The War of Others

Twenty years after the end of Lebanon's Civil War, a barber (Jo) receives in his barbershop in Paris, a former warlord (Malek) responsible for the massacre of his family. Unable to face the monster he had promised himself to forget by fleeing his homeland, he leaves him with his young nephew (Sam), an apprentice barber. He hopes that the latter, who was five years old at the time of the massacre will not recognize the man he is about to shave.

  • Rami Ghorra
    Director
  • Rami Ghorra
    Writer
  • Rami Ghorra
    Producer
  • Farouk Benalleg
    Key Cast
    "Malek"
  • Sebastien Corona
    Key Cast
    "Samir (Sam)"
  • Christian Vurpillot
    Key Cast
    "Joseph (Jo)"
  • François Rousseau
    Supporting Cast
  • Nicolas Guigou
    Supporting Cast
  • Ziad Jallad
    Supporting Cast
  • Lea Toran Jenner
    1st Assistant Director
  • Hadrien Filet
    2nd Assistant Director
  • Hager Karoui
    Script
  • Jeremy Beuzeboc
    Director of Photography
  • Yannick Bal
    Director of Photography
  • Prasanth Vengatesan
    Camera Operator
  • Julien Cepolowicz
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Rojin Lahouni
    2nd Assistant Camera
  • Matthieu Gerard
    DIT
  • Lamine Fal
    Chief Lighting Technician
  • Hugo Fauvel
    Lighting Technician
  • Damien Richardot
    Lighting Technician
  • Serge Samo
    Lighting Technician
  • Kenny Vandal
    Lighting Technician
  • Sébastien Paucod
    Consultant
  • Émily Coutant
    Stylist
  • Sophie Andrianiazy
    Stylist
  • Yann Solastiouk
    Boom Operator
  • Max Gerard
    Boom Operator
  • Nicolas Gratien
    Boom Operator
  • Rami Ghorra
    Editor
  • Matthieu Gerard
    Assistant Editor
  • Ryad Benftita
    Music
  • Ryad Benftita
    Sound Editing / Foley Artist / Sound Mixing
  • Jeremy Beuzeboc
    Colorist
  • Rami Ghorra
    Visual Effects
  • Yasmina Philibert
    Graphic Designer / Acting Coach
  • Lea Toran Jenner
    Making Of
  • Daisy Gomez
    Making Of
  • Farah Mélet
    Stage Manager
  • Julien Assor
    Stage Manager
  • Karl Yoann Berol
    Catering
  • Emanuel Sami Saïd
    Catering
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    La Guerre des autres
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    3,020 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Lebanon
  • Country of Filming:
    France
  • Language:
    Arabic, French
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ARRI Amira
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2,40:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • European Cinematography AWARDS (ECA)
    AMSTERDAM
    Netherlands
    March 28, 2020
    Best Student Film
  • Accolade Global Film Competition
    La Jolla, California
    United States
    November 30, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Award of Excellence - Special Mention - Film Short Student
  • Carthage Film Festival - Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage
    Carthage
    Tunisia
    October 31, 2019
    North African Premiere
    Ciné-Promesse Official Selection
  • Festival du Film de la SAE Paris
    Paris
    France
    June 7, 2019
    Best Movie
  • Goa Short Film Festival
    Kothrud Pune
    India
    November 7, 2019
    South Asia Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Paris Lift-Off Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    October 29, 2019
    Online Official Selection
  • Hyperfest International Student Film Festival
    Bucharest
    Romania
    November 22, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Sydney Lift-Off Film Festival
    Sydney
    Australia
    November 22, 2019
    Australian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival
    Melbourne
    Australia
    November 24, 2019
    Online Screening
    Official Selection
  • London Lift-Off Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    December 12, 2019
    Online Screening
    Official Selection
  • FirstGlance Film Fest Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
    March 12, 2020
    Official Selection
  • The BeBop Channel Content Festival
    Harlem, New York
    United States
    June 4, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Accolade Global Film Competition
    La Jolla, California
    United States
    November 30, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Humanitarian Award of Distinction
  • Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival
    Berlin
    Germany
    February 24, 2020
    Online Screening
    Official Selection
  • Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival
    Manchester
    United Kingdom
    March 16, 2020
    Online Screening
    Official Selection
  • Fastnet Film Festival
    Schull, Co. Cork
    Ireland
    May 20, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Le MUP
    Montréal
    Canada
    April 25, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Canadian Cinematography Awards
    Toronto
    Canada
    July 4, 2020
    Best Student Director
  • Carmarthen Bay Film Festival
    Llandeilo, CARMARTHENSHIRE
    United Kingdom
    June 1, 2020
    Bafta Cymru Qualifying Premiere
    Finalist - Official Selection
  • FiaFest
    Chia, Cundinamarca
    Colombia
    October 25, 2020
    South America Premiere
    Official Selection
  • New York Lift-Off Festival
    Brooklyn, New York
    United States
    June 21, 2020
    Official Selection
  • SAE Alumni Awards 2020
    Cologne
    Germany
    June 18, 2020
    Germany
    Winner - Best Film & TV Production
  • Pune Short Film Festival
    Pune, Maharashtra
    India
    October 23, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Legacy - The Film Club Toronto
    Toronto
    Canada
    August 17, 2020
    Finalist - Official Selection
  • Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    August 2, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Lebanese Film Festival in Canada
    Ottawa, Montreal, Laval, Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver
    Canada
    October 30, 2020
    Lebanese Film Festival premiere in North America
    Official Selection
  • FFLF - Festival du Film Libanais de France / Lebanese Film Festival of France
    Paris
    France
    October 7, 2020
    Lebanese Festival Premiere in Europe
    Official Selection
  • Broadway International Film Festival Los Angeles 2020
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 25, 2020
    Broadway - Los Angeles
    Official Selection
  • Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    May 31, 2020
    Japan
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Rami Ghorra

