“Power of Youth” Closing Ceremony
The closing ceremony of the 7th Annual International Student Film Festival (ISSF) titled “The Power of Youth” took place on November 17, 2013, at Issam Fares Hall in Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU). Throughout the week, the ISSF introduced audiences to a variety of films through screenings, workshops, and events. Eleven universities from across Lebanon partook in the festival. The guest of honor at the event was Princess Melanie-Antoinette, Baroness de Massy of Monaco.
The closing event was filled with acclaim, applause, and awards in recognition of home talents and praise of the continual improvement of the local film industry.
This year, Kristian Abouanni (IESAV- University) won the first prize for his 20-minute movie The Comeback of a ‘Has-been.’ The short movie features the story of Nina Bassoul, who was once a child television prodigy in the 1970s. After a 40-year absence, she prepares for a “comeback” in a new Lebanese series.
The second prize went to Aline Ouais (Al-Kafaat University) for her 17-minute movie Under the Bed,, featuring the story of a young girl, living in her room, until one day a light under the bed leads her to another place. The third prize went to Chantal el-Habr (USEK University) for her 22-minute film Extension, which reveals little Malak’s (11 years old) struggle to overcome her fear and accept her fate. Nadim Massihi (ALBA University) was awarded the Emile Chahine Prize for his film Eternal Nightmare.
It is essential to mention that during the ISSF inaugural, actors and staff from “WAYNO (Void)” were honored. The film is a NDU production, directed by seven students from the University. The feature film depicts the story of six Lebanese women, waiting for the return of their sons, brothers, husbands or lovers… who went missing during the Lebanese civil war.
Addressing the audience at the end of the ceremony, Sam Lahoud, the ISSF Founder, Director, and Chairperson of the Media Studies Department said, “The Festival has become an annual cultural hub, serving NDU’s Mission Statement.” Lahoud also announced “Film Cinergy,” a union of international Film Festivals, which was created to promote filmmakers in film festivals around the world.
Best Art Direction:
Studio Beirut, directed by Mokhtar Beyrouth, Saint Joseph University of Beirut
I Call It Love, directed by Elsy Hajjar, USEK University.
Rezz a Koko, directed by Imad Achkar, USEK University.
Une Famille Pas tres Ordinaire, directed by Marilyn Haddad, ALBA University.
Bank of Beirut Public Vote Award
The Rope, directed by Hiba Tawaji, Saint Joseph University of Beirut.
People Disappear All the Time, directed by Cyril Nehme, Saint Joseph University of Beirut.
Special Jury Mention
Machrou’ Sayd, directed by Elio Ghanem, Lebanese-German University.
Best Outstanding Performance
Samara Nohra in The Comeback of a ‘Has-been,’ directed by Kristian Abouanni, Saint Joseph University of Beirut.
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance
In Extention, by Joya Said, USEK University.
The Film Festival Promotion