Oualid Mouaness on the set of 1982. (Courtesy of Oualid Mouaness)
In his feature film debut 1982, director/writer Oualid Mouaness tells the story of an 11 year-old named Wissam who, after sending anonymous love notes, resolves to tell his classmate Joanna that he is in love with her. The narrative occurs at a school on the outskirts of Beirut during its final exam day—and right as the 1982 Lebanon War begins. As conflict escalates in the distance, teachers desperately try to mask their fears; however, the situation begins to crumble as the day progresses.
The film follows two pivotal focal points. One centers on students: love-struck Wissam (Mohamad Dalli), his best friend Majid (Ghassan Maalouf), the object of Wissam’s affection Joanna (Gia Madi), and possible nemesis Abir (Leyla Harkous). Another focuses on the teachers and staff of Wissam’s English-language school, including Wissam’s teacher Yasmine (Nadine Labaki) and her politically divergent colleague Joseph (Rodrigue Sleiman).
Full interview on Cinema Escapist
Interview by Lorna Codrai
Yad Deen, the director, writer and producer of Carga, talks to us about the inspiration behind his latest short film and his experience transitioning from documentaries to fiction. Carga follows couple, Marta and Juan, two young journalists to an abandoned cigarette factory to uncover its secrets. Deen explains, “we hit a bit of a niche here, making a Spanish thriller in Iraq — it’s intriguing.” It certainly is but more so due to the film’s location.
The former cigarette and tobacco factory in Sulayminyah, Iraq was left abandoned for over a decade with rumours of a reopening, then further talks of demolishing it. However, a local NGO saved the 1950s complex in late 2018 and the Kurdistan Regional Government has dedicated millions of dollars to transform the area into a culture city. Talk about a new lease of life!
The film is currently unreleased but it recently announced its Scandinavian premiere at the Annual Copenhagen Film Festival in March, where it has been nominated for Best Short Thriller. It was also screened twice this month during the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. Yad Deen was kind enough to speak to us about Carga and his experience of shooting the film.