Grace Shalhoub Yazbek, a Lebanese screenwriter originally from the village of Douma in the Batroun caza, has qualified as a finalist for the European Independent Film Festival in the Feature Film Scripts category for her screenplay titled “Gibran.”
As the title implies, the movie is about famous Lebanese author Gibran Khalil Gibran. The approach adopted to the issue, however, was not to retell his story like many other books and movies have done but to add a more flavor to it, spanning from his birth and childhood in Becharreh, to his travels and studies in Boston – all to the backdrop of him maturing as an artist and human being, culminating in the writing of The Prophet.
Grace’s sister, Nicole, spoke to me about the possibility of her sister’s inspiration being the fact that both them and Gibran are Lebanese American heritage who were raised in Boston and as such the figure of Gibran was always an influence in their lives as well as an inspiration. In a way the Lebanon-Boston connection that the writer shared with the author on whom she’s writing gave rise to the nominated screenplay.
I wish Grace the best of luck and hope her screenplay ends up winning the big prize. Lebanese talent is sure finding its way to success lately.