Waves ’98 won the top prize at the Cannes film Festival, the Palm D’Or in the short film category.
Set between Beirut’s post-war climate of recovery in the 90’s and today’s general sense of crumbling this is Omar’s story. Growing up in Beirut’s suburbs meant that Omar spent his entire teenage years living on the outskirts, having never visited parts of the segregated city or even crossed its borders. His daily life is dominated by the mundane, his parents’ financial problems, and a certain lack of motivation; his only escape being the time he spends gazing at the city from his school’s rooftop. Until, On a cold winter day, Omar unexpectedly witnesses something strange and beautiful. A sort of intense beaming light, shining through the grayness of the city’s landscape, that lures him to venture into the depth of the city. This giant discovery leads him to explore and immerse himself in a world he never knew existed. A world that is so close yet so isolated from his reality that Omar finds himself struggling to keep his attachments, his sense of home…
Duration: 14′ 50”
Screening Format: DCP
Original Language: Arabic
Born in Beirut Lebanon in 1985. Graduated with an MA in New media and contemporary Art Studies from Goldmiths College, LONDON, UK (2009), after having completed a BA in 2d/3d animation and Art Direction/Illustration at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, LEBANON (2007)
Waves ’98 is as much a narrative film as it is a personal visual essay dedicated to Dagher’s hometown, Beirut.
The film is an artistic exploration of the director’s current relation with his Lebanon, his home country, projected through the story of a teenager and set in 1998. Since moving abroad to study and work, Ely Dagher has been spending more and more time outside of Lebanon, and his attachment to Beirut Started to become more and more complicated. The overall Narrative of the film is heavily based on Ely’s efforts to understand his changing relationship with the city and it’s life, juxtaposed with the narrative of a teenager’s exciting discovery of this segregated city.
Written and directed by Ely Dagher
Producer: Ely Dagher
Co-Producer: Nina Najjar
Co-Producer: Christina Farah
Art Work and Design: Ely Dagher
Animation Director: Ely Dagher
Editing: Ely Dagher
Sound Design and Score: Zelig Sound
Voice Over Recording: Jawad Chaaban
Omar’s Voice: Elie Bassila
Noura’s Voice: Cherine Khoury
Voice Coach: Roger Ghanem
Photography: Ely Dagher
Titling: Richard Kahwagi