The Sea Ahead

Director: Ely Dagher
Highlights Highlights Highlights
World premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
Had a successful commercial release in several countries, including the UAE, France, and Belgium
Screened for two consecutive weeks as part of Cairo Cinema Days at Zawya Cinema in Egypt
Extended for a fifth consecutive week in Beirut Souk’s Cinemacity and Empire Cinemas Premiere Sodeco in Lebanon
Widely praised by Arab and international press outlets
Presented at the 2017 Berlinale Talents
Received grants from the Doha Film Institute, AFAC, Red Sea Fund, and HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production
Support scheme through the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)
Picked up as the Best Project in development at the CineGouna Platform of the El-Gouna Film Festival, and Best Film at the Final Cut of the Venice International Film Festival
Screened at BFI London Film Festival
The Sea Ahead Poster
2021/ Belgium - France - Lebanon115 min/ Drama
Original Title
Al Bahr Amamakoum
After a long time away, Jana – a young woman – suddenly returns to Beirut and finds herself reconnecting with the familiar yet strange life she had once left behind.
Manal Issa
Yara Abou Haidar
Rabih El-Zaher
Roger Azar
Screenwriter: Ely Dagher
DOP: Shadi Chaaban
Editor: Léa Masson, Ely Dagher
play icon
Production Company(ies)
Andolfi Production
Abbout Productions
Wrong Men
Beaver and Beaver
Arnaud Dommerc
Georges Schoucair
Benoit Roland
Ely Dagher
film festivals
Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), Germany
El-Gouna Film Festival, Egypt
Cannes Film Festival, France
Red Sea International Film Festival, Saudi Arabia
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic
BFI London Film Festival, London
Sao Paulo Film Festival (SPFF), Brazil
Duhok International Film Festival, Iraq
Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur, Belgium
International Festival of Mediterranean Cinema in Montpellier (CINEMED), France
Gabes Cinema Fen, Tunisia
Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong
Arab Film Festival in San Fransisco, USA
film awards
CineGouna Platform Certificate and a cash prize from Drosos Foundation at the El-Gouna Film Festival in Egypt
"The Sea Ahead lyrically explores the numbing effects of feeling utterly disconnected to your port of origin.”
Pat Brown - Slant Magazine

“Ely Dagher shoots his home city beautifully – it may look dour and downbeat, but there is an underlying beauty to the city which at times appears haunted by its vibrant past. “
Mark Adams - MIME Moving Image Middle East

“taking us on a cinematic journey that echoes work by Michelangelo Antonioni and his view of depression.” Kaleem Aftab - Cinuropa

“Ely Dagher’s striking first feature is a poetic look at a woman who returns home, finding a city she no longer recognises”
Wendy Ide - Screen Daily