Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2019
As the academic year draws to a close at a school high in the mountains of Lebanon, eleven-year-old Wissam struggles to pluck up the courage to reveal his true feelings to classmate Joanna. After numerous failed attempts, he is left despondent when led to believe that his best friend has betrayed his trust. To make matters worse, the day is suddenly interrupted when an air invasion reaches the capital, Beirut, and shatters the school’s calm. The imminent danger only makes Wissam even more resolute, as it becomes clear that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
This story of burgeoning love set against the backdrop of the blitz of Beirut in 1982 portrays that, even in conflict, life still goes on. For a dreamer like Wissam, it’s hard to immediately comprehend the gravity of the approaching violence, but for his teachers, Yesmine (Nadine Labaki) and Joseph (Rodrigue Sleiman), the jets roaring overhead are a sign of something much graver on the horizon. With extraordinary performances by all, the film perfectly captures the slow erosion of innocence, but one in which childlike imagination finds a way to triumph in the end.
About the Director
Oualid Mouaness is a Liberian-born producer, writer, and director who grew up in Lebanon. He holds an MFA in writing and directing from Florida State University and has directed the short films 'Saint in the Sun' (2002) and 'The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf, and the Boy' (2016), which was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2017. He has also produced music videos for David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Lana Del Rey, and Justin Timberlake, among others.
- Oualid Mouaness
- Oualid Mouaness
- Georges Schoucair, Oualid Mouaness, Alix Madigan, Myriam Sassine, Christopher Tricarico
- Jad Dani Ali Hassan, Sabine El Gemayel
- Executive Producer
- Rodney Adler, Jessie Creel, Anderson Hinsch, Candice Abela-Mikati, Fouad Mikati, Jorge Takla, Christopher Alender, David A. Smith
- Louis Nader, Ingrid Lill Høgtun
- Nadim Mishlawi
- Brian Rigney Hubbard
- Sales Company
- WaZabi Films
- Production Company
- Abbout Productions, Tricycle Logic Mad Dog Films, Barentsfilm, Boo Pictures, Soapbox Films
- Rana Eid
- MC Distribution
- Nadine Labaki, Mohamad Dalli, Rodrigue Sleiman, Aliya Khalidi, Ghassan Maalouf, Gia Madi, Lelya Harkous, Said Serhan, Zeina Saab de Melero, Joseph Azoury