A Testimony of Merging Cultures

A Testimony of Merging Cultures


The League of Lebanese Graduates from Greek Universities (LLGGU) announces the 10th edition of Beirut Greek Film Festival.

Article by: Paula Nassif

Dr Georges Scheib, president of the LLGGU, is putting the final touches on the 10th edition of the event that has become an annual reminder of cultural bonds between Lebanon and Greece. The festival will take place in November 2017 at Metropolis Empire Sofil – cinema and will feature an exciting new project.

How it all began

Dr Georges Scheib is a well-known orthodontist who studied in Greece and developed a passion for the Hellenic culture and specifically the art of cinema. On a visit to Paris, he was inspired by an advert for a Greek film festival and decided to export the idea to LebanMn as well. The festival is a chance for Lebanese audiences to embrace the Greek culture through Greek movies – a concept that is already happening in many countries around the world. Back in 2007, Scheib proposed the project to the Greek Ambassador, H.E. Panos Kalogeropoulos, who greatly appreciated the initiative and offered his immediate support.

The Ministry of Culture in Lebanon quickly joined the team and became a solid partner giving its patronage together with the Greek Embassy in making the festival come to life every year.

Today, Beirut Greek Film Festival is also under the aegis of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In partnership with the Greek Community of Beirut, and with the valuable support of the sponsors, the league has successfully achieved its goal for the past 10 years.

The selection of the movies

Every year, the Greek Film Center (GFC) proposes to the Festival a list of movies, which Dr Scheib and the organizing committee view carefully before they select the ones that will be featured in the festival. The panel makes sure that the selection includes a variety of themes and genres.

What makes the 10th edition special to the founder?

Georges Scheib tells us that Beirut Greek Film Festival is his “baby” that has been “nurtured” and grew over 10 years. Today Dr Scheib is proud of the overall accomplishments of the Beirut Greek Film Festival, as he has witnessed the appreciation and attachment of the Lebanese audiences to the event. Dr Scheib describes the Lebanese public as loyal and open to the Greek culture; without their appreciation throughout the years, there wouldn’t have been a 10th edition.

Lebanese-Greek bonds

Beirut Greek Film Festival keeps on proving over the years its ability in strengthening the cultural bonds between the two countries but also, and most importantly, the emotional bonds. The Lebanese public is welcoming the Hellenic culture. Greek directors have also built a strong attachment to their presence in Lebanon. Take Tasos Boulmetis, for example, the director of  “A Touch of Spice” (screened in 2010). Boulmetis, who had the opportunity to meet the Lebanese spectators, speaks of the overwhelming enthusiasm they showed for his movie, which made him eagerly accept that his last work, “Mythopathy” be showcased in the premiere of last year’s Festival edition.

A new project

The LLGGU and the organizing committee of the Festival is announcing a short movie competition that will allow young movie makers from Greece and Lebanon to compete for the chance to win financial support to realize their work. Two winning short movies, one from each country, will be selected by a jury of experts and will receive a cash prize. Around 12 of the many competing projects will be screened during the three days of the Festival. Every movie addict and all the fans of cinema who have a passion for the film industry are eligible to participate in this exciting competition.

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