Daniela Stephhan’s THE SUN SETS ON BEIRUT to compete at Finland’s Tampere Film Festival

27 February 2024
After making waves on the festival circuit and picking up four awards, Tripoli’s festival opener, THE SUN SETS ON BEIRUT by Daniela Stephan, is set to compete in Finland’s 54th Tampere Film Festival (March 6th-10th) which is one of the Oscar®, BAFTA and EFA qualifying film festivals as well as one of the three largest short film festivals in Europe alongside Clermont-Ferrand (France) and Oberhausen (Germany).
The film is scheduled to screen twice as part of the festival’s Animal Factor International Competition, once on Wednesday, March 6th, at 3 pm at Cine Atlas 1, and again at 2:30 pm on the following day at Cine Atlas 4.
Helmed by director Daniela Stephan, who won Best Female Director at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival for her short film MUMMY BLUE, and produced by BAFTA Connect member Yuenho Sung as well as Fayez Abou Khater, THE SUN SETS ON BEIRUT reflects on the unprecedented non-nuclear explosion that took place in the heart of Beirut, delving into the profound impact on a generation adrift in the post-war period while featuring universal themes like loss of identity, grief, and belonging.
Mounia searches for her lost cat among the ruins of the Beirut 2020 port explosion. Joined by her best friend Ghady, who is more interested in flirting with a British journalist, they navigate the remnants of their city on a quest to recover what's been lost.
THE SUN SETS ON BEIRUT world premiered at InterFilm Berlin and has already screened at over a dozen prestigious film festivals, winning four awards, including Best Student Film at the Olhares do Mediterraneo International Women's Film Festival, Grand Prize and Jury Special Mention at Les Nuits Mediterraneennes du Court Métrage, and the Audience Vote Award at the Beirut International Women's Film Festival. 
Besides Lebanese actress and singer Marilyn Naaman, who starred in France’s THE VOICE in 2023 and headlined the feature film MOTHER VALLEY, for which she won Best Actress at the Amman International Film Festival, the cast includes Pio Chihane, Jo McGarry and Salma Chalaby. 
With MAD Solutions handling worldwide distribution, the film is a joint production between Lebanon and the UK, involving production companies London Film School and Sky Lantern Productions, and captured by Fatma Racha Shehadeh’s camera. 
Daniela Stephan is an accomplished writer-director and editor born in Beirut, Lebanon whose narratives embody a strong rebel voice, consistently probing into themes of identity, intergenerational trauma, and the socio-political challenges confronting her hometown, Beirut. Guided by her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, she continues to explore and question the world around her through drama and a pinch of absurdity.