Primary Projects

A French/Lebanese co-production (through our partners in Lebanon and France)

Ports of Call---Feature Length Motion Film
(based on the best-selling novel by the celebrated Lebanese-French writer Amin Maalouf)

A General Introduction

Ports of Call is a feature-length film based on the best-selling novel by the renowned Lebanese-French novelist Amin Maalouf  (the winner of the Prix Goncourt and a member of the Academie Francaise), considered the most prominent Arab writer in the world today. Ports of Call has the objective of being a commercially successful creative initiative that both entertains and has the deeper purpose of building bridges across creeds and cultures. More specifically, as a film with commercial appeal, Ports of Call aims to enhance understanding, deepen respect and facilitate sharing between the cultures, peoples and faiths of the Middle East and the West.

Ports of Call, is a dramatic love story between a Lebanese-Turkish Muslim (whose mother was Armenian Christian) and a Jewish woman, is in many ways a microcosm of the Middle East. It is a film that will profoundly contribute to deepening peoples’ commitments to overcome the traditional prejudice with respect to the differences that have divided people and made them enemies...Christian/Muslim, Jew/Arab Palestinian, East/West, etc.

Strategic Importance of “Ports of Call," the film

Ports of Call is a powerful love story that will benefit humanity. The film’s message will promote harmony between the peoples and faiths of the Middle East and West, and speak directly to how we need to live in the future. Illustrating the critical need of peace-building, reconciliation and living in harmony, Ports of Call is an unprecedented film initiative that has intercultural and inter-religious understanding, and bridge-building at its core.

The intercultural and interreligious strife and existing tensions in the Middle East, and between the Middle East and the West, highlight that much work lies ahead toward finding ways for all to live peacefully together. It could not be timelier to be involved in this film initiative toward promoting a sectarian-free world.

This dramatic love story, with a beautiful ending, indirectly yet poignantly addresses the critical issues of today related to the Middle East and West; inter-religious relations, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the search for freedom in the Middle East, peace-building, etc…helping to bridge the chasm of misunderstanding that exists in a non-confrontational manner.

The story also lends itself to some captivating cinematography--France, Palestine/Israel and Lebanon. As a film, it has all the critical ingredients for a powerful drama...war, tragedy, love, conflict…reminding the viewer of the award-winning film “The English Patient,” albeit with a deeper purpose.

The Novel

Originally published in France in 1996, the novel Ports of Call is set in the 20th century and written by the best-selling Lebanese-French author Amin Maalouf (winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt and appointed to the esteemed Academie Francaise). The novel is the story of two ill-starred lovers in the Middle East: Ossyane, the principal narrator, is a Turkish/Lebanese Muslