Under the auspices of H.E Minister of Culture, Dr. Ghattas Khoury, the Communication Arts Department organized its first- ever Annual Student Film Showcase, a public screening of senior student films/projects with the sole purpose of promoting the work of these students to an avid community of film industry professionals. It is a collective effort of both the department and the R/TV students, who spared no effort to make this event a memorable one. It attempts to create a dynamic dedication to talent exploration and manifestation, where R/TV students (and future filmmakers) and professionals from the film industry can gather in one place and enjoy the art and love for film.
Mrs. Hiam Sakr, President of AUST, Mr. Elias Doummar, Cinema affairs delegate of the Ministry of Culture and Dr. George Farha, chairperson of the Communication Arts Department presided over more than one hundred and fifty invitees on the 45-minute red carpet and ensuing reception (sponsored by Divvy) with intense celebrity presence and media buzz. VIP guests and figures of the limelight, in addition to family and friends took to the red carpet: A prodigious instance to celebrate our R/TV students, their talent and future prospects.
The R/TV students/participants in the showcase were: Mr. Rami Bou Taleeh ( Raj3een), Ms. Razan Halabi (The Tenth Month), Mr. Ahmad Tahhan ( Prisoner), Mr. Daniel Kordab (Alamort), Mr. Dany Sayegh (Hadi ), Mr. Wassim Makary (Bedroom Eyes), and Ms. Marjan Shatila (Barzakh). The students were able to exchange words with professionals from both film and TV industry such as Mr. Marwan Najjar, renowned writer and producer, and film and TV actors such as Mr. Tony Mhanna, Mr. Mazen Mouzzam, Mr. Majdi Mashmoushi, Mrs. Aida Sabra, Mrs. Bernadette Hdeib, Ms. Nada Abou Farhat, and Mr. Hisham Abou Sleiman, among many others.
The ceremony opened with the national anthem, followed by words by Mr. Elias Doummar, who said that we must remain true to the love of cinema. He added that we must be stubborn in spite of adversity. He said that the Ministry was ready and prepared to help and support young talents in the years to come.
The films screening ensued. Mrs. Pierrette Katrib, prominent actress and TV presenter was the Master of Ceremony. In his speech Dr. George Farha said: “We live in the times of the image. In today’s shifting digital evolution, we cannot but seek to update our legislation, at an institutional level and keep up with our youth aspirations, who are challenged by the ever-changing times.” He hoped for better days ahead: “We have high hopes that our government will ultimately come to their support and provide the required platforms for development. This year, we have an abundant stack of films. Our students have a curious vision with peculiarities of their own. They project a love and passion mixed with innovation and aesthetic visualization. You will sense this in the films we will watch here today. Our big thank you goes to the pioneer and mastermind: To Mrs. Hiam Sakr, a visionary in her own fashion, who had set high standards –from the very beginning, to which our students aspire day by day. Their creative inventiveness is unstoppable” Dr. Farha added.
No doubt the event will inspire the subsequent emerging R/TV students to work harder, and to continue to show their talent in the years to come, and to aspire to take active part in the showcase and in the Lebanese film scene at large.