Written, produced &
directed by Philippe Aractingi
| Ali El Khatib | Martin Russell | Simon Emmerson
Choreographer | Alissar Caracalla
Costumes | Milia Maroun | Mirna Dib | Rhi'a Naffi
Artistic Director & Set Designer | Cynthia Zahar
Sound Recordist | Myriam Chayeb
Film Editor | Dana K. Trometer
Dance Sequence Editor | Dina Charara
Director of photography | Garry Turnbull
Post-Production Manager | Eric Trometer
Line Producer | Marwan Tarraf - Darkside
Producer | Autobus LTD
Executive Producer | Fantascope Production
Rodney el Haddad | KAMAL
Nadine Labaki | ALIA
Nada Abou Farhat | VOLA
Omar Rajeh | OMAR
Liliane Nemri | ARZE
Bshara Atallah | KHALIL
Mounir Malaeb | TOUFIC
Mahmoud Mabsout | CARETAKER
Rana Alamudin Karam | ISABELLE
wednesday . nov 15 . 8pm . free . 54-100 (map)
public screening rights purchased by the LCM
"BOSTA" (the Autobus) is a film that is set
in Lebanon with some of the most popular actors, dancers, choreographers in the
Arab world. It is the first post-war Lebanese musical with contemporary Middle
Eastern, and more precisely Lebanese rhythms, such as the Dabke dance, which is
at the foreground of the Lebanese national folklore.
It is also the first Lebanese film to be entirely funded by private Lebanese
investors. This represents a breakthrough in terms of production because
Lebanese films, like in most countries in transition, rely mainly on western
cultural funds. Through a financial establishment, participation shares were
issued allowing the private and business sectors in Lebanon and the Arab world
to invest in the movie.
The music of Bosta has also been a great challenge. It has made it possible to
join efforts between local composers (Ali el Khatib) and the Afro Celt Sound
System, a British group from Peter Gabriel's label "Real World". Such
collaboration is the first in the local cinema production scene.
As you may know Lebanon is passing through crucial changes and the present news
show the urge to adjust the image one has of Lebanon. There is a call for
freedom and change.
This film is a timely film that deals with the contemporary Lebanese society in
a creative way and gives a positive outlook to the future away from the
stereotypical image of war and terrorism.
After 15 years of exile in France, Kamal
returns to Beirut with his mind set on one goal: recreate the dance group he had
formed with his school friends and whom he hasn't seen since - but today, not
only does he want to bring back this disparate group together, but also take the
bold move of introducing a Western flavor to the traditional Dabkeh music.
When the dancers audition before the jury of the national Dabkeh festival, they
are curtly rejected on the basis that they are causing prejudice to the "only
cultural icon left". This prompts them to refurbish their old school bus and
embark on a road trip across Lebanese towns to perform and introduce their
pioneering dance to the public.
As they struggle to win people over to their alternative spirit, each of the
dancers also realizes that they have also embarked on a personal journey to
reconnect with their childhood, their friendships lost and found, the pains of
the war and of separation... a journey that will lead a group of friends to turn
the page on a painful past.
Bosta is a road musical that takes the audience on a wonderful journey across
various Lebanese regions... a journey accompanied by a groundbreaking soundtrack
and, of course, this truly pioneering dance, the electro-dabkeh.
The word "Dabkeh" in Arabic means to
stomp. Dabkeh is a Middle Eastern folk dance that is danced in a line or
semi-circle and that has traditionally played an important part in village life
in the Levant. Many different variations of Dabkeh exist throughout Lebanon,
Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq. It is danced by both men and women and,
depending on local tradition, the lines can be women-only, men-only, or mixed.
It is closely related to the Greek Fast Hasapiko, Macedonian Oro, Bulgarian Horo,
which are all based on the same Mediterranean three-measure step pattern.
The stick wielded by the older dancers in one of the scenes in Bosta is also a
traditional element of the Dabkeh. When a straight olive branch is found (a
fairly rare thing) it is considered good luck. The branch is cut from the tree
and whittled into a hookless cane, often with a spiral pattern. This is then
carried during the dance and waved about or held up for emphasis.
