Beirut Animated 3 – The Review
By Admin I: yes we are the type that gets panic attacks for not being able to attend all interesting design event happening in Beirut, but we always manage to report as much as we were able to witness so you can move your fat asses and go next year. Guys, it’s such a shame to have an almost empty room at a panel discussion in an animation festival. It’s such a shame because the majority of you hipster designers, spend your days and nights nagging about the field and getting more and more constipated about it (excused, I know). So Despite the fact that most sessions lacked audience (except the Lebanese and Arab short animation films session), Beirut Animated proved a very high level of organisation, great content and innovative events.
Let me start with the Panel discussion about independent animation in Lebanon (Moderators: Lina Younes, Saud Boksmati), that featured Lina Ghaibeh, Chadi Aoun, Mahmoud Korek, Myriam Sassine, David Habchy, Ahmad Beiruty, Amine Alameddine, Emil Adaimy, Rachel Mouawad and the one and only Reina Abbas. Most of the discussed issues were indeed what is currently needed for animation to become an industry in Lebanon, such as animation schools for example or a whole animation program starting from traditional techniques and on, and the fact that our universities are mostly ‘Dakakeen’ animation with one or two courses stuck in a whole Design program (the panel was surprisingly in Arabic! Hallelujah). Okay you’re actually right, but at one point the debate shifted to ‘nehna bel Alba’ and ‘nehna bel AUB’ in an endless attempt to use their eau-de-javel buckets. Guys, with all due respect, the students you called arrogant and ignorant were able to break through locally and internationally. Those same students are in competition with you, and add this reason to why we have no industry, it’s mainly because educators are afraid of professional competition from their own students, and students are too sick of the design education system that’s based on mass production in most of the cases. Reine Abbas was the most intriguing member of the panel, being brutally honest of how random is design education at universities that treat students as clients.
The second event at Beirut Animated is the Lebanese and Arab short animation films session, which was a delight to watch, but again varied from the overly conceptual works that you actually pretend to get just to fit in, and the brilliantly animated stories such as the super insightful Hoffili-Berber Wedding by Lotfi Mahfoudh from Tunisia, Fouad by David Habchy and Joan Baz and Inside-Out by Rachel Mouawad.
Beirut Animated went all around the city with ‘mouhawalat tahreek qitar‘ a collaborative short film produced as a result of a workshop held at the Mar Mkhayel train station. Waraq collective had a good share of the festival as well, with their Hully Gully trope at Luna Park Rawcheh, where they made use of the trope being one of the oldest animation techniques to create a live interactive installation that shows an animation cycle on a certain speed.
Designers and animators of Beirut (in case you exist), you’ve missed on a lot if you haven’t been to this year’s festival; the thing is that it’s once each two years (consider changing that metropolis dudes) and has whatever this field needs to improve: talent, will and good work. It only lacks your presence, yes, you, the arrogant visual artsy fartsy crowd of Beirut.