Call for Solidarity: Beirut Fundraising Screenings

20 August 2020

Watch a programme of Beirut short films fundraising for those affected

Watch a programme of Beirut short films fundraising for those affected by the explosion.

IFFR, WORM Rotterdam, and AWL_ are coming together to host a screening on Wednesday, 26 August. The screening is part of an international touring programme of short films from and about Beirut, with the aim to fundraise for those affected by the Beirut explosion. The initiative was put together by filmmakers Nour Ouayda (Beirut) and Philip Widmann (Berlin), with screenings having already taken place in Berlin, Paris, Marseille, Geneva, with more cities to come after Rotterdam.

Beirut over and over again | Beyrouth plusieurs fois

Text by Nour Ouyada and Philip Widmann.

"You may have seen the pictures and videos of the explosion that shook Beirut at 6:08 hrs on 4 August. It was larger than anyone can imagine. Till today, there are 178 deaths and thousands of injured and displaced. Many have lost their wives, husbands, kids, lovers, homes and livelihoods. Protests against the encrusted political system represented by the Lebanese government took place after the catastrophe and were answered with more violence, tear gas, rubber bullets, pellets, repression. A state of military emergency was declared and is threatening our freedom to protest and stand against a regime that has literally blown us all up. The regime is still keeping us in the dark as to what really happened at the dock number 12 at the port that day. Meanwhile we are cleaning up our streets, mourning our dead, worried sick about those that remain unfound and still counting the damages.

The catastrophe has escalated the severe difficulties experienced by many in Lebanon due to political inertia, the collapse of the national economy, and the global pandemic. Many are struggling to survive and need our help to rebuild homes, shops, find shelter and food, replace their work tools that they lost during the blast.

In light of this situation, we have selected several films from and about Beirut to be screened in various cities around the world. The donations collected at these screenings will be put where they’re needed most at the moment, and where they directly help people sustain their livelihoods. All proceeds will be distributed among organisations that offering help to migrant workers, refugees, transgender and LGBTQ, small initiatives offering basic support with food and rebuilding measures, as well as a solidarity fund for the arts."


Prologue by Hassan Julien Chehouri, 2019, 30’ 

I made this short video in 2019, shot on my phone from my balcony which overlooks the
port. Overlooking the 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate.

E.D.L. by Siska, 2011, 21’

Lost in time and translation, images transport us on a journey behind the modernist facade of Beirut’s electricity building. The video portrays Lebanon’s National Electricity building as an homage to a once modernist project linked to the very construction of Lebanon’s modern state. Till today Beirut suffers from a power cut of three hours a day, outside of the capital up to 8 hours per 24, thus this building is a highly politicised subject.

2mg of rotten blood on pure white snow by Rami El Sabbagh, 2007, 21’

In the mid 80s, Beirut was at war. A group of young men wearing neat black clothing wander around the city by night. They occupy empty houses for a few hours and gather what they can of the furniture. In the darkness of the night, they move the goods to the mountains and sell them back to their owners. Each night after midnight, the young men meet in an empty movie theatre. There they watch films, smoke cigarettes, discuss cinema, and receive orders from an old man.

Allô Chérie by Danielle Arbid, 2015, 24’

A woman drives around Beirut and talks on the phone. She is calling a bank. She is calling those who owe her money. She is calling those who lend and those who borrow. She’s my mother.

Le Voyage immobile / الشوق قد على / As Far As Yearning by Mohamed Soueid & Ghassan Salhab, 2017, 23’

As Far as Yearning is that dialogue-in-progress taking the shape of a film composed by sound, performed by words, perforated by images still in motion. Ghassan Salhab and Mohamed Soueid are embracing a sense of survival. This film is a sixth sense they nurtured in a world that has become faceless. Their film essay is a personal attempt to be two in one. Disguised as men, they walk among men who left behind their shadows.

Join us at WORM Rotterdam on Wednesday 26 August 2020. There will be 60 spots available in two socially distanced screenings, at 19:00 and 22:00 hrs. 100% of the ticket price will be donated to the initiatives listed below. You’re also welcome to add additional donations via the donate button on the sidebar.

Buy tickets now

Bonus screening at Pleinbioscoop

As extra support for the fundraiser and programme at WORM, IFFR has selected a Beirut short film to show at Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam on the same evening. No One Gets Out Of Here Alive by Ramzi Bashour (IFFR 2016) will screen before Adam by Maryam Touzani.

No One Gets Out Of Here Alive by Ramzi Bashour

A story about Walid, a crane driver from Syria who tries to survive in Beirut. The days are long and the work is dangerous. The hopeless situation has everything and everyone in its grip. Is there at least a glimmer of hope?

All proceeds from the screening will be split equally amongst the following initiatives:

This list was compiled by Nour Ouayda (Beirut) and Philip Widmann (Berlin) based on resources circulating on multiple platforms during the week after the explosion.

Can’t make it to the screenings? If you’d still like to donate to the fundraiser, you can do so via the link in the sidebar. We appreciate your support.