Leadership of the dance is given to the most talented and experienced dancer of
the group, who is aptly called the "Ras" (head). He determines the pattern of
the dance, Lebanese dabkeh is traditionally written as six-beat music and danced
as a six-beat sequence, but many modern dabkehs are written in eight-beat.
The Bus - The bus was the most
whimsical actor in the film, accuses laughingly director Philippe Aractingi. "It
wouldn't stop breaking down; it would constantly be gobbling up gas, and ended
up costing us four times the initial price!" It took several months to find the
bus, which in fact used to be a public transportation bus. Today, only three or
four similar buses remain in Lebanon.
KAMAL - Rodney El Haddad | Rodney El Haddad delivers here his first role
in a feature film, succeeding a rich experience in theatre, whether as actor,
writer and director. He played in 17 plays in Lebanon, Italy and France. He
graduated from the Lebanese University faculty of Dramatic Arts in 2000. His
performance in the short film "Une musique sur la lune" earned him the Qamar
d'Or for best interpretation in 2000. Moreover, he has authored a number of
scripts and two plays wish he wrote and directed. He just finished his first
ALIA - Nadine Labaki | Alia is Nadine Labaki's first lead role in a
feature film. She played in several short films. After having worked for several
years as a TV producer in an advertisement agency, Nadine Labaki moved on in
2000 to directing, making numerous commercials and pop videos, and earning a
number of prestigious awards (such as the Murex d'Or for both years 2002 and
2003). In 2004, she participated in the Résidence du Festival de film de Cannes
for the writing and development of feature films, and is currently in the pre
production stage of her first feature film.
VOLA - Nada Abou Farhat | While studying for her master's degree in
acting and directing, which she earned in 1999, Nada Abou Farhat sustained a
dynamic and consistent career in acting, which started in 1995. She first
started out in a play written and directed by Ghady and Marwan Rahbani, where
she had a small role, and went on taking second roles in successive hit TV
series such as "Al Assifa Tahob Marratayn", "Tlet Banet" before being offered
the lead roles in major plays, as well as TV series. Among others, she was
offered the lead role in "Three Tall Women", directed by Nidal Al-Achkar; in
"Hyper Reality", a film written and directed by Salam el Zaatary; and in "Yara",
a film directed by Gaby Saeed. More recently, she played in "Bint Asel", a play
directed by Gabriel Yammine, which was showcased at the Beirut Theatre. In
parallel to her work in acting, Nada Abou Farhat has also directed "Samhit Nafes",
a short film written by Jean Sadek; "Butterflies are free", a play written by
Leonard Gershe, which played at the Beirut Theatre, as well as "Ghinoua", a play
for children, written by Jean Sadek.
OMAR - Omar Rajeh | Omar Rajeh started out his career as a dancer in the
Caracalla Dance Company (1993 - 1997). He collaborated with several Lebanese
directors and choreographers, including Roger Assaf (1999) and Jana El-Hassan
(1998-2000). In 1998, he played in "Autour de la Maison Rose," a film by Joanna
Hadji-Thomas and Khalil Joreige. He graduated in 2000-BA (theatre
studies)-Lebanese University. In 2001-MA (dance studies)-University of Surrey.UK.
Candidate for PHD (London Contemporary dance school)-2006. In 2002, he founded
the "Maqamat" Dance Theatre and created three contemporary dance shows: "Beyrouth
Jaune" (2002), "War on the Balcony"(2003) which won an award for best technique
in in Tunisia. "Mental Masturbation" in 2004,
was performed at BIPOD, and in Endansa, Barcelona. In 2003 as well, he
choreographed "Shutter Speed", a dance performance that was produced and
performed at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. He has performed as both a
dancer and choreographer in Lebanon, Egypt, Germany, France, Tunisia, Spain and
the UK. In 2004, Omar Rajeh founded the Beirut International Platform of Dance
(BIPOD), an annual event that promotes contemporary dance in Lebanon and in the
region. Currently preparing for 2 nd editor BIPOD, a new creation called
"Concerto 13" -January 2006.
