El gran líbano (Mounia Akl/Neto Villalobos) Lebanon-France

El gran líbano                                                                                                                           Mounia Akl / Neto Villalobos                                                                                      Lebanon-France. 2017.  16 min

When hungover Bassem wakes up by the lake shore among his
dead fishes, his sister Youmna, who he hasn’t seen for 12 years,
is there, with a coffin.


Mounia Akl is a director and writer from Lebanon living between Beirut and New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from ALBA and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. Apart from directing,
Mounia has taught film directing at the NHSI film summer institute at Northwestern University, Chicago and was a preceptor in Screenwriting at Columbia University, New York. Her previous work includes four short films, two web series and recently Lights, an omnibus feature film made of 6 chapters directed by 6 directors, including herself, from Breaking Wave Pictures, a collective she co-founded in New York. Her short film, Submarine, was in the official selection of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the Cinefondation category. It had its North American premiere at the Toronto (TIFF) and its MENA one at Dubai (DIFF) where it won the Muhr Jury Prize. Submarine was awarded the James Bridges production grant and the Kodak Motion Picture Product Grant.

She is currently writing her feature film The Most Beautiful Place In The World with Spanish co-writer Clara Roquet.



Neto Villalobos was born in San José, Costa Rica. He graduated with
a degree in Sociology and later majored in Film Direction in Barcelona.
Besides his short films and videoclips he has participated in workshops such as “How to Tell a Story?” by Gabriel García Márquez, Rotterdam Lab and Berlinale and Buenos Aires Talent Campus. His first feature film Por las Plumas (All About the Feathers) was premiered in Toronto IFF and San Sebastian IFF and traveled around the world. Neto is currently working on two projects: producing an experimental documentary supported by
Tribeca Film Institute, Jamón, and post producing his 2nd feature film Cascos Indomables (Untamed Helmets) which was developed at Cannes Cinéfondation Residency, 3 Puertos Cine, Paris Coproduction Village, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Produire aud Sud and 27th Rencontres de Toulouse where it won the Cinéma Développement – BrLab Award.


Badih Massaad
Festivals Coordinator