Rana, a college student trying to avoid a difficult secret from her past, becomes obsessed with conquering the male-dominated pigeon wars of Beirut. With the help of Hassan, a kindred spirit with personal struggles of his own, she embarks on a mission to catch a rare bird – the Nicobar.
I created Rana to reconnect to a feeling of invincibility I had when I was in university: wanting to fight the world and the patriarchy, even if it also hurts Arab men. My father’s story is an example: he moved to the US for his undergraduate studies and developed a passion for photography. When he graduated, however, he had to come straight back to Beirut and take over his father’s business. On his deathbed, he shared with me his regrets in living a life that was expected of him instead of the life that he had wanted to lead. Since Rana’s anger is targeted at men, she develops a friendship with a man who, himself, struggles from the pressure of patriarchy. Hassan and Rana are freest on the rooftops above Beirut. Pigeon Wars is about freedom. It’s about liberating ourselves of shackles that prevent us from flying free and always having the choice to come home.
Dania Bdeir is an award-winning Lebanese-Canadian filmmaker. In White, her NYU thesis film, received the Spike Lee Production Fund and had its world premiere at Clermont-Ferrand. Her latest short Warsha won the Jury Prize for Best International Fiction at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It has won 45 awards - including 3 Oscar qualifying - in the 8 months since its premiere. Bdeir is currently developing her first feature Pigeon Wars, which received development financing from Telefilm Canada and was selected for the TFL x DFI Hezaya Screenwriting Lab and Le Groupe Ouest.
Pierre Sarraf is one of the founders of né à Beyrouth Films, the Beirut-based film development and production company. Born in Beirut in 1975, Pierre grew up in a city divided by civil war. In 1990, he immigrated to Italy first, then to France (Masters in Biochemistry) and Canada (Mc Gill, MBA class 2002). He returned to Beirut in 2004 to set up né à Beyrouth Films. Pierre was involved in the production of 12 features, 10 shorts and 6 documentaries. His last completed features as co-producer are Capernaum (Jury Prize, Cannes 2018, Oscar & Bafta nominations) and 3D (Europa Cinemas label, GDA, Venice 2022).
€1 910 000
Telefilm Canada (development funding), Anonymous Content (managers)
September-November 2023, Beirut (Lebanon)
Co-producers, sales agents