Beirut fest cancels 2007 edition

Political instability in Lebanon forces closure

Political instability in Lebanon has forced the organizers of the Beirut Film Festival to cancel this year’s event.

Fest was set to unspool Oct. 3-10, but worries over potential violence brought about by disputes between pro- and anti-government forces over the upcoming presidential elections have led to the event’s shelving.

“We like to say the show must go on, but if there’s a physical war, we cannot stage the festival this year. We have to be practical,” said fest director Colette Naufal.

Started in 1997 with the support of private coin, the Beirut Film Festival has undergone a journey almost as tumultuous as the troubled city that hosts it. A two-year hiatus in 2004 and 2005 precipitated by a lack of coin, political assassinations and occasional all-out war was brought to an end last year when fest director Naufal staged the 10th edition, against all odds and only weeks after a 34-day war with Israel had ended.

Naufal is now concentrating on planning for next year’s edition of the fest.

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