Lucien Bourjeily

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Lucien Bourjeily
Lucien Bourjeily.jpg
Native name
لوسيان بورجيلي
Born
Lucien Bourjeily

Beirut, Lebanon
ResidenceBeirut, Lebanon
NationalityLebanese
CitizenshipLebanese
Alma materLoyola Marymount University (2013)
OccupationPlaywright, Director, Filmmaker, Actor

Lucien Bourjeily is a writer and director of both theater and film. He was behind the first professional improvisational theatre shows in the Middle East; defying all censorship laws still applicable in this region: peacefully challenging social and cultural barriers using theatre to set off dialogue, encourage free speech, and as a true force of positive change.[1] He is a Fulbright scholar and holds an MFA in Filmmaking from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

His work in both theatre and film has traveled the worldwide festival circuits and won him many awards of which the 2017 Dubai International Film Festival Jury Prize.[2] He brought his progressive approach to theatre to London's LIFT Festival in 2012 with his hard-hitting immersive play "66 Minutes in Damascus" which was chosen as one of 10 plays in the world that “rethink the stage” by the Huffington Post.[3] While "66 Minutes in Damascus" was a response to the current events in Syria, his work has often been a response to political circumstances.

In 2012, he was chosen by CNN as one of 8 leading cultural lights from Lebanon’s contemporary arts scene that are making an impact in Lebanon and internationally.[4] A year later, he challenged the Lebanese government with an anti-censorship play entitled “Will it pass or not?” which was banned from public performance by the Lebanese general security but created an unprecedented media backlash against the bureau. Therefore, in May 2014 the general security confiscated Bourjeily’s passport in an obscure administrative procedure called “subduing of critics” but they backed down on their decision 48 hours later after Lebanese general public outcry. For his activism against censorship on the arts in Lebanon he was nominated for the 2014 “Freedom of Expression” award held annually at the Barbican Center in London by Index on Censorship.[5] [6] [7] [8]

He wrote and directed “Vanishing State” at the Battersea Arts Center in London as part of the 2014 LIFT festival. The play implicates the audience in drafting the Middle East’s countries borders along with French and English diplomats (Sykes and Picot) at the end of World War I, a secret agreement at the time, whose consequences are still strongly felt today throughout the Levant region. [9]

Just months after the civil strife in Tripoli ended, during the spring of 2015, he wrote a play entitled "Love and War on the Rooftop", which was performed, under his direction, by ex-fighters from the warring neighborhoods of Beb El Tebbeneh and Jabal Mohsen. [10] [11] [12]

His most recent play entitled "Beirut Syndrome" exploring the theme of political corruption was banned from public performance in Lebanon in October 2015 by the lebanese General Security.[13] [14]

In 2017, his debut film entitled Heaven Without People premiered in competition at the 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival. [15]

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