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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Maskoon: Arab region's first genre-focused film festival to launch in Lebanon

The festival is the first of its kind in the region to focus on horror, action, fantasy and sci-fi films

Ahram Online , Friday 26 Aug 2016
Maskoon
(Photo: fragment form the Maskoon festival's promotional material on Facebook)
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Between 14 and 18 September, Beirut will host Maskoon, the film festival specialising in horror, action, fantasy and sci-fi.

The festival is the first of its kind to take place in the Arab region. Maskoon, the Arabic word for “haunted,” is the brain child of producer Myriam Sassine and creative consultant Antoine Waked of independent leading Beirut-based production house Abbout Productions.

In their official press release, the festival organisers explain that "the popularity of genre films has been on the rise for the past decade, but the lack of diversity in commercial releases in the region has created a need for a more diversified selection unrestricted to the usual Hollywood fare." 

Speaking about the films created within and about the Arab region, Waked underlines that "the region is so rich with these stories, yet no one exploits them. Over the years and upcoming editions, Maskoon will try to change this reality, paving the way for production of quality genre films from our region."

Maskoon will open with Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's adventure/comedy Swiss Army Man, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano.

Among other entries to the festival are Joyce A. Nashawati's psychological thriller The Blind Sun (France/Greece), Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution (France), Anurag Kashyap's crime thriller Raman Raghav 2.0 (India), Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet's Creature Designers - The Frankenstein Complex (France), and Babak Anvari's Under the Shadows, among other films.

Maskoon will also host a special screening of John Carpenter's classic Halloween.

Apart from the film screenings, the festival will also offer two master-classes given by special effects and prosthetic artist Dan Frye (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Game of Thrones) and visual effects supervisor Chadi Abo (The Matrix Reloaded, 300).

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