Merehbi with the support of Unicef. After organizing the first sessions and exploring the level of success and the positive outcome it brought, we are planning to cover all the regions of Lebanon and perform this training with young girls who are eager to learn, and empower them with new skills that will help them shape a better future and career