A short film that approaches Lebanon’s heated political and economical climate in a satirical and unhinged manner.

  • Ayeesha Starkey
  • Ayeesha Starkey
  • Ghina Sabra
  • Amer Fayed
    Key Cast
  • Sany Abdel Baki
    Key Cast
  • Bashar El Khoury
    Key Cast
  • Omar Khalifeh
    Key Cast
  • Mohammad Darghouth
    Key Cast
    "Abou Sarkha"
  • Mohammad Fawzi
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Satire, Political, Fashion film
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 30, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ayeesha Starkey

Ayeesha likes to make things. Ayeesha is a multidisciplinary creative and fixer based between Beirut and London. Having lived in the GCC as well, most of her inspiration is drawn from her experience living between Western and Middle Eastern cultures. She loves including elements of diversity and inclusion within her work. After working with BBC Studios, in London, on global brands such as Doctor Who, BBC Planet, and Top Gear, Ayeesha found herself increasingly drawn to the arts and entertainment industry. Most recently Ayeesha has written and directed a short film, “بنزين” (Benzine) or petrol in Arabic. The short film approaches Lebanon’s heated political and economic climate in a satirical manner. As well as having her foot in the film industry, her skill set proved to be a great advantage in the advertising and marketing industry. Ayeesha hopes in the near future to combine her passions and expertise in production to explore fashion films and theatre. The scope of her work has recently diversified to include being a contract fixer for foreign correspondents and initiatives, film photography and branding.

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Director Statement

Benzine highlights a few of the core issues in Lebanon’s dysfunctional society due to the government’s corruption and negligence. I wrote half of the script during the October 2019 revolution and was driven to finish it after the devastation of the Beirut Blast. However, this is not a short film that falls under the theme of such a tragedy but it was a way of self expression and my reaction to Lebanon’s situation. Other than participating and working as a fixer during the October 19 revolution and then volunteering after the Beirut Blast, this is my contribution off the streets. A way to get rid of the overwhelming feelings of anger, hate, and possibly acted as a dark comedic relief. Personally, by realising this project, it could bring me some internal peace but not on a so personal note, it does have the capability of acting as a tool for awareness that doesn’t act as a documentary narrative but as a few potholes and quirky twists of Lebanon’s most recent history.