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Jocelyne Saab (filmmaker statement, images credit)

[Fr - En]


Journalist war reporter filmmaker and artist photographer, she has directed more than 30 documentaries, as well as three feature films shown worldwide by French and European channels, NBC in the United States and NHK in Japan. So far she has shot in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Sirya, Kurdistan, Ex-Spanish Sahara, and Vietnam . . . She has written all of her films except for "A Suspended Life" which was written by Gerard Brach, Polanski’s scenarist. (Source www.jocelynesaab.com).


Jocelyne Saab is a franco-lebanese director. She started her career hosting a pop music program on the national Lebanese radio called ‘Marsupilami got blue eyes’’ and from there moved on to become a newsreader for television. Civil war in Lebanon threw her onto the front line, in the field as a war reporter. « Le Liban dans la tourmente », 1975 is her first long documentary. From there she covered war in the Middle East and Iran, directing « Iran on the way of utopia » and the Polisario war in the Maghreb. Her independent films received numerous international prizes .

In ‘82 covering Israeli invasion she gets many prizes for her film « Beirut my city ». Later, going to South East Asia, to post-war Vietnam she made the beautiful portrait of the“LADY OF SAIGON Dr HOA », for which she won the best French documentary prize. In 1981 she landed the job of second unit director on Volker Schlondorff’s movie about the Lebanese civil war, "Circle of Deceit".

In 1985 her first feature film « SUSPENDED LIFE » shot in the middle of Beirut and the civil war was selected for the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1991 she directed « ONCE UPON A TIME IN BEIRUT », dedicated to the anniversary of the century of the cinema and the founding of the Lebanese cinemathèque. She commutes between Beyrouth Paris and Cairo where she wrote, directed and produced the feature film "DUNIA-Kiss Me Not on the Eyes" selected in world competition at SUNDANCE Film Festival.

In 2007 Jocelyne Saab turned to be a photographer. She presented her first collection at the Dubai Art fair and Art-Paris Abou-Dhabi after having made a multi-media installation strange game and bridges at Singapour National Museum.

In 2008 she presents in Beirut a controversial photo exhibition called « Sense, Icons and Sensitivity. She directed an art film shot in the city of Beirut, « What is going on ». The film is not only about the beauty of Beirut. It’s about the truth of Beirut, which is sometimes beautiful, sometimes not. It’s not trying to portray Beirut as an amazing, wonderful city. It’s not. It’s trying to get into the ribs, inside the flesh, and trying to portray the city from inside. Sometimes it’s ferocious.”

Jocelyne is now working on a new feature, after having finished five short films for the new Anthropolgic Museum of Marseille about women in the area of the Mediteranean Sea.

(source Cairo Mediterranean Literary Festival)


1975 / "Lebanon in turmoil" documentary feature 75’ released in cinemas. Arab critics prize of the year.
1976 / "Children of war" Catholic Jury. Prize at Oberhausen.
1978 / "The sahara is not for sale" documentary feature 75’ released in cinemas.
1981 / Assistant director on the film "Circle of Deceit" by Volker Schlondorf and director of second film unit.
1982 / "Beirut, my city". Golden Spike at the Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain. First documentary prize at Oberhausen.
1985 / She directs "A suspended life" 30 mm, her first feature film selected at The Director’s Fortnight Cannes. International film festival.
1991 / Works with the news team of Le Monde - MK2 and directs for Envoyé Spécial "Fécondation in video", a documentary on in vitro fertilisation. City of Biarritz Award. Best medical film award by the city of Montpellier. Scientific scoop award at Angers.
1992 - 1994 / Directs "Once upon a time in Beirut" 35 mm a tribute to the memory of the city.
1996 - 1997 /Directs in Vietnam "The Lady of Saigon". Awarded best French documentary by French Parliamant audiovisual committee.
2003 / "Paris in love ", direction of a 10 short art films series on Paris in collaboration with Francis Lacloche.
2006 / DUNIA—kiss me not on the eyes—35mm Nominee at SUNDANCE film Festival, awarded more then ten international awards.
2009 / Just frinished shooting in Beirut "What’s going on" a new feature film at the occasion of Beirut world capital.
2010 / Retrospective at Licoln center NY with her film "Letter fom Beirut—Once upon a time Beirut—and "Suspended Life". SELECTED EXHIBITION.
2006 / "Strange games and bridges", "A travers les jardins de la guerre", Multi-media installation at Singapour National Museum on the theme of "awareness of war" on 150 square meters.
2007 / Double exhibit in Beirut at "Planet discovery of 100 photos on the themes of sense icons and sensitivity.
2007 / exhibit Art fair DUBAI with gallery Agial 2008 November -Florence festival "Imagini di donna "Sense icons sensitivity II".
2008 / November Art fair Abhu Dhabi with gallery Agial.
2009 / December Exhibit at national museum of LIBYA in Tripoli "Soft architecture" 64 pieces.

(Source Africultures, 2011)

[En - Fr]

Née à Beyrouth en 1948, journaliste et réalisatrice franco-libanaise, Jocelyne Saab a réalisé une vingtaine de documentaires diffusés dans plusieurs pays. On lui doit également une vingtaine de vidéoclips avec des vedettes de la chanson arabe.

Filmographie succincte :

Dunia (2005)
La Dame de Saigon (1997)
Il etait une fois Beyrouth (1994)
Une vie suspendue (1984)
Beyrouth, ma ville (1983)
Le Bateau de l’exil (1982)
Lettre de Beyrouth (1982)
Les Enfants de la guerre (1976)
Beyrouth jamais plus (1976)
Le Liban dans la tourmente (1975)

(Source Africultures, 2011)

Voir en ligne : Le site officiel de Jocelyne Saab

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