SHANKABOOT PRESS CONFERENCE
UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF H.E. THE MINISTER OF CULTURE
H.E. the Minister of Culture, Salim Wardeh, will be attending a press conference at 11am on Wednesday April 27th, 2011, to commemorate Lebanon’s first ever International Emmy® Award which was won by Batoota Films for its work on “Shankaboot”, the pioneering Arabic-language web series. Exclusive footage from the award ceremony – held in Cannes, on April 4th – will be screened during the press event which will take place at the UNESCO Palace, Beirut.
The series beat off stiff competition in the Digital Program (Fiction) categoryfrom cutting-edge multi-media productions from the UK, the Netherlands and Brazil. The prestigious accolade is considered to be the television equivalent of the Oscars and the Grammy Awards (www.iemmys.tv).
“Most people associate Lebanon with war and sectarian conflict, but Shankaboot has nothing to do with politics. It's about the spirit of Beirut and the love of its people. This award is another testimony to the growing power of social media and youth in the Arab world”, said the producer of “Shankaboot” and director of Batoota Films, Katia Saleh, who collected the Emmy® statuette together with Bass Breish, the lead scriptwriter.
His Excellency Salim Wardeh commented, “This is a significant achievement and a great honour for the Lebanese cultural scene. The Emmy® Award proves that there are opportunities for the Lebanese youth to gain international recognition in their respective creative industries.”
Launched in March 2010, “Shankaboot” is a drama tinged with comedy. It combines witty social observations with an edgy shooting style and naturalistic acting. The gripping storylines capture the mood and spirit of Beirut. The heroes of “Shankaboot” are ordinary people who are confronted by familiar dilemmas. The series is conceived as a vehicle for exploring various social problems, which are often overlooked by mainstream media in the Arab world. The aim of the project is to present these issues from a fresh perspective and to prompt an exchange of opinions between young audiences across the region.
“Shankaboot” is published on an interactive website (www.shankaboot.com) as well as on Facebook and YouTube. Over the past 12 months, its episodes have been viewed nearly 700,000 times and the series has almost 23,000 fans on Facebook. The production represents a collaboration between Batoota Films and the BBC World Service Trust, the educational arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation. In November 2010, “Shankaboot” won the Reflet d’Or for Best Web Series at the Cinema Tous Ecrans festival in Geneva.