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Lebanon to host its first Irish film festival

Event in Beirut is to focus on conflict resolution as well as representations of sectarianism and violence. “The two countries have very much in common,” says organiser.

Michael Fassbender in Hunger
Michael Fassbender in Hunger
Image: Film4 via HungertheMovie.co.uk

LEBANON IS TO host its first ever Irish film festival this week.

The brainchild of journalist Don Duncan and the Nahwa Al-Muwatiniya NGO, Irish Film Week focuses on representations of sectarianism, violence and conflict-resolution, and hopes to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Hunger, The Butcher Boy, Bloody Sunday and Breakfast on Pluto are among its line up of nine features and twelve shorts. Documentaries The Pipe – about the struggle of the local community in Mayo with the Shell pipeline project – and Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, about Bernadette Devlin, will also be showing. Bloody Sunday witness Ivan Cooper and actor Stephen Rea are among guests being flown in for discussions.

Founder Don Duncan said:

I was surprised one was never organised before, the two countries have very much in common. They are of a similar size and population and have a similar past of struggles, sectarian violence and post-conflict resolution.

Duncan also said that films from Ireland may “resonate with Lebanese audiences” and could help them “re-frame their own situation”.

The festival will take place at Beirut’s Metropolis Art Cinema from tomorrow, 29 Feb until Sunday, 4 March. It is presented in association with IFI International, the Irish Film Institute’s film programming service for international exhibitors, and also received support from Culture Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland.

Irish Film Week is part of the new Worlds Alike festival, an annual event exploring experiences of conflict in various nations.

Watch the trailer for Irish Film Week in Beirut here:


(domhnall/Youtube)

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