Vatche Boulghourjian, writer & director
Vatche Boulghourjian is a Lebanese filmmaker. He holds an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where he was a departmental fellow. Before attending NYU, Boulghourjian worked throughout the Middle East on documentaries for television networks while also making his independent shorts, experimental films, and documentaries. Fifth Column, his thesis film at NYU, received a production grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and in 2010 premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, as part of the Cinéfondation program, where it was awarded Third Prize. His films have screened at festivals worldwide, garnering critical attention and numerous awards. Boulghourjian's first feature Tramontane was developed with the support of the Venice Biennale College Cinema, the Doha Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, the IFP, ARTE, AFAC, the Enjaaz initiative of the Dubai International Film Festival, the CNC Aide aux Cinémas du Monde and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund.
Caroline Oliveira, producer
Caroline Oliveira is a Brazilian producer based in New York City. She was born in São Paulo where she received a Bachelors degree in Advertising and Marketing. She began her career working as an assistant director and producer for high-end TV commercials in São Paulo. Caroline holds an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where she was a departmental fellow. She has produced several films including The Chair (2012 Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection, Short Film Competition; 2012 Winner Best Narrative short at SXSW; 2012 Winner Best Narrative Short at LAFF) and Edge of the Woods (South Carolina Film Commission Grant, starring Kiernan Shipka from AMC’s Mad Men). She is also a co-producer on the feature film Go Down Death (2012 IFP Narrative Film Lab) and a producer on the upcoming feature Baby Lu (2012 IFP Emerging Narratives). Caroline is inspired by scripts that boldly challenge societal norms through personal stories. Caroline participated in the 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab with Tramontane.
Georges Schoucair, producer
Georges Schoucair created multiple business ventures and started producing feature films and documentaries in 2005 under the banner of Abbout Productions. Under his management, the company succeeded to become one of the most acknowledged film production companies in the Middle East. Over the years, Georges Schoucair worked closely with a prominent network of Arab and international film professionals such as award winning directors (Khalil Joreige, Joanna Hadjithomas, Mohammad Malas, Ghassan Salhab) and distinguished international and Arab actors (Catherine Deneuve, Nadine Labaki, Nada Abou Farhat, Diamand Bou Abboud, Takla Chamoun). His films have been exhibited worldwide at the most important film festivals (Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, New York, among others) and received vast acclaim from both critics and public. Reaching out to Middle Eastern audiences, Georges established MC Distribution, an entity that distributes Arab and international films throughout the region. In 2008, broadening his business, he took on the role of vice president of Metropolis, a unique art house cinema venture in Beirut.
Gabrielle Dumon, co-producer
Born in 1976 in Marseille, France, Gabrielle Dumon grew up in Sweden and Germany. She started her film career as an on-set script supervisor while finishing her Double Master’s Degrees in Paris. In 2001, she started working at ACE, a unique European network of film producers, providing tailor-made support services focused on both the creative and financial dimensions of filmmaking. Working hand in hand with the elite of European producers, she mostly acted as a consultant and matchmaker for them in relation to the international industry, film festivals, projects consultants and potential co-producers. During the 7 years she spent at ACE, she worked with over 150 European producers on more than 400 feature film projects. In 2008, she joined producer Bertrand Faivre’s LE BUREAU FILMS in Paris, where she has acted since as Head of Development, Head of Co-productions and Post-production Supervisor on all of the company’s productions. Made a partner in 2011, Gabrielle currently develops and produces her own projects in the frame of the company, all the while working hand in hand with Bertrand Faivre on their common projects.
Myriam Sassine, associate producer
Myriam Sassine majored in cinema studies at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) in 2005, and received her M.A. in cinema research from the Institut d'études scéniques et audiovisuelles (IESAV) in 2009. She started working in 2005 as a story producer on several reality shows such as the Arab versions of international formats like The Biggest Loser (Reveille Productions), Unanimous (Fox) and Ton of Cash (Endemol). She also directed a documentary, The Palestinian Cause in the Lebanese Cinema (2009), and a short video, No Connection (2006), which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival 2007 and was screened in various festivals and galleries in Australia, France, Iran, Tunisia, United Sates and Scotland. In 2010, Myriam Sassine worked for two years in content development with Lucky Monkey Pictures (USA) and Abbout Productions (Lebanon). In 2012, she became an Associate Producer at Abbout Productions and produced in 2013 her first feature documentary e muet directed by Corine Shawi. Myriam participated in DocMed 2011 programme for Arab producers, in Torino Film Lab Interchange programme 2012 and in Berlinale Talents 2014.
Christian Eid, production supervisor
Christian Eid studied audiovisual and cinema at the Holy Spirit University - Kaslik (USEK) and graduated in 2009. Since 2008, he has worked as a story editor on several TV reality shows. Passionate about film sound, he worked as a boom operator on two feature films: Stray Bullet (2010) by Georges Hachem and Rehle (2010) by Meyar Roumi, a French-Syrian coproduction shot in Syria, Turkey and Iran. He also was the sound operator on many Lebanese short films. In 2010, he moved to the production field and started working as a Production Coordinator then as a Production Supervisor at Abbout Productions. Christian participated in Berlinale Talents 2013.
