A press conference was held at Haigazian University to announce the 5th edition of the Beirut Art Film Festival – BAFF 2019, under the theme of “Change” and in the presence of the Deputy Head of Mission of the Spanish Embassy Gabriel Sistiaga, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy Simon Ammann, the Responsible of Cultural Affairs at the Swiss Embassy Alia Chucri, the Cultural Attachée of the Austrian Embassy Claudia Kluger-Ribeiro, the Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Monica Zecca, the Rector of the Antonine University Fr. Michel Jalakh, the Dean of School of Arts & Sciences at Haigazian University Dr. Arda A. Ekmekji, the Assistant Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at the Lebanese American University Sophie Khayat, the Founder of the Beirut Art Film Festival Alice Mogabgab Karam, the members of the committee Maria Chakhtoura, Soraya Karam and Alia Karam, as well as representatives of the partners and cultural centers welcoming the festival for the first time: Municipality of Zahle Maalaka and Tanayel, ASSABIL Friends of Public Libraries Association, Beirut, Centre Culturel de Tibnine, Baakleen National Library et l’Association Culturelle - El Hermel.

The major change this year is the festival leaving the cinema theaters in Ashrafieh, where it was launched 5 years ago, in order to deploy its activities in various universities auditoriums situated in the Grand Beirut.
The organizers are happy to invite BAFF’s faithful audience, together with academic circles, students and professors, to share and delight into those screenings; the large majority of them being free.
From November 1 to 30, a selection of 60 documentaries on art will be screened every day throughout the city, offering the testimony and fresh perspective of international writers-directors on the men, women and places that have shaped our modern world.
In addition, and in parallel, a large number of screenings will be held in 16 cultural centers; thus constructing a culture rainbow across the land, form north to south and from east to west, in November.

During the press conference, Alice Mogabgab Karam said: “After 5 years, BAFF has decided to privilege its activities exclusively in universities and cultural centers in order to be close to the young public, who is always curious to discover an interesting artistic program. This 5th edition grows up against all odds, and goes, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to meet the youngsters in all the schools all over Lebanon.”

The movie
Michel Thévoz, helium, hydrogene and history of art (2014, 45’, Pascale Bouhenic and Marianne Alphant, French) was presented also presented during the press conference in partnership with the Swiss Embassy.An history of art professor at Lausanne university, Michel Thevoz through ten fascinating images, produces a comprehensive panorama of this discipline; where Lebanon shows at a noticeable place.

FOCUS on Leonardo da Vinci 1519–2019
BAFF is partaking into world celebrations marking the outstanding Leonardo da Vinci jubilee. All in the same time inventor, engineer, architect, sculptor and painter, Leonard De Vinci is the universal man; the one who sublimated painting, who broke through in science, and who expanded the reach of human nature. In association with the Embassy of Italy, Ministero per I Beni e la Attivita Culturali and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, BAFF is scheduling 7 events.

Lebanon’s patrimony is still a key focus and concern for BAFF. Again in this 5th edition, the organizers highlight topics related to the land’s cultural heritage and its ecological depletion; tackling such cultural achievements and ecological alarms and distresses, to schools, universities and cultural centers.

BAFF partners with ‘community’, giving 4 evenings’ events to 4 Lebanese NGOs, whose credo is solidarity. Each NGO chooses a film screening and receives all the proceeds from the sale of the tickets sold.
The NGOs are: AFEL, Brave Heart, MySchoolPulse, The Youth of the Order of Malta.

Full program on www.bafflebanon.org


Tuesday, October 29, at 19.00, at Auditorium François Bassil, Saint-Joseph University, CIS Damascus Road: Leonardo da Vinci 1519-2019 launching jubilee.
In association with the embassy of Italy, the Ministero per I Beni et la Attivita Culturali and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, BAFF presents a lecture about:
Leonardo da Vinci and his secrets. Study, research and restoration
French, 90’. Booking by email:

Friday, November 1, Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Learning Street, Dekwaneh
An exhibition of ultra HD reproductions showcases 16 pages from the Leonardo da Vinci Codex on birds’ flight. Until November 21. Mon. to Fri. 10 am to 6 pm.

Sunday, November 3, at 18:30, at Irwin Hall Auditorium, Lebanese American University- Beirut: BAFF 2019 Opening Ceremony
In partnership with the Washington National Gallery of Art, three documentaries will be screened, produced by David Hammer and the HRH Foundation.

Monday, November 11, at 19.00, at Haigazian University, Media Center, Mexique Street Kantari: Saving Egypt’s Temples (2019, 52’, Oliver Lemaitre, English) et Aswan 1945 – Bisri 2019, (60’ debate)

Tuesday, November 19, at 19.30, at Samir J. Abillama Amphitheater, Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts: Van Gogh & Japan (2019, 85’, EOS / David Bickerstaff, English/French sub.)
To the benefit of MySchoolPulse.

Tuesday, November 26, at 19.30, at Samir J. Abillama Amphitheater, Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts: In partnership with the embassy of Austria, BAFF presents the International Premier of Backstage Vienna State Opera (2019, 96’, Stephanuns Domanig, V.O./Eng. sub.)

Friday, November 29, at 19.30, at Samir J. Abillama Amphitheater, Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts: BAFF 2019 Closing Ceremony with the World Premiere of Notre-Dame de Paris, l’épreuve des siècles (2019, 90’, Emmanuel Blanchard, French). Screening to be followed by a discussion with film’s director and producer. Tickets sold to the benefit of The Youth of the Order of Malta.

The Patrons of the Beirut Art Film Festival
The Robert A. Matta Foundation, The Alexis & Anne-Marie Habib Foundation, Embassy of the United States in Lebanon.

Cultural Partners
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Embassy of the United States, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Austria, Embassy of Italy, Ministero per I Beni e la Attivita Culturali, l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Goethe-Institut Libanon, Washington National Gallery of Art, Beirut International Platform of Dance – BIPOD and Al Jazeera Documentary Channel.