Back to Lebanon programme

Transformative Cinema

Uniting diverse voices through the universal language of cinema

Transformative Cinema is a project seeking to unite diverse voices through the universal language of cinema. This innovative initiative, born from the collaboration between ForumZFD and the Beirut Film Society, aims to empower young individuals in Lebanon with the unique ability to wield cinema as a tool for conflict transformation, dialogue, and cultural diversity. Empowering young individuals in Lebanon, this project goes beyond teaching filmmaking technical skills; it fosters the creation of a connected community of storytellers dedicated to positive change.


From Inception to Inspiration: The Genesis of Transformative Cinema

In August 2022, Transformative Cinema emerged as a one-week camping experiment, blending community gathering, cinematic exploration, and peacebuilding sessions. The success of this inaugural edition, marked by authentic dialogues and a shared commitment to cinema as a catalyst for peace, fueled the decision by ForumZFD and the Beirut Film Society to expand this endeavor. What began as a captivating experiment in the transformative power of cinema laid the foundation for a broader, more continuous program.



Evolving Narratives: The 2023 Edition and Beyond

Building upon the success of the inaugural edition, Transformative Cinema has evolved into a comprehensive, year-long program. In the current 2023-24 edition, the project has grown to encompass a series of interconnected phases, extending its reach to diverse regions across Lebanon. The evolution reflects a commitment to sustaining the meaningful dialogues that emerged during the initial one-week experiment. From screenings to academic seminars, each phase contributes to the larger narrative of using cinema as a dynamic tool for conflict resolution and cultural exchange.

Phases of Transformation: 

Phase 1: Preparatory Online Sessions
The program commences with 10 open online training sessions for all applicants to the program : young filmmakers, early career professionals, professional filmmakers, & film students. As an end result to the online part, 35 participants were selected through a defined selection process; divided into 3 groups, connecting with each other, and coming up with a basic concept that will be developed and supervised by the mentors during the camp. 

Phase 2: Cinema For Peace Summer Camp & Film Festival
Expanding from the success of the previous one-week experience, the immersive 10-day phase involves participants in practical workshops, film screenings, and collaborative short film production guided by experienced mentors. Open Mic Talks and Tent-Talks offer opportunities for participants to connect with industry professionals and accomplished artists. The phase culminated in the production of six films, each addressing themes of cinema and peace/conflict transformation. The practical training included sessions on conflict analysis, media's role in peacebuilding, and utilizing Transformative Cinema—a crucial connection between filmmaking and peacebuilding.

Phase 3: Seminars & Screenings

In the third phase, the project extends its influence through decentralized seminars and screenings, reaching far beyond Beirut. Engaging diverse cultures and communities, it promotes dialogue and understanding in regions like Saida, Tripoli, and Sour. Thanks to collaborative efforts between the Beirut Film Society and various partners, including new links and strategic relations with different universities, these sessions are designed to strengthen the project´s reach with villages and secondary cities. The events encompass both screenings and seminars, encouraging greater empathy, open discourse and the exchange of perspectives.

Phase 4: Cinema4Peace Grant

This final phase supports research in the field of conflict transformation and cinema. By investing in scholarly endeavors, the project aims to further advance the understanding and application of cinema as a tool for conflict transformation. This phase represents the culmination of the conflict transformation process, as it encourages participants to contribute to the academic discourse surrounding peace and filmmaking.


Sustainability at the Core of Transformative Cinema

Transformative Cinema isn't just about immediate impact—it's about lasting change. Our commitment to sustainability runs deep, ensuring the project's enduring influence. We achieve this by empowering communities, fostering continuous learning through a year-long structure, reaching diverse regions for inclusivity, investing in ongoing academic research, and most notably, creating a robust network of filmmakers. This network is the linchpin, providing a lasting platform for collaboration, shared learning, and mutual support—fundamental to the lasting success of Transformative Cinema. Embracing sustainability, our project not only sparks positive change today but lays the foundation for a future where the transformative power of cinema continues to inspire, unite, and build bridges towards a more peaceful world.



Back to Lebanon programme