Lebanese visual artists and filmmaking duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (“The Lebanese Rocket Society”) are set to shoot a new high-concept drama with the working title “The Notebooks,” centered around three women whose lives are bound by a box that resurfaces containing notebooks, photographs and audiotapes.
Financing is in place and shooting is expected to start in October. The pic centers on a middle-aged woman named Maia in Montreal who one Christmas morning receives a parcel on her doorstep. It contains notebooks and other materials that she exchanged with her best friend Carine between 1982 and 1988, before leaving Beirut. Unwilling to conjure old memories, Maia refuses to go through the contents. But her young daughter Alex surreptitiously does so and in the process begins to fantasize about her mother’s life as a teenager in 1980s Beirut.
“It’s a very emotional story in which the daughter starts to imagine what her mother was like [as a young woman],” said producer Georges Schoucair, whose Abbout Prods. is producing with France’s Haut et Court on board as French co-producers, plus some Canadian partners. “It’s a mother-daughter story that involves various types of flashbacks, with a sort of collage of what’s she’s reading and photos, and also music,” he added.
Casting of “The Notebooks” is still being decided.
Hadjithomas and Joreige, who are husband and wife, have directed pics that gained notice on the international fest circuit, starting with “A Perfect Day” (2005), Catherine Deneuve-starrer “I Want to See” (2008), which screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, and “The Lebanese Rocket Society” (2012). Their artworks, which often make use of archival materials, photographs and film footage, have been displayed at museums around the world. As artists they won France’s prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2017.