The Danish Youth Cinema on the road – Lebanon 2012

En dreng rækker hånden op
Beirut

Denne artikel kan også læses i Nyhedsbrevet fra den danske ambassade i Beirut, der udkommer i december.

When it comes to cultural events, Lebanon – and especially Beirut- witness great activity by local and foreign organizations all year long. Beirut usually attracts most of those events leading to high saturation level, overlapping events and strengthening the perception that Beirut is Lebanon.

The Danish embassy has also organized or participated in numerous cultural events in Beirut but has also for a long time seen the need to spread those events across Lebanon and to come in contact with the diverse Lebanese youth. From that notion, the idea for “Danish Youth Cinema on the Road” was born.

The title is self-explanatory. “Danish” since the films are made in Denmark. “Youth Cinema” since the targeted audiences was students ranging from the young age of 6 years to the youth of 17 years.

And finally “On the road”, since the embassy would visit cities and town across in order to screen the films and discuss their themes and messages with the students.

The choice of cities and towns was done carefully to make sure that all the regions were covered and students from diverse backgrounds participated.

Our local partners in those areas were cultural centers, public libraries and schools, a choice which not only reflects the embassy’s belief in the role these institutions play in the society but also highlights the educational side of this event.

Libanon

And so on 30th of October the wheels were set in motion. The first town we visited was Zouk Mikael, then Nabatiyeh, Bourj Hammoud, Hermel, Saida and Baakline. On the 16th of November we reached Tripoli our final city.

All in all we visited 7 regions in the North, South, Bekaa, the mountains and the outskirts of Beirut and more than 2000 student enjoyed the movies and took part in the discussions.

From movies discussing family issues such as having a new born sibling or the relationship with the parents to movies discussing social interactions, a total of 6 Danish movies with different themes were screened all but one dubbed into Arabic.

Each movie was screened to a specific age range and revolved around social and educational topics which are of relevant to children and youth and directly related to their daily lives, problems and aspirations.

The discussions which followed each screening were one of the most important aspects of this event. During those discussions, a local communicator from the embassy would explain the messages of each movie and then moderate discussions with the students which shared their ideas, opinions and personal experiences related to the movies.

The educational value was not only added through those discussions but also through the students’ interactions and public speaking in front of many other students from different schools and classes.

This initiative has witnessed great success and was welcomed enthusiastically by the schools, the students and our hosts which we would like to thank for their hard work, their professionalism, their hospitality and their collaboration. The embassy is very keen on repeating this festival again in 2013.

Our partners:

  • Zouk Mikael – “Youth and Culture Center”
  • Nabatieh – “Kamel Youssef Jaber Cultural and Social Center”
  • Bourj Hammoud – “Mesrobian Highschool and Technical College”
  • Hermel – “Cultural Center of Hermel”
  • Saida – “Rafic Hariri High School ”
  • Baakline – “Baakline National Library”
  • Tripoli – AZM Cultural Center – Beit El Fan

“Danish Youth Cinema on the Road – Lebanon 2012”was sponsored by the Danish Film Institute and the Danish Institute in Damascus

By Mohamad Daya, Danish Embassy in Beirut