'ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour' from award-winning director Daizy Gedeon is slated for a theatrical release in Lebanon in October subject to censor board approval
MENA-based independent film distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has inked a deal with Australian production company Dream Creations International for the distribution rights of the documentary ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour.
The film, directed by Lebanese-born Australian filmmaker Daizy Gedeon, tackles many of Lebanon’s challenging issues including state corruption, mismanagement of government institutions and infrastructure, embezzlement of funds, and the political actors and parties behind the country’s collapse over the post-war decades, culminating in the tragic August 4 port explosion that left more than 200 civilians and civil servants dead and countless others injured and destitute. It recently won the Better World Fund and Filmfestivals.com Movie That Matters Award 2021 at Cannes.
The documentary is slated for an October release in Lebanese theatres provided it makes it past the censor board in Lebanon. The film is also slated for subsequent theatrical release in the rest of the Middle East and a number of international territories throughout the fall with a streaming release in February 2022. Dream Creations and Front Row will submit the documentary to the Lebanese censorship board in the coming week.
ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour also addresses the revolution and the global justice movement that was triggered in 2019 among the local population and the diaspora and highlights the importance of the Lebanese citizens’ roles in the upcoming parliamentary elections which are scheduled for May 2022 and could potentially make-or-break the future of the tiny Mediterranean country. Key to this will be the Lebanese expat vote – with an estimated 16m people. Lebanon has one of the largest diasporas in the world, with the majority divided between Latin America, the US/Canada and Australia.
Speaking about the documentary, Filmmaker Gedeon said: “The diaspora are the sleeping giant. If we play our cards right, we could be a powerful force for change and influence a decisive shift in the balance of power away from the political elite who have abused the people, the country and the diaspora for more than 40 years.”
Throughout the film, Gedeon offers damning evidence of state-level criminal corruption through incisive interviews with whistle-blower and former Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Alain Bifani and through unique first-hand accounts as she interviews several of the country’s leading powerbrokers including MP Gebran Bassil (Minister of Telecommunications, Minister of Energy and Water 2009-2014, Minister of Foreign Affairs 2015 – 2020), Ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Samir Geagea (Executive Chairman of the Lebanese Forces Party), Mohammed Fneich (Hezbollah party member, Minister of Sports and Youth) and much maligned central bank governor Riad Salameh.
Gianluca Chakra, CEO of Front Row, added: “For us, ENOUGH is not only a fascinating expose on the deeply entrenched corruption that has crippled Lebanon, but also a key message to encourage viewers who can vote to go out there and do their part. The Lebanese diaspora counts over 16m Lebanese, 1.5m of which are only in the US and the majority (circa 8m) throughout Latin America. Australia alone counts 400,000 but around 1m identify as Lebanese. The people now have a chance to save themselves and the nation in the upcoming elections and we sincerely hope that this documentary will help achieve that.”
An Arabic dubbed version of the documentary will also be available to watch. Dubbing will be provided by the Operation Unicorn team of Nathalie Masri and Wissam Matar. Masri is a popular Lebanese vlogger and runs Coffee Break, one of the region’s top-rated podcasts, and Matar is Managing Director at Unicorn.
The deal was negotiated by Non-Theatrical sales director Carine Chaiban and CEO Gianluca Chakra for Front Row, and Daizy Gedeon and producer Ronny Mouawad for Dreams Creations International.