Very Big Shot (Lebanon, Qatar; 2015), a Doha Film Institute grant recipient, and the directorial debut of Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, started off as a student graduation project. It received positive attention and critical acclaim at several international festivals, and thus was seeded the idea of developing it into a full-fledged feature film.
The feature film project received support both from the region and international talent, thus giving the Arab world a powerful film on organised crime and the political nexus.
Earning tremendous acclaim at its screening at the third Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, Very Big Shot is a black comedy that pans the camera on Lebanese society, tackling multiple layers of the society. It is co-written by Bou Chaaya and Alain Saadeh, who also stars in the film.
At a media briefing, Bou Chaaya said that the film gained from the international collaboration that came from writer George Nasser and Eve Angelo, who brought Hollywood and French cinematic sensibility to the production. “This combination helped us to create a powerful script and a movie that resonates with the global audience.”
Bou Chaaya said that he tried to be true to the milieu and therefore used the same street lingo without any modification to lend the film an authentic feel. The participation of Marcel Ghanem, multi-award winning television host, helped raise the profile of the movie as well as give confidence to the cast and crew, he added.
“We did not interfere with the actors and gave them total freedom, thus giving them the space to deliver a nuanced performance,” he said. Produced along with Lucian Bou Chaaya and Christian Bou Chaaya, Very Big Shot stars Fouad Yammine, Wissam Fares and Fadi Abi Samra, among others.
Lucian Bou Chaaya said: “The biggest challenge before new talents is finding finance and the platform to take the film to a global audience. We thank Doha Film Institute for its support to the film and Ajyal Youth Film Festival for screening it and supporting the emerging talent. We too are seeking to support filmmakers and film industry in Lebanon and the Arab World through our institute SuppAr-the Arab Art Support Group.”
Very Big Shot depicts the lives of three brothers – Jad, who serves five years behind the bards for a crime committed by his elder brother Ziad, and their middle brother Joe. A delivery for a local crime ring spins out of control and Ziad seizes the opportunity to make a fortune.
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