Antoine Waked, creative consultant
Antoine Waked studied film directing at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). After graduating, he worked as a story producer and segment director on several television shows such as the Arab versions of The Biggest Loser, The X-Factor, Unanimous, Male/Female, Ton of Cash and Guesstimation. He has directed three short movies: Le Matelas (2004), Giallo (2005) and the award winning animated film The Big Fall (2005) which was selected at film festivals in Paris, Lyon, Sydney, Rome, Morocco and Egypt. Since 2005, he has been giving courses at his former university ALBA, where he teaches writing and directing. He is currently working as a screenwriter and creative consultant with Abbout Productions. Antoine was also part of the 2013 Torino Film Lab Interchange program as a script consultant trainee. He wrote a segment of the omnibus film A Quintet (2014) which premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Ginger Beirut Productions, line producers
Lara Karam Chekerdjian and Abla Khoury, founders
Ginger Beirut is a line production company for feature and short films, documentaries, music videos, video installations and public service announcements. They are involved in every aspect of the production process, from line producing to co-production. Their extensive experience in the Lebanese film scene makes Ginger Beirut one of the few companies solely dedicated to cinematic production in the region. Since their establishment in early 2010, Ginger has undertaken the production of a growing number of films with varied requirements and increasingly ambitious scope. Their work includes Route du Nord (Dir. Carlos Chahine), Where Do We Go Now? (Dir. Nadine Labaki), Scam (a video installation by Khalil Joreige and Joanna Hadjithomas), Love and Time (a video installation by Akram Zaatari), The Mountain (Dir. Ghassan Salhab), The Valley (Dir. Ghassan Salhab), among many others.
Jimmy Lee Phelan, director of photography
Jimmy Lee Phelan's most recent work, the short film The Chair, was in competition for the Palm D'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He has photographed several features films including Five Time Champion (South by Southwest Film Festival 2011), Mulberry Streets (directed by Abel Ferrara) and Go Down Death (IFP Finishing Lab 2012). His work has screened at film festivals around the world winning awards in both the United States and Europe. Jimmy Lee's commercial work includes clients like Nike, Macy's, NARS, CRUSH, The Room and Tommy Hilfiger. He has recently wrapped a new TNT Latino series entitled Latitudes, starring Alice Braga and Daniel de Oliveira, which was nominated for an Emmy in 2014. Phelan holds an MFA in Cinematography from NYU.
Cynthia Zaven, composer & music supervisor
Cynthia Zaven is a composer, pianist and artist based in Beirut. She performs classical, experimental and improvised music in solo shows as well as in collaboration with other artists. Her projects combine a variety of media including video, photography, performance and the use of archive material to explore the relationship between sound, memory and identity through interwoven narratives. Her works include Untuned Piano Concerto With Delhi Traffic Orchestra (performance, 2006), Octophonic Diary (8 channel sound installation, 2009), Morse Code Composition (Soundworks, ICA, 2012) and more recently, A Bunker Fairy Tale (12 channel sound installation with video, 2013), exhibited at the Project Biennial of Contemporary Art ARK Underground, which takes place inside Tito's War Command in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a former atomic bunker now turned into a contemporary art museum. Since 1993, Zaven has also composed original scores and created sound designs for film, theater, live performance, dance, visual art, and conceptual art projects. The award-winning works have been exhibited at festivals worldwide including the international film festivals at Locarno, Toronto, Edinburgh, Dubai, as well as IDFA, the Tribeca Film Festival, Videobrasil, the Bern Kunstmuseum, the Institute of Contemporary Art London and Oxford's Museum of Modern Art. Her music has been published by the Berlin based label, Staalplaat. She is a professor of classical piano at the Higher National Conservatory of Music in Beirut.
Nadia Ben Rachid, editor
Nadia Ben Rachid has edited over 40 features and documentaries, notably all the works of Abderrahmane Sissako. Timbuktu, Sissako’s latest feature, won seven Césars, including Best Picture and Best Editing, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Nadia began her career as assistant editor on films by Roman Polanski, Claude Berri, and other legendary directors. In addition to the César that she earned for her work on Timbuktu, Nadia is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
For her complete filmography and list of awards please visit her website and IMDB page.
Nadine "Nanou" Ghanem, art director
Pamela Pianezza, photographer
Born in 1982. Grew up between France and Spain. Pamela Pianezza studied Photography and Journalism at the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille and Cinema at La Sorbonne. As a reporter, she has been covering the cultural scene and the film industry for more than 10 years for British, Canadian, and French medias (Dazed & Confused, Libération, Première, and Tess Magazine, among others). Her personal work focuses on multiple identities, the constructions of femininity and modern mythologies, using portraits, self portraits and oneiric landscapes. Her inspirations: dreams, nightmares, voodoo literature and tales, poetry and film noir. Her work has been exhibited in Paris, Lille, Arles, Villepinte and Bruxelles.