In the midst of lockdown that has been imposed on the Lebanese since January 14, 2021, museums, galleries, and even managers of film festivals are refusing to have their hands tied. Through weekly and monthly initiatives, they are trying to ease people's stress and boredom. People are enjoying virtual tours of museums and exhibits, as well as film screenings.
In this context, the 6th edition of the Beirut Art Film Festival (BAFF) will screen movies on a Sunday evening every month, starting off this upcoming Sunday, January 31, with a documentary film about Winston Churchill, titled “Churchill & the Movie Mogul.”
Winston Churchill was mad about films, more than any other politician in history. The true extent of his use of films as a propaganda tool has not been previously explored, the group says about the film.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Alice Mogabgab, the director of the Beirut Art Film Festival, says: “We wanted to screen this movie to indicate the importance of cinema’s role in the world of politics. Churchill used it to achieve his political objectives and influence his colleagues inside and outside Britain."
"The movie will show how Churchill compelled the US to engage in the Second World War.”
She adds that “the film also sheds light on the director Alexander Korda’s character. He produced many movies that had a great impact on modern cinema, like Gone with the Wind.”
Mogabgab says that everyone needs to take a break from the situation of the pandemic that we are living today.
"That is why we thought of holding the 6th edition of the festival virtually to screen famous works. After Churchill’s movie, we will share a list of new movies that will be screened once a month until next December, the date of the festival’s seventh edition.”
After the movie ends, a roundtable discussion about it will be held.
Joseph Bahout, President of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University in Lebanon, will take part, discussing the role of culture in politics in general.
While Lebanese director Hady Zakak, a professor at USJ, will talk about Alexander Kolba’s pioneering role in the world of cinema and his work with Winston Churchill in particular. The roundtable will be hosted by the director of the film, John Fleet, who will talk about his experience making the movie.