BEIRUT: “Fasateen,” a Lebanese web series created and produced by Katia Saleh, has won this year’s Grand Jury Award at Marseille’s WebFest (Oct. 4-5), while Sonia Habib’s short film “Out of Darkness” claimed the Best Documentary Film Award at Czech Republic’s International Student Film Festival (Oct. 4-6).Produced exclusively for Yahoo! Maktoob, “Fasateen” tells the story of three Lebanese women. Lama (Mirva Kadi) is raising her two children while her husband works in Dubai and Karma (Petra Abou Sleiman) has a complicated relation with her conservative parents due to her social conduct. As for Aliya (Petra Serhal, who was granted the Best Actress Award) she is raising her 10-year-old son alone. This Web series has garnered a lot of success due to the fact that female viewers say they are able to identify with the characters.
“Fasateen” is not the only Lebanese Web series to receive international attention. “Shankaboot” (which won the International Emmy Award at the 2011 Cannes Festival) and “Beirut, I Love You” (which received the Best International Film award at the 2010 Swansea Bay Film Festival) both portray the lives of young Lebanese and continue to command attention.
Screened in this year’s Beirut International Film Festival, Habib’s documentary “Out of Darkness” tells the touching story of Youmna, a young sighted woman, and her relationship with Hasan, a blind man. They are forced to confront the social stigmas of Lebanese society, which only make their love stronger. Habib’s feature was in competition in Pisek with films from Hong Kong, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic.