The 6th edition of Beirut Art Film Festival

Wounded and bruised in its essence and in its raison d'être, like all Lebanese, the Beirut Art Film Festival, in this ultimate attempt at survival, wants to share in their pain, in the degradation of their daily lives; BAFF wants to participate in the expression of their humanity, their attachment to life, as seen in the extraordinary resilience of our fellow citizens, in the face of the terrible calamities that have torn our existence.

We hesitated a lot, after the chaotic 2019 edition, launched and stillborn on October 16. While acclaiming the eruption of salutary popular anger the next day, BAFF 2019 was to sink into marginality with the onset of the financial crisis, which continues to affect us on a daily basis.

The programming of this VIth edition was neither easy nor obvious. Discouraged by the many crises that hit us all, we were about to give up; two motivations led us to hang on:

• The deep feeling that Lebanon cannot die, that our compatriots, despite all the setbacks, including the collapse of the popular revolt, continue to fight; and that being there will be a contribution to their struggle; a contribution that goes beyond culture; an initiative that meets their courage, a communion with their humanity,

• The unwavering support of our sponsors; the embassies of the United States of America, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Goethe Institut; who all continue to believe in our country, and in the ability of the Lebanese to recover and emerge from the abyss.

So here we are, despite the vagaries of the Covid-19 and its confinement, despite the gloom and distress surrounding the land, back with a new edition of BAFF to express a message of love, compassion and humanity. To shout a message of communion with the other; this other who is fundamentally different in his thinking, in his belief, in his aesthetics and in his vision of the world.

This belief in the Lebanese’s resilience and combativeness spirit, in the ability to open up to the universal through art and cinema, is the essence of our conviction; it is our motivation.

Despite the pandemic that is hitting the whole world, despite the closure of theaters, festivals, exhibitions and museums, filmmakers have not given up. The 2020 vintage of film production is particularly rich and innovative. Producing this VIth edition of BAFF, in the middle of the rubble of Beirut, in the heart of its August 4 disaster’s most affected neighborhoods, is not only a tour de force, but the affirmation of our hope for a future of a life grounded in decency and dignity. This edition of BAFF 2020 could not have been done without the belief and the determination of the festival's sponsors-partners, who have been loyal supporters since the first hour.

In partnership with embassies of the United States of America, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Goethe Institut, the organizers of BAFF are pleased to offer Lebanese audience a selection of 20 recent documentaries on dance, visual arts, architecture, literature, music, which will be screened at the Monnot Theater in Ashrafieh from 3 to 9 December, from 3pm to 8pm.

We would like to express our gratitude to the two patrons who have supported BAFF throughout the last 5 years and to salute the work in humanitarian and education, so valuable and vital for Lebanon: Robert A. Matta Foundation and Anne-Marie and Alexis Habib Foundation.