‘A New Dawn:’ AUST Student Film Showcase 2019 celebrates originality

The short films presented ranged in genres from mystery, to thrillers, to experimental films, and all themes resonated with the reality of Lebanese society.
by Chiri Choukeir and Ghiwa Shaar

24 July 2019 | 15:06

Source: by Annahar

The premiere of "A New Dawn" at Vox Cinema, Beirut. (HO)

BEIRUT: Bridging academia and entertainment requires having a vision, and six Lebanese students had their own to share, as they went from classrooms to a theatre filled with an applauding audience.

Fresh-graduates, with the dream of becoming professional moviemakers, gathered to showcase their talents on Monday at VOX Cinemas, City Centre Beirut.

The premier commemorated the second edition of the AUST Student Short Film Showcase under the title “A New Dawn.”

The seats of the hall were filled with students, family, friends, and faculty members, in addition to several famous producers and directors. All were gathered to celebrate the distinction and success of the six student films chosen for the 2018-2019 AUST Student of the Year Award.

After commencing with the national anthem and the welcoming speech, Communication Arts Department Chairperson Dr. Georges Farha announced the official premiere of the student short film showcase.

The short films presented ranged in genres from mystery, to thrillers, to experimental films, and all themes resonated with the reality of Lebanese society.

The first student film honored was mystery short film “Parasit” by Tarek Narch, about a psychotic young woman with a history of abusive relationships and the series of events that follow. The second film showcased was by Sami Joe Al Abyad, with his political drama “Ovis Aries” about a country ruled by corruption and power.

The third was Ali Fouad’s “Silent Screams,” a drama short film about a young girl and her father and the dysfunction caused by her mother’s death. “Entropy,” a sarcastic comedy by Bashar Mashmoushi, handled a group of Lebanese citizens organizing a rebellion against the authorities.

The last two showcases were “Daylily” an experimental short film by Ragheed Zaky, about a young Syrian seeking refuge after a terrorist attack. Last but certainly not least, “Watar” a biographical drama by Rania Rafeh about a passionate musician who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

“We hope that this showcase will propel our students to the marketplace with motivation and dreams of their own,” Farha told Annahar, stressing that this event is only the beginning of an ever-growing journey.

AUST President Mrs. Hiam Sakr expressed how proud she was of her students, and stressed the need for strong personalities, communication skills, and originality in the film industry.

“Be proud of Lebanon and conquer the world with peace,” she said, highlighting the power of art and innovation.

Communication Arts Instructor at AUST, Talal Chami, told Annahar the reason behind choosing the six movies to the premier was “the originality of the entire production endeavor: the concepts, techniques, cinematography, and story.”

After the showcase, the students were rewarded for their accomplishments and hard work with an AUST Graduate Student of the Year Award, and for the first time, four Communication Arts Alumni were also honored for their work and success in the Radio/TV industry, including Georges Roukoz, Raya Haidar, Makram Al Rayyes and Nassif Al Rayyes.

“As a university instructor for almost 20 years, and a radio manager for over 30 years, I always advise my students to be proactive, regardless of the current economic situation,” Dr. Abdo Kahale told Annahar.

“Don’t only dream that you will be working in traditional media, you should acquire the knowledge to work with new media and technology regardless of what it is,” he added.

Ragheed Zaky, Bashar Mashmoushi, Tarek Narch, Rania Rafeh, Sami Joe Al Abyad, and Ali fouad along with Dr. George Farha and Mrs. Hiam Sakr. (HO)

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