Leila Basma
Lebanon - Czechia


In the midst of the economic crisis in Lebanon, five high school students meet one last time after their graduation day to finalize the secret plan that guarantees they will be able to afford their future dreams. Lana, Mira, Omar, James and Nader have to face the sudden pressure of stepping into adulthood in a country mired in tragedy. Beyond struggling with their personal lives, their sexualities, and their relationships, they’re also experiencing inexplicable transformations. As their bodies change in odd ways, so do their appetites, their tastes, and their cravings. Their classmate Rami has everything they wish for; the plan is dangerous and fun—but responsibilities are around the corner. None of them has imagined the consequences of what they are planning, and a huge tragedy awaits at a big techno party.

1st feature

Other Stories (Czech Republic)
Natália Pavlove

Director’s statement

Running with Beasts is a genre representation of today’s Beirut, which is subsumed by the tragic economic crisis that has changed the everyday lives of Lebanese people. It is a portrait of the city’s tired youth, who are forced to become the darkest and ugliest versions of themselves to survive. It does, however, also showcase how these young people are, at their core – just like any youth across the globe – prone to want to simply have a good time.


Leila Basma
Leila Basma

Leila Basma is a Lebanese filmmaker. Based in Beirut and Prague, she holds a BA from IESAV-USJ and an MFA in film directing from FAMU. Through her work, she explores themes of society, youth, womanhood, and identity. Her short documentary The Adam Basma Project (2020) was short-listed for the Student Academy Awards after touring international documentary film festivals. Her graduation film Sea Salt (2023) was selected to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. Basma is currently developing various film projects.

Natália Pavlove

Natália Pavlove holds an MA in producing from FAMU and an MA in international relations and management. She founded her own company, Other Stories, in 2021, after collaborating with various production companies in the Czech Republic on feature films, television series, and documentaries. She produced the award-winning short film Vinland (2022) and the Czech-Lebanese-Qatari co-production Sea Salt, (2023), both of which have been celebrated at festivals such as the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Cairo International Film Festival, and the Venice International Film Festival. Currently, she is focused on working with debut female filmmakers. She was nominated for the Czech National Film Awards for best short film.

Total budget

€860 000

Financing secured

€10 000

Shooting period and locations

October 2025, Lebanon

Expected delivery

May 2026

Other Projects in development