The success of having three films in the different selections of the Cannes Film Festival is a testament to the growing influence of Lebanese cinema. But behind the celluloid, there are also a number of organisations that are working not just to promote Lebanese films, but also Lebanon as filming destination and as a hot bed of new creative talent.

President of the Fondation Liban Cinema, Maya de Freige is clear about what they want to achieve this year at Cannes. “We want to promote the quality of the Lebanese cinema, the quality of the production companies, the quality of the filmmakers. We want to gather all these people and build a network among them”.

Since 2005, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism has been working on the ground alongside the Tourism Office of Lebanon in Paris in the premises of the national pavilion at the Film Market, in collaboration with Fondation Liban Cinema. Other institutions such as The Ministry of Culture and the Investment Development Authority in Lebanon (IDAL), also aim at promoting Lebanese cinema and spreading it to a wider international audience.

As part of the celebrations of having three films making the official selection, a number of events are happening at the Lebanese pavilion. There will be professional lunches organised by the Tourism Office of Lebanon in Paris, for the French and Lebanese crews that worked on “Tramontane”, “Tombé du Ciel” and “Submarine”, who will be talking about their films to 35mm from Beirut.

Furthermore, Fondation Liban Cinema has scheduled the screening of four feature films as part of the film market, hoping to secure them distribution and sales. Each of the films will be preceded by a short promotional film highlighting Lebanon as a location for shooting films. This video was produced by esteemed Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi and commissioned by the Tourism Office of Lebanon in Paris. Also as part of the film market, Lebanese producers Lucien Bou Chaaya and Diala Kashmar will be taking part in The producer’s network, a workshop organised in parallel to the Festival.

Cannes is renowned for its glitz and glamour, and the Lebanese never shy away from a party. A “Meet the Lebanese Professionals” cocktail party, planned by the Fondation Liban Cinema, will be taking place on May 15, and will be bringing together the best and brightest of the world of Lebanese cinema, as well as lots of cocktails.

By Hugo Goodridge