EVA by Mounia Akl, Lebanon
FAREWELL by Cyrll Aris, Lebanon
COUNTRY OF BODIES by Puneet Rakheja, India
ASH by Yasmina Hatem, Lebanon
Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said Cultural Center
FILMMAKERS TO WATCH
EVA by Mounia Akl
(8 minutes, 2013, Lebanon)
On the final night of her seminal installation, Eva, an experimental performance artist stands for eight hours amongst seven women wrapped in cellophane. When a deviant gallery patron attempts to violate her and her work, she fights to stay in character and maintain the integrity of her art.
Mounia Akl is a young starting Lebanese director and actress, currently studying for her MFA at Columbia University in NYC where she has written a feature film screenplay and directed three short films. Her previous works in Lebanon involve directing and acting in music videos and short films. One of her award winning short films, co-directed with Cyril Aris, was made into a 50 episodes TV/Web series titled 'Beirut I Love You' produced by LBCTV channel. She co-directed another web series titled Fasateen produced by Katia Saleh.
COUNTRY OF BODIES by Puneet Rakheja
(9 minutes, 2013, India)
Set against the urban landscapes of Bombay, ‘Country of Bodies’ is a dance film that narrates the personal and intimate relationship of the city and its inhabitants.
Born in New Delhi, Puneet came of age in a world roiled by socio-economic and cultural transformation. He graduated from Art center college of Design in California. He gained experience while working at Believe Media with renowned directors like Floria Sigismondi, Zack Snyder, among others. He is the founder of WHITEandBLACKandRED. Puneet is developing two feature projects as a writer/director - 'That Strange Feeling' - an environmental sci-fi drama set in Mumbai; 'No Guns at My Son's Funeral' (Drama/Fantasy) which is an adaptation of the bestselling book by Paro Anand. Puneet is also attached to 'The Jabalpur Tapes' (Crime/Thriller, about the cult of Thugs) as a co-director. Puneet has won several awards for his commercials including Addy’s, the AICP and the TED Fellowship. He conducted workshops for Lomography, Navdanya and was invited to speak at TEDxICB, TEDxBITS. Puneet currently lives and works in Bombay, India.
FAREWELL by Cyril Aris
(8 minutes, 2013, Lebanon-USA)
An elderly couple, still madly in love after 50 years of marriage, has their relationship shattered when the wife has a stroke and dies. Her husband too shocked to accept it, enters a psychological denial. He keeps on living with the dead body of his wife, hoping she would one day wake up.
Cyril Aris is a young Lebanese Director and writer, currently studying for his Masters in Fine Arts (Concentration Directing/Screenwriting) at Columbia University in the city of New York, where he wrote and directed two short films. Previously, Along with Mounia Akl, he co-wrote & co-directed a TV/Web series "Beirut, I Love You" by LBC, a web-series "Fasateen" by Batoota Films and Yahoo Maktoob, and other short films, corporate videos, and music videos.
ASH by Yasmina Hatem
(15 minutes, 2013, Lebanon-USA)
Twelve year old Said wants to help his ailing mother pay for her medication. He asks his older brother Jamal to find him a job. But delivering shisha turns out to be a lot more than he bargained for.
Yasmina Hatem is a journalist based in Beirut. Besides writing stories and reports on life in Lebanon, she has worked on several short films and a TV/web series as an actress and screenwriter. In 2012, Yasmina attended the Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts where she developed Ash. It is her debut short film.
What is Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch Series?
Launched in 2013, Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch series is an annual program that highlights the work of unique and remarkable voices from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Cinephilia curates 5 narrative short films and sets them to screen around the world at art house independent cinemas, art galleries, film festivals and cultural spaces.
CINEPHILIA DOES NOT ACCEPT UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS.
Middle East & territories: Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Cyprus.
Southeast Europe: Malta & Greece
South/Southeast Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.