Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Ajyal Film Festival 2021

When Beirut was Beirut

Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Alessandra El Chanti / Qatar, Lebanon / 2021 / 12 min / Colour / Apple Pro Res 422 / In Arabic / English subtitles
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 15. Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or over.

This film is screening as part of Uncertain Futures II programme. Buy your tickets here .
This film is screening as part of Made in Qatar Film Programme programme. Buy your tickets here .


This poetic hybrid documentary introduces us to three majestic, abandoned buildings that witnessed Beirut’s tumultuous history—coming to life through a casual conversation amongst themselves. Using animation and archival audiovisuals, this film takes us back to the Golden Era of Beirut, when the Piccadilly Theater was filled with glamorous entertainment, the Egg was bustling with people in its local markets, and Beit Beirut housed an iconic hair salon and families living under its art-deco roof. Sadly, when the Lebanese Civil War erupted in 1975, the lives of these buildings changed completely.


Alessandra El Chanti

Alessandra El Chanti is a Lebanese documentary filmmaker, activist, and artist. Her interests lie in the stories of the Levant, ranging from its culture, social issues, and politics. El Chanti holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Northwestern University.


Alessandra El Chanti
Alessandra El Chanti
Alessandra El Chanti
Joey Semaan
Mohamed El Chanti, Issam Younes, Laeticia Semaan