IF THE SUN DROWNED INTO AN OCEAN OF CLOUDS wins Festival International de Courts Métrages d'Aix-en-Provence’s Unifrance International Award

01 July 2024
Wissam Charaf’s French-Lebanese short IF THE SUN DROWNED INTO AN OCEAN OF CLOUDS received the Unifrance International Award at the recently concluded 41st Festival International de Courts Métrages d'Aix-en-Provence, which ran from November 28th to December 2nd in France.
This award comes hot on the heels of the film’s recent double win at the Beirut Shorts International Film Festival, where it won Best Short Film and the Emile Chahine Award For Cinematic Excellence, as well as a successful screening at the 23rd edition of the CinemaMed - Festival Cinéma Méditerranéen de Bruxelles, which is taking place from December 1st to the 8th at various locations across Brussels, Belgium.
IF THE SUN DROWNED INTO AN OCEAN OF CLOUDS world premiered in the Orizzonti section at the Venice International Film Festival, marking this as the second year in a row where Charaf featured at Venice, since his film DIRTY, DIFFICULT, DANGEROUS — also distributed by MAD Solutions — opened the Giornate degli Autori's Competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, and won the Europa Cinemas Award for Best European Film, making him the first Arab director to receive the award.
The film also featured at several prestigious festivals, such as the Cinemed - Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, where it received a Special Mention, as well as the Stockholm, Cork, Arab, and Ciudades Reveladas – Muestra Internacional de Cine y Ciudad film festivals.
The film — which is set on the waterfront of a construction site in Beirut, Lebanon — is a poetic story about unfulfilled dreams; a universal tale about a man who will have to take an odd path to exist, and follows Raed — a security guard who must prevent passers-by from accessing the shoreline. 
Yet, as the horizon becomes more obscured with every passing day by the under-construction building, Raed begins finding himself in all manner of peculiar encounters — or maybe mere dreams and figments of his desires?
The short film stars Raed Yassin, Rodrigue Sleiman, Said Serhan, and Hala Dabaji, and was lensed by Martin Rit, produced by Charlotte Vincent and Katia Khazak (Aurora Films), co-produced by Pierre Sarraf (Né à Beyrouth Films), with sound by Emmanuel Zouki, and music by The Incompetents. MAD Solutions handles the film’s Arab World distribution and sales.
Born in Beirut in 1973, Wissam Charaf is a French-Lebanese director who has directed seven short films, including UNFORGETTABLE MEMORY OF A FRIEND, which received an award at the 2019 Clermont-Ferrand Festival.
Before that, Charaf’s first fiction feature film HEAVEN SENT was selected for the ACID Section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and his second fiction feature DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS opened the Giornate degli Autori Section of the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Europa Cinemas Award, before being awarded at the 2023 Palm Springs Film Festival.
IF THE SUN DROWNED INTO AN OCEAN OF CLOUDS is the third collaboration between Charaf and MAD.