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BBC: Beirut festival's defiant gesture

By Indiewire | Indiewire September 19, 2006 at 9:24AM

One of the world's most unlikely and ambitious film festivals is under way in Beirut, little more than a month since a fragile ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel was reached. Ayam Beirut al-Cinemaiya (Cinema Days of Beirut), which has been running since 2001, was organised almost six months ago. Under the circumstances, this year's program had to be cut down from over 100 films to just 40. The selection includes films about the Arab world - from the world premiere of Lebanese director Michel Kammoun's "Falafel" to James Longley's latest documentary "Iraq in Fragments," winner of the Director's Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Saeed Taji Farouky reports.
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One of the world's most unlikely and ambitious film festivals is under way in Beirut, little more than a month since a fragile ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel was reached. Ayam Beirut al-Cinemaiya (Cinema Days of Beirut), which has been running since 2001, was organised almost six months ago. Under the circumstances, this year's program had to be cut down from over 100 films to just 40. The selection includes films about the Arab world - from the world premiere of Lebanese director Michel Kammoun's "Falafel" to James Longley's latest documentary "Iraq in Fragments," winner of the Director's Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Saeed Taji Farouky reports.