​Two Greenhouse Projects Receive Prestigious Sundance Grants!

Villages of the Absent & The Changing Map of Lebanon

'Villages of the Absent' and 'The Changing Map of Lebanon', both Graduates of the 2013 Program, have received Prestigious Sundance Grants!

'Villages of the Absent' by Omar and Ola Shami from Lebanon is a poetic documentary depicting the slow passage of time in Ain Bal, a village inhabited by a small population of elderly people, a mute lady and a schizophrenic man; a village drowning in memories of its livelier past.

'The Changing Map of Lebanon' by George Tarabay and Elias Khalil from Lebanon is the story of two bakers working in the same bakery in Beirut – one Lebanese, the other, a newly arrived Syrian refugee. Through their lives the film provides a fresh look at the situation of Lebanon during the Syrian civil war, at a time when Syrian refugees have come to constitute 25% of the total Lebanese population. The documentary focuses on the day-to-day survival and the clash of cultures through the lives of the two protagonists and other people at the bakery.

During the Greenhouse Pitching Forum in December 2013, filmmakers George Tarabay and Elias Khalil were awarded the Jacob Burns Film CenterKathryn W. Davis Fellowship by Steve Apkon, Executive Director of the JBFC. The fellowship included a one-month residency in New York, intensive editing training, access to the JBFC post-production facilities and additional funds for travel and living expenses. The fellowship also provided the filmmakers with the opportunity to work with the Greenhouse team and prominent filmmakers such as Jonathan Demme and get feedback on the development of their project.

During the Greenhouse 2013 Pitching Forum, 'Villages of the Absent' was awarded a $10,000 Development Grant from the Tribeca Film Institute and participation in Sheffield Doc/Fest's marketplace, which took place June 8th-11th, 2014.

Both sets of filmmakers had the opportunity to travel to New York City to attend the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival thanks to Greenhouse’s collaboration with the Tribeca Film Institute, the Jacob Burns Film CenterChicken & Egg Pictures. Omar and Ola Shami, George Tarabay and Elias Khalil all participated in the 2013 Greenhouse Program supported by the EU in the framework of Euromed Audiovisual III