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Interview: Dania Bdeir Warsha

Interviews

Interview: Dania Bdeir – Warsha [Short]

Interview: Dania Bdeir – Warsha [Short]

Among the film riches found in Sundance Film Festival’s 2022 short film program we found Lebanese filmmaker Dania Bdeir’s Washa. A film told on ground floor level (and awful undocumented migrant worker realities) and many meters high in the sky. Told with sensuality, fantasy and undoing the mythos of masculinity, Bdeir zeroes in on how a little bit solitude and privacy allows the individual to truly spread their wings.

Warsha would end up winning the Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction before setting off on a long film festival life and while she was pushing the word on the short, Bdeir was also participating at various labs with her debut feature title Pigeon Wars – which was selected for the Sundance Directors Lab and landed 2nd place prize at the Marrakech Atlas Labs – and it was at the 2022 Red Sea International Film Festival (she was part of the half dozen Arab Stars of Tomorrow) where I was able to catch up with her. We discussed the moment she was inspired to write the short, how the actor brought some of his experiences to the character he portrays and we got an update on where she was at in the process with Pigeon Wars.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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