Rami was born in April 1998 in Lebanon. He was raised there until the age of 18. During those years, he developed a strong interest towards filmmaking that quickly turned into a passion. Following an optional audiovisual class in high-school, he had access to film-making equipment which he used to make his first shorts by the age of 15. During his last year of high-school, he directed a short movie entitled Cross Fade Love that made it to the Official Selection of the All American High-school Film Festival.
After that, he wanted to continue studying film-making. He looked for film schools in the USA and got accepted at the New York Film Academy with a scholarship but he still couldn’t afford the tuition and the cost of living. As a fluent french speaker, the obvious choice was then to move to Paris. During his research, he found the SAE institute Paris which offered hands on courses and focused only on the technical aspect of movie making. Even though he never wanted to become a technician, he found that this teaching method would give him the liberty of choosing his own aesthetic vision while simultaneously allowing him to master his technical skills.
The years he spent in the SAE Institute allowed him to participate to a lot of projects and endorse different technical and artistic roles. It also allowed him to experiment multiple storytelling techniques and aesthetic choices using professional equipment.
His final BA project was a short movie entitled The War Of Others. He considers it to be the best project he ever directed until this day and plans on sending it to a lot of international film festivals. He hopes that this project will be the foundation of his cinematic career and will allow him to tell more stories through the powerful art that is cinema.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The phantom of the civil war has always loomed over the Lebanese community. Even the young generation that has never lived the war is somehow impacted by its aftermath. Even though I had always been certain that the idea to make The War Of Others has been present within me (at least unconsciously), I remember one particular moment that might have triggered it. One summer night, I was spending time in a village in the mountains in Lebanon, surrounded by my friends and family. And at some point, the adults started to talk about the civil war. I remember being drawn to the conversation, but not because of the actual stories that were told (I understood half of them anyways), but because of the fervour in which they were told. The truth didn’t matter. Everyone wanted to be right. Everyone wanted the other to lose. That was fascinating. This conflict of the past could still affect the current lives of the generation who lived it. Ever since this night, a desire has been growing within me. A desire to learn more about this war and to see how far it could alter human behavior.

The first challenge was to tell a story about the Lebanon's civil war as universally as possible. As an outsider to the conflict, I had the perfect position. At its core, the story wasn’t about the war. The conflict was merely a pretext to tell a story of vengeance and forgiveness. The real goal of the movie was to see to what extent a character could outgrow the past. This relatable notion was the foundation of The War Of Others.

With that idea in mind came the need to tell the two sides of the revenge story. In a way, Jo and Sam represent two sides of the same coin. The only difference between the two characters resides in their age. Jo lived the conflict as an adult. Therefore, he could never escape its relentless grasp on him. On the other hand, Sam lived it when he was still a child. After that, he moved to France and had time to adapt to another reality. Even if this war still affects him, it hasn’t turned him into a monster. As a result, these two characters choose to deal with this war in opposite ways. In one, Sam finds the courage to forgive, outgrow his past and evolve. In the other, Jo returns to his initial state of violent impulses and fulfills his destiny.

The question of the point of view became an essential part of the filmmaking process. In the barbershop, the camera movements were highly influenced by the shaky and visceral style of Alfonso Cuaron in Children of Men. In contrast, I thought it would be interesting to associate static and clean visuals in the bar, like Steve McQueen did in Hunger. This contrast in movement would allow me to express the multiple ways in which each characters deals with his past. These two ways would lead each one of them to their last choice. The light and the colors would serve as a way to make the audience feel the burning sun of Lebanon. Since the story happens in the morning, I wanted to warm up the colors of the sunrise in France and make it look like a sunny morning in Lebanon. The sun would cast yellow and desaturated rays that would invade the highlights, while the dark tones of the image would be dominated by a dark and de-saturated green. These two colors would take my characters back to a war torn Lebanon and communicate in a psychological way the dark and tragic tone of the movie.

One of the main challenges of the production was to find the actor who was going to portray Malek. He had to speak a perfect Arabic and embody one the facets of the Lebanese culture. After a lot of castings, the best actor I found (both physically and in terms of talent), was Farouk Benalleg. Although he was born in Algeria, he lived his whole life in France. When I met him at the audition, he didn’t speak a word of Arabic. However, his acting was incredible. He immediately understood the personality of Malek, his motivations, and his flaws, and was able to portray him with honesty. Since it was a student film and I didn’t pay anyone, I was uncertain whether or not I could trust the devotion of this actor and teach him the language. Eventually, he convinced me, and I've never regretted it. For four months, we rehearsed together so that he would become this Lebanese warlord. With a complete devotion to the role and a hunger to satisfy the vision of the movie, the work with Farouk proved to be one of the most exciting learning experiences I had the chance to live.

Ultimately, this movie is about memory and the ways it can alter the outcome of a story. In a sense, that issue is deeply embedded in the Lebanese culture because to this day, Lebanon hasn't written its official History. In a country where there are as many accents as there are versions of the truth, the question of the point of view becomes an essential part of the storytelling process. Therefore, I hope that this film will appeal to all kinds of Lebanese audiences, from the generation who lived the war, to the younger ones who have only lived it through different stories. On an international scale, I hope that this theme, combined with the relatable story of vengeance will attract and arouse the curiosity of a very large audience. By tackling a sensible issue with an accessible style, I hope that The War Of Others can have both a deep emotional and intellectual impact on its viewers, and can create an urge to learn more about this mysterious and complicated conflict.