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Beirut Blast Documentary Wins International Awards: Fadia Ahmad’s “Beirut, the Aftermath” Continues International Festival Run

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Lebanese Spanish photographer and director Fadia Ahmad continues an ongoing search for home in her latest film, “Beirut, the Aftermath”. A long standing member of the Lebanese art scene, recently through World Art Collector, where she participated as a judge for the organization’s Incubator initiative, Ahmad’s latest project draws inspiration from her city and its many recent struggles. Raised across the sea from her native Lebanon, Ahmad longed as a child to return to the country that had pushed her and her family away. In 2003, she did exactly that, returning to begin her most widely recognized series “Beyrouth | Beirut” as a means to answer a critical question that followed her: Where do I belong?

Shot along her daily walk through the historic Mar Mikhael and Gemmayze neighborhoods towards the Downtown and Ain Mreisse districts of Beirut, “Beyrouth | Beirut” chronicles what it really means to rediscover one’s own home. While inadvertently reconciling with a missing piece of her own identity, one lost to exile and war, Ahmad captures a dynamic portrait of a city beset with both tremendous beauty and unfading scars.

This very same corner of the city became the epicenter of unspeakable tragedy last year in August, when a warehouse explosion in the Port of Beirut sent shockwaves into the city, killing hundreds, wounding thousands, and leveling many of the historic facades Ahmad had come to know on her daily path. The questions that brought her to produce her first breakaway series “Beyrouth | Beirut” led her to pick up her camera once again, this time to create her first ever film “Beirut, the Aftermath”. A testimony to both the strength of the survivors as well as the continued injustice suffered at the hands of the corrupt regime responsible, the short documentary film stands out for taking an unwavering stand to resist erasure. First time director Ahmad masterfully captures the ethos of a city routinely threatened with destruction, yet somehow never ceasing to find new ways to rebuild and heal.

“Beirut, the Aftermath” has already received recognition at a number of International Film Festivals this season, including the recent Lebanese Film Festival in Canada- Montreal, where the film won 2nd place in the short films category. Earlier this year, Ahmad received recognition from the Argenteuil Film Festival in France, winning best feature documentary during the July edition. The Argenteuil Film Festival announces official selections and awards every month, with the prizewinners convening each year for the festival’s annual ceremony to compete once more for higher honors. This season’s annual ceremony will take place on May 22nd, 2022.

In August “Beirut, the Aftermath” was awarded Best Half-Length Film at the Five Continents International Film Festival. Ahmad herself won Best Female Director for a feature film. In addition to these awards, the film won Best Poster for Wafic Dabbous’s design and received special mention for Feature Film Production.

Still ahead lies a number of other high profile festivals, including the Rabat International Author Film Festival in Morocco, with its 26th edition currently scheduled for December 15th-23rd. Organizers for the event believe the festival allows cinema to function as “another country on the map”, presenting cinema as an effective ‘nonplace’ wherein all people can be imagined as citizens, while simultaneously inviting audiences to expand both their awareness and imagination. This expressed purpose makes Ahmad’s film the perfect addition to the festival’s ethos. “Beirut, the Aftermath” will compete in the Short Film category this December.

Additionally, the film will be presented from November 30th to January 9th at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Scottish Rite theater as part of a benefit supporting recovery efforts through the Lebanese American University Medical Centers. There will also be a concert at the event by accomplished pianist Dr. Tony Karam. In tandem with the showing, the Peoria Museum will feature a solo exhibit showcasing a photography series by Ahmad released as a companion to “Beirut, the Aftermath”, highlighting through pictures the major themes of her documentary.

In an era of profound change, Ahmad’s life spent in exile, her pursuit of meaningful return, and her reconciliation with complicated roots prove relevant to a global audience. A must see feature for anyone interested in universal themes of heritage, loss, and remembrance, Fadia Ahmad’s “Beirut, the Aftermath” continues to win well earned recognition as the festival season carries on.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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Entertainment

Party Comedy Movies that are an absolute must-watch!

