Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2016 Projects

2016 Script Development Fund Projects

Category AFA Project
Director Sarah Francis
Country Lebanon
Director's Profile Sarah Francis lives and works in Beirut. She participated in several international workshops and labs (Asian Film Academy in South Korea in 2005, CPH:LAB in Copenhagen, etc). Since 2006, she has been working as a freelance director for several production companies. She directed and produced her first feature documentary Birds of September (Touyour Ayloul) (2013) which screened in more than 30 festivals and museums and received 5 awards (best international competition award at DMZ Docs, South Korea and Best Documentary at Silk Road Film Festival, Dublin among others).
Beirut. Hanane, a 19-year-old girl struggles in a dysfunctional family. One night, she gets on Ali’s motorbike (a boy she barely knows) and they leave together to start a new life. They go live in a little shack by the sea, as guardians of an empty fancy residence. Hanane and Ali survive by doing small jobs and playing shady tricks on random drivers passing by. One day, she enters the big house for the first time to clean it. The water in the bucket is red. She soon discovers a body floating in the water tank on the roof. Traumatized, she lays down on the fancy carpet right under the humid spot where paint is peeling off. Here, only the ceiling separates her from the corpse. Confused and scared about their fate, they decide not to report it. Days pass, and Ali spends his nights at the internet café with the boys. Hanane feels lonely. Every day, she goes to the big house with flowers or candles and lays them on the carpet. An unspoken relationship with her ‘double’ soon develops in this virtual sanctuary while her life and her relationship are falling apart. Until one day, she decides to set herself and the body free.
Director's Note
I am interested in exploring the coming of age of two young people trying to understand their individualities while entering the adulthood in Lebanon. The imagery of a ‘dead body’ is often hiding in our society’s collective unconscious, especially in the middle east. The close (yet mostly virtual) encounter between Hanane’s own body (which she is starting to discover) and another lifeless anonymous body – and its several aspects: organic, intimate, social, anthropological, and somehow spiritual – will allow me to explore Hanane’s existential exploration of life (in contrast to death). This film is a story that echoes with contemporary Beirut, shot with realism, intimacy but also poetry.
Still Cut