Lebanon’s Abbout Productions Teams With 4 European Co-Producers on ‘Costa Brava’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Nick Vivarelli // Variety

Georges Schoucair’s Beirut-based Abbout Productions has teamed up at the EFM with 4 European producers on “Costa Brava Lebanon,” a first feature set amid Lebanon’s never-ending garbage crisis to be directed by Mounia Akl who studied film at Columbia University.

Abbout has finalized its coproduction pacts on this pic with France’s Cinéma Defacto; Denmark’s Snowglobe Films; Norway’s Barentsfilm; and French-Swedish producer Olivier Guerpillon.

Set in a near future in which Lebanon is drowning in garbage, “Costa Brava” is about a family that leads an idyllic isolated life in their house in the mountains to which they’ve fled to lead a sterile and utopian exile. When the government finally finds a solution the world comes crashing in in the form of a garbage landfill to be built at their doorstep. The tensions this causes among family members makes them realize that “the rot was not just outside their home,” according to promotional materials.

Akl’s similarly-themed short “Submarine,” screened in Cannes and Toronto in 2016. In 2017 she was chosen to represent Lebanon in the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Factory with her short “El Gran Libano,” co-directed with Neto Villalobos.

“Costa Brava” was selected by the Cinefondation Residency, the Torino Film Lab Feature Lab, where it won the coproduction award, and the Sundance Screenwriters Labs in Utah. It also won the CNC Development Award in Cannes and development awards from the El Gouna and Malmo Arab fest and production support from the Doha Film Institute and other funds.

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