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TIFF ’09 | Dima El-Horr: “Dream in Arabic, speak English and write and read in French”

TIFF '09 | Dima El-Horr: "Dream in Arabic, speak English and write and read in French"

Coming from Lebanon, Dima El-Horr’s “Every Day is a Holiday” is a striking debut about three women on the road to visit their imprisoned men. Mixing real politics and stark absurdity, El-Horr announces herself as a major new voice in Middle Eastern cinema. The film screens as part of Toronto’s Discovery section. indieWIRE contacted the film’s director to discuss her career and the film. We gave El-Horr and others a free-form style interview to gather their thoughts on their individual projects……

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews indieWIRE will be running with the filmmakers screening in the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery program.


– Six brothers and sisters
– Lost both my parents
– Lived through a civil war for seventeen years
– Live today between Beirut and Paris
– Muslim and grew up in the Christian part of Beirut
– Dream in Arabic, speak English and write and read in French
– Attented French school in Beirut
– Studied Filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Your Filmmaking Career and Process…

– Cinema Instructor at the Lebanese American University
– Two short films, “The Street” and “Prêt-à-porter Imm Ali” that were shown in various film festivals and received many awards

“Every Day is a Holiday”…

– Observation of the world around me
– My collaboration with Rabih Mroué, the most influencial performance artist in Lebanon
– Hard shooting days under the heating summer sun of Lebanon and smooth and agreeable post-production process in the cold days of Paris
– Patience, patience, patience

Your Influences…

– The films I saw again and again
– The books I read
– The need to talk about war memories
– Stories heard of women in the Middle East
– My father, who was a great fan of the Classical American Cinema and specifically the Western.

The Future…

– Applause
– Appreciation
– And why not a standing ovation and distribution around the world?
– Me in 10 years???? Films, films, films….

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