Our pride and glory: Ely Dagher, Lebanese director won Cannes film festival award


We Lebanese love to hear about the achievement of our community abroad, it makes us feel that even if we are
a small country we can be famous. We keep looking for celebrities with Lebanese origin: actors, athletes, directors, scientists, and then we brag about them when we travel or in the presence of foreigners.

I am sure you have heard on the news about “Ely Dagher”, the Lebanese director whose short film was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival on the 24th of May 2015.

Back then, I was content that a Lebanese citizen is achieving internationally, we feel proud when our country’s name appears in the news for something not related to politics, but few of us had the curiosity to know more about this short film like wise I didn’t even Google it.

Waves’ 98 by Ely Dagher was screened at the Metropolis Sofil cinema, Ashrafieh, I was thrilled and excited to know more about it thus, I went to grab my tickets and perhaps meet the Director

The number of people there surprised me; two theatres and two screenings were all sold out. People were sitting on the floor of the theatre and standing in the back completely mesmerized by the film, the movie was a 15 min animation film, with quality graphics, and a direct message:

The main character a teenage boy called Omar, living in the suburbs of Beirut, one day was lured to discover the depth of the city, he drove his motorcycle there, and suddenly he saw what appears to be a giant golden elephant; other teenager jumped inside and a beam of light sucked Omar into the elephant. He immersed into another world with the other teenagers, where they had a good life, he lived a love story with Noura, spend days on the beach until something happened: some kind of booming that signaled time to go back to reality (outside the elephant), and this what made him scared and confused.

The movie ended, I stepped out of the theatre I saw the director surrounded by the press I got a glimpse at him he is a young guy, around 29 years old which is very impressive, young talented Lebanese guy won an international award.
I guess the movie describes his relation with Beirut, similarly to Omar, he sees it from abroad very appealing, and when he comes back to his home town he feels torn between his two worlds
I don’t know how well I understood the director point of view!
Have you seen the movie? Share with me your opinion



2 Comments on Our pride and glory: Ely Dagher, Lebanese director won Cannes film festival award

  1. Elie B.
    July 24, 2015 at 2:19 am (5 years ago)

    Great Article.. I watched the movie twice and I couldn’t get what the director meant to deliver as a message! I guess he misses beirut but he can’t go back because it chokes him! Which caused the dilemma!

  2. db
    July 24, 2015 at 11:41 am (5 years ago)

    Great point of view.. I got to see it too.. And i think that the movie talks mostly about what beirut represents to the author.. A mix of feelings (fear caused by wars, love, and longing caused by the diaspora).
    The animation was nice too! And i loved how the scenes jumped from place to place!
    I love your articles.. I hope there’s a way we can subscribe to new posts 🙂


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