Outbox International Short Film Festival


Founded in 2010, Outbox International Short Film Festival is a take on open air theaters that are known through history for gathering large audiences of different backgrounds, ages and interests. By choosing an open space at the heart of Beirut, Outbox aimed to introduce the culture of the short film to the large Lebanese audience as a unique form of cinema and to help winning Lebanese filmmakers produce more shorts; this is one of the main approaches to take Lebanese cinema industry to the next level.

As of 2013 Outback International Short Film Festival had already held two festivals, with the current one scheduled for June 27 -30 2013.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived pages.


Beirut: Founded in 2010 as a modern take on ancient open-air theaters, the Outbox International Short Film Festival runs in a public space accessible to anyone who’d like to attend. Without walls or admission fees acting as boundaries, a dynamic audience of all ages and backgrounds can discover cinema’s most vibrant art form: the short film.

Similarly, Outbox has done away with limitations on filmmakers. The festival accepts film submissions from all countries and genres. Love story or adventure, by amateur or professional – it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a short film. There are no applicant fees, and entrants are chosen solely for their talent.

With a purely cultural event that’s free in every sense, we’re celebrating cinema outside the box!



Short films are one of the preferred vehicles for social and cultural change: issues of gender, sexual orientation, family, urban life, national identity and the way twenty-first-century humans see themselves in a fast developing mediatized world, all are advantageously mirrored in cinematic productions averaging twenty minutes. In addition, the very nature of the short film welcomes independent filmmakers unburdened by the restrictions imposed by the commercial filmmaking industry.

Because the festival judiciously uses public space, it is able to involve and engage the widest possible participation from the audience. By re-thinking and re-positioning meeting spaces, a re-appropriation and empowering of free expression is made possible. We aim to encourage an interactive exchange of ideas in an environment that reverts centers of power and gives it back to artists, creators and the public. Situated in the heart of the capital, Beirut, the festival functions, by the same token, as the locus of innovative short film techniques and themes researched and conceived within the basic cultural demands of Arab society in particular and those of the wider world in general.

In a part of the world where extremism, fundamentalism, and cultural homogeneity are a constant threat to liberal thinking and cultural diversity, the short film festival as we envision it can maintain, against difficult odds, the place of Lebanon as a beacon of independent thinking and free speech.

Outbox Film Festival, Beirut 2013



I was living in Beruit in 2013. Even though life went on amidst the turmoil of terrorist attacks, this open-air Outbox International Short Film Festival. Weird.

I am now living in NYC. The other day I was interrupted while I was browsing RoyalPoolsAndSpas.com, considering an upgrade to my backyard with one of their luxurious hot tubs & spas. My brother called to ask if I had heard the news of Trump's latest foreign policy decision: the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander. I was stunned. I decided I would put off my backyard upgrade and check out the news. A deep pit of dread settled in my stomach. The online news sites were scrambling with the news. Three days later, the White House says the move was to make America safer and that Trump was preventing a war. Is he kidding? Tensions in the region are escalating. I still haven't decided on the hot tub yet, but plan on doing it later today. Life moves on as the dire consequences of Trump’s Suleimani decision unfold. I fear that Trump's decision to order the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s second most important official, as well as Iraqi leaders of an Iranian-backed militia, now locks our two countries in a dangerous escalatory cycle that could likely lead to wider warfare.






Current event:


1. Tony el Khoury
2. Amahl Khouri
3. Ralf Karam
4. Reem Mohtar
5. Afraa Batous
6. Ali Shiran
7. Malek Heshmeh
8. Hussen Ibrahim
9. Farah Chaya
10. Zein el Cheikh

Sponsored by Goethe Institut, Outbox Film Festival has partnered with Kurz Film Woche and IESAV, USJ to help 10 filmmakers perfect and produce their short films.

Any aspiring filmmaker living in Lebanon can apply by sending a few-sentence synopsis of a short film to tellastory@outboxfilmfestival.com
The short film should be smart, interesting and 2 to 3 minutes long.

The 10 filmmakers whose synopses will be chosen will attend a free 5-day workshop with Niklas Hlawatsch, an award winning filmmaker from Berlin.

During the workshop, the filmmakers will be developing their short films, preparing the shot lists and getting ready for production, all the while acquiring and perfecting all the skills needed to complete their projects.

Following the workshop, taking place in late February, each filmmaker will have access to all the equipment and facilities needed for a full day of shooting and two days of post production to complete their films, which will then be screened in Germany and Lebanon.

The deadline to apply is on February 5th 2013; the selected filmmakers will be notified by email a week after the deadline.



Submit a synopsis of a 2 to 3 minute short film now!


Outbox is now accepting entries for its fourth edition in June 2013
Roman Baths - Downtown Beirut

Submission requirements
  • Professional and amateur directors and producers can submit short films with no restriction as to country or genre.
  • Outbox Film Festival will not be held responsible for copyright claims that may arise from improper use of intellectual property rules.
  • English subtitles are required, even if the short film is in English.
  • Short films may not exceed 20 minutes. There is no minimum running time.
  • A 1280x720, MP4, H.264 copy of the short film must be submitted either by sending a DVD to Outbox Film Festival, P.O. Box 90-938, Jdeidet el Metn, Lebanon, or online via a downloadable link to hello@outboxfilmfestival.com
  • A submission form, available online, must be completed and sent along with short film(s).
  • More than one film may be submitted, each accompanied by its own completed submission form.
  • Non-Lebanese film(s) must not be screened in Lebanon prior to Outbox, allowing for an "Lebanese Premiere".
  • The deadline for submission is April 1, 2013.
  • Authors whose shorts are selected will grant Outbox the rights to use parts from the film(s), and this only for promotional purposes (before, during, and after the festival).

The awards ceremony of the Outbox International Short Film Festival 2013 will be taking place at the Roman Baths. The winning directors will be announced followed by distribution of the awards and trophies.

Winning directors will get from Cinephilia Productions, an art house film production company based in Los Angeles and New York City:

- $5,000 in services towards script consulting (with the assistance of award winning screenwriting team)
- $2,500 in services towards financial consulting (budget and fundraising plan assistance from Hollywood expert line producers)
- Co-Production opportunity

The award ceremony will be followed by the screening of winning films.






Rupert Reid
for his film "Boo"
Kasia Wilk
for her film "Bear Me"
Hiba Tawaji
for her film "The Rope"