Film Funding

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Fall Grants 2017
Current project status: COMPLETED

Sarah Kaskas / Feature Documentary / Lebanon, Germany, Qatar / 2019 / 90 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Social Issues, Immigration, Identity, Children, Creative Documentary, Women Issues


Moving to Beirut’s anarchic rhythm, ‘Underdown’ follows the struggles of a Palestinian cab driver who lives in his car, a homeless Syrian kid, and a Lebanese woman and her family. Through a pulsating journey full of harsh realities and an unbreakable sense of humour, the film’s subjects convey glimmers of hope in the darkest of places.


Sarah Kaskas
Liliane Rahal, Ines Meier

About the Director

Sarah Kaskas received her MFA in Cinematic Arts in 2011. Her thesis film, ‘Fugue’ (2011), toured to several festivals before being sold to BBC Arabic’s ‘Alternative Cinema’. In 2013, her animated short film ‘Wanderland’ won an award at the Co-Production Forum at the Stuttgart International Animation Festival, and was nominated for the Robert Bosch Film Prize in 2014. In 2016, Kaskas co-directed ‘Bread and Tea’, which was named Best Short Documentary at Iran’s Cinéma Vérité. Her upcoming feature documentary was nominated for the Robert Bosch Film Prize 2017 and received a production grant from the Doha Film Institute. She resides in Beirut and is an Assistant Professor of Film at the Lebanese American University.

Production Company Profile

Karaaj Films produces independent fiction and non-fiction films and web series. The company is run by Lebanese producer Liliane Rahal and director Sarah Kaskas, an eclectic team who bridge their passion for storytelling with their technical skills. Keeping in line with their organic and independent filmmaking approach, the team recently produced the award-winning short documentary ‘Bread and Tea’, which to date has appeared at 12 festivals in under a year. The team has also secured a production grant from the Doha Film Institute for their upcoming feature documentary ‘Underdown’, which will be released in 2019.

Awards and Festival History


"IDFA 2018, Luminous (WP)
Alfilm Arab FF 2020 "


Best Director in the Documentary Competition, MALMO Arab FF 2019


  • Co-Producer


  • Main Contact

    Liliane Rahal

    Karaaj Films

  • Production Company

    Karaaj Films


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