Philippe Aractingi is a French-Lebanese director and producer, with over 30 years of experience in the film industry. Through his beginnings in war photography, he began recording the world around him, directing his first documentary at age 21. He has filmed subjects across the globe; from giraffes in South Africa to archeology in Sri Lanka.
Aractingi’s feature films, Bosta (2005), Under the Bombs (2008) and Héritages (2013) earned the director critical acclaim. His latest, Listen (2017), has just been released and explores the lighter themes of sound and love.
Listen, your latest feature film based in Lebanon, is out in cinemas now. What can you tell us about it?
It is a poetic story about love, fidelity and sound. I purposely chose this subject because we are surrounded by hatred and war; it is a form of resistance to speak of love in the current Lebanese and Middle Eastern climate.
Lebanon Traveler meets filmmaker Philippe Aractingi at his production studio’s premises in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Badaro. The Lebanese director shares his memories of growing up in Beirut and how the city’s chaos can be a catalyst for creativity.
To the newcomer, navigating Beirut can seem daunting. The city, chaotic and changeable, can be a challenge to get around. Finding the offices of Lebanese filmmaker Philippe Aractingi was a timely reminder of that.
PIKADERO (Pi-ka-de-ro, noun 1. A riding school 2. A public place for sexual encounters)
From tough times spring success: a study of how the economic downturn impacts on the sex lives of young Spaniards won new Scottish director Ben Sharrock the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.