Lebanese Drama 1982, from writer/director Oualid Mouaness, has won the prestigious NETPAC Award at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
Selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema (NETPAC), the jury remarked that the film was selected “for its adventurous, imaginative style and subtle, confident filmmaking, bravely juxtaposing and framing the universal innocence and charm of youth within harrowing historical context.”
International filmmaker Oualid Mouaness, based in Los Angeles and Beirut, is a Sundance Screenwriting Lab alum who has directed several shorts including the acclaimed “The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy,” which was shortlisted for an 2017 Academy Award. He has an accomplished history as a producer of award winning films (Rize) and music videos for artists including David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Janet Jackson, Katie Perry, Justin Timberlake and Lana Del Rey.
Said Mouaness, “Thank you very much to TIFF and NETPAC for recognizing a film about such an important time in Lebanese and world history. This film is about the resilience of humanity and the fact that love is stronger than war. It is as relevant today as it was in 1982, and I am honored by this acclaimed recognition.”
The film is set during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, where 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her, and his teachers, on different sides of the political divide, try to mask their fears.
The film stars an ensemble cast of debut young actors and professional Lebanese actors led by filmmaker/actress Nadine Labaki, (Caramel, Capernaum, Where Do We Go Now?), with Rodrigue Sleiman (Stray Bullet, Heaven Sent), Aliya Khalidi, Said Serhan (Heaven Sent), Zeina Saab De Melero and Joseph Azoury.
1982 addresses a crucial moment in Middle East wartime history from a fresh and layered perspective.It will next play in competition at the El Gouna Film Festival later in September, where it will have its Middle East premiere.
The film was produced by Tricycle Logic (US) in tandem with Georges Schoucair’s Beirut-based Abbout Productions (Lebanon) and Mad Dog Films (US). Additional producing entities are Barentsfilm, Boo Pictures, and Soapbox Films.
The film was produced by Oualid Mouaness, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Georges Schoucair, Myriam Sassine, and Christopher Tricarico. Co-Producers are Louis Nader, Ingrid Lill Høgtun, Executive Producers are Rodney Adler, Jessie Creel, Anderson Hinsch, Candice Abela Mikati, Fouad Mikati, Jorge Takla, Christopher Alender, David A. Smith NETPAC is a pan-Asian, worldwide film cultural organization that is considered the leading authority on Asian and pan-Asian cinema. The NETPAC award is given at select international film festivals to spotlight exceptional films and filmmaking talent across the globe. Previous filmmakers honoured include the Phillippines’ Brilliante Mendoza, South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk and Sri Lanka’s Prasanna Vithanage.