KHALIL - Bshara Atallah | Bshara Atallah has been performing since 1993
in many plays, both as an actor and dancer, with such choreographers as Roweida
el Ghali Hornig, Studio 11 cie for physical theare since 2001. Beirut, in 1999 a
year that also brought him a first prize in the "Theatre Improvisation Contest",
during the Second International Art Festival for the Young Generation of Beirut.
He equally enjoys a proliferate experience as an actor in both theatre and
television, having worked with notorious directors as Roger Assaf, Yaacoub El
Shedrawi, Issam Bou Khaled, and Roweida El Ghali. His role as Khalil in Bosta
marks his first role in cinema.
ARZE - Liliane Nemri | Liliane Nemri started off her acting career at the
age of six, and then continued on a regular basis, mainly acting in television
series with most of the major directors throughout the late 70s and throughout
the 80s and 90s. She equally gained notoriety as a radio talk-show host for
Voice of Lebanon, which she started out in 1978. Following a 20-year break,
Liliane Nemri resumed her talk-shows in 2002. Moreover, her experience in
theatre also spans a wide array of directors and years. She has been playing
since 1968 on a regular basis, and the last play she featured in dates to 2002,
Moranne Men Hona, directed by Patrick Moubarak. As far as feature films, Liliane
Nemri is well remembered for her remarkable performance in Ziad Doueiri's "West
Beirut," gaining roles thereafter in Randa Al Chahal's "Civilized" and
"Cerf-Volant", as well as Salam Zaatari's "Alwak'' Wake'" in 2002.
TOUFIC - Mounir Malaeb | Mounir Malaeb is a professional dancer, a
choreographer and a dance teacher. He currently teaches Lebanese folk dance at
the American University of Beirut (AUB) and at the Lebanese American University
(LAU). He is the creator choreographer and director of "Rajana Veda" (www.rajanaveda.com),
a Lebanese dance company that has performed several musicals in regional and
international festivals in Mexico, Greece, Malaysia, Syria, as well as Lebanon
and the United Arab Emirates. He started out his career as a dancer in 1992
until 2000with the Lebanese company Caracalla. Bosta marks his first performance
in a feature film as an actor and dancer.
Mr. NAIM - Mahmoud Mabsout | Mahmoud Mabsout is one of the pivotal
figures of Lebanese television and cinema, with a career spanning over 50 years,
uninterrupted throughout the civil war. Born in 1941, he later enrolled at the
Fréres School in Tripoli. At the age of 14 however, his repeated failures led
him to drop out from school. He took up dressmaking, working during the day and
self-teaching in the evenings. But before he dropped out, he was noticed during
one of the school plays, in which he had played a part. And from then on, he was
constantly being solicited to take part in school plays. In the 1960s, he was
offered to a lead role in a television series that continues to this day,
playing the character known as "Fehman", an almost mythical figure of Lebanese
television. Mahmoud Mabsout has worked with all the greatest Lebanese directors,
whether on stage, television or in feature films. Among others, he cooperated on
several occasions with the Rahbani Brothers, with Farid Al Atrache, with Nour el
Sharif, Fairuz, played once and again in the famous Caracalla dance
representations, and recently, he appeared on big screen in Ziad Doueiri's "West
Beyrouth", in Hani Tamba's short film "After Shave" and the latest being Bosta.
ISABELLE - Rana Alamuddin | After working as a director, TV producer and
host in Beirut, Rana Alamuddin moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue an acting
career. She studied at the prestigious Playhouse West acting school founded by
Jeff Goldblum and took classes with Ivana Chubbuck, acting coach of
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry. Amongst her latest projects the TV series
"She Spies" starring Natasha Henstridge, a L'Oreal commercial with Milla
Jovovich and the award-winning short-film "Recycling Flo" which competed at the
Cannes Film Festival.
All proceeds from donations will support
relief and reconstruction efforts in Lebanon as part of the
'Boston to Lebanon' campaign