The past couple of years in Lebanon have been disastrous in every aspect. Economic and financial crisis with a collapse of the banking system and our local currency devaluated six fold. Political turmoil, protests, government resignations. The 4th August Beirut port blast resulted in over 200 deaths, 6,000 injuries and at least a third of the city was totally or partly destroyed. And, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic which has hit us very hard, especially over the past couple of months. This has caused a drastic drop in ad spend and production as brands literally stopped communicating, except for a few emerging local ones. Most of the communication came from NGOs dealing with various social and political issues, which is why my High Five selection is totally non-commercial...
KAFA - 'Unified Personal Status Law'
Production services: Forest Studios
Writer / director / editor: Farah ChayyaI
Farah Chayya will start with this TV spot for KAFA, an NGO defending women and children rights. This piece perfectly summarises the contradictions in Lebanon between some very modern appearances and a very archaic system, patriarchal, based on confessionalism
, and plaguing the country socially, legally and administratively.
Beirut Keep Rising - 'Stillness' and 'Super Joe'
Digital Media: Balkoon
Sponsor: Berytech Foundation
Then we have two short films produced by our digital media company Balkoon and sponsored by Berytech Foundation, an NGO that supports entrepreneurship and is helping rebuilding destroyed businesses further to the Beirut Port explosion. 'Stillness' was directed by Jessica Mansour and 'Super Joe' was directed by Samah el Kadi.
Connect - 'The Bully'
Production: The Talkies
Director: Hadi Syriani
Although this TVC is a bit older but it’s universal and still very actual as cyberbullying has a major negative impact on the fragile members of the online community.
Safety for the Safekeepers - 'Baklawa Got Legs'
Agency: Leo Burnett
Director: Remie Akl
And this is probably the most trending piece of content right now. It's by an NGO called Abaad, again denouncing patriarchy in a rather violent yet humorous way.