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If you can’t spend a weekend partying, why not dive into some movies that are centred around partying. Even better when humour is involved. Stay tuned as we jump into some party comedy movies that are not the ones to miss!  

The Hangover 

On a list revolving around party comedy movies, it’s only right that we begin with the original movie of one of the most popular movie franchises we have seen to date. The first Hangover movie was the origin of The Hangover’s success as it followed the storyline of four friends embarking on a trip to Sin City for Doug’s bachelor party. However, when events take a turn for the worst and Doug appears to be missing, it’s up to his brother-in-law, Alan, and two best friends Phil and Stu to find him. But, when retracing their steps, they are shocked at the events that unfolded the night before the disappearance! 

Neighbors 

When Mac and Kelly begin their life as new parents to their daughter Stella, they slowly convert to their new lifestyle and ditch their old partying habits. However, to throw a spanner in the works, they are greeted by new neighbours next door, which…also happens to be a college fraternity, and we all know what comes along with that! Partying, partying, and more partying. In an attempt to compromise and hopefully keep the large group of boys on their side, Mac and Kelly prove that they are cool parents. However, it’s not long before the fraternity, which consists of Zac Efron and Dave Franco, begins to bend the rules causing a feud between the two parties. Highly entertaining and hilarious, this film is a must-watch!  

21 Jump Street 

When high school students, Jenko and Schmitt reunite after high school as members of the Police Academy, the pair are assigned a high school scheme to infiltrate the setting and find the origination of a new street drug on the scene. Becoming students to carry out the task, the duo, played hilariously by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, begin to start high school life again, and surprisingly, take completely alternative routes from their previous high school experience. Making friendships, building relationships, and partying with their fellow students along the way, there is never a dull moment in this fast-paced, action-packed comedy. Check it out today! 

Superbad 

Revolving entirely around the partying and alcohol scene, Superbad is one film that will always keep us laughing endlessly. Oh, and we think that may be something to do with the cast that includes Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Michael Cera, and Emma Stone, as well as many others! Hill and Cera star as two best friends, Seth and Evan who cause carnage at a typical high school house party. With cops who disobey the rules, drunk antics and a fake ID with the name “McLovin”, this 2007 masterpiece is timeless. 

American Pie 

American Pie is certainly not a party comedy movie that will be loved by all. With crude and inappropriate scenes, this movie is nonetheless comedy gold. When a group of five divergent high school friends all attempt to lose their innocence before one another, the competition begins to get serious. With the senior prom as their task deadline date, each of them goes through severe embarrassment and public humiliation to complete the task at hand. Oh, and you don’t even want to know where the name of the film originated from! Check out this fun, party-orientated film today, the cast will certainly not let you down that’s for sure! 

We Are Your Friends 

Not only does this film have a hit playlist to go alongside the party comedy movie setting, but it also displays the struggles of being a beginner in the music industry. When Cole, a young college dropout, played by Zac Efron, makes his big break with DJ, James Reed, he finally gets somewhere with his career. However, after a few bust-ups including an intimate moment with Reed’s girlfriend, played by Emily Ratajkowski, he returns to normality and his three best friends. To his surprise, they are all attempting to move on with their lives outside of the party lifestyle. Don’t fret, the film does have a positive ending! 

Project X 

It would only be acceptable to end the list with one of the wildest on-screen parties we have ever seen, the famous, Project X. When high school friends, Thomas, Costa, and J.B plan to throw a party for Thomas’ 17th birthday, they worry that the party will be a flop due to their unpopularity. However, it is, in fact, the complete opposite, and one of the craziest parties ever. Picture this, a flash Mercedes in a pool, surrounding trees and homes on fire, and someone in the oven, shall we say anymore? For a more intense watch, make sure to check out this film on a flat-screen, wall-mounted TV. You may even feel like you are there! Click here for TV wall mounting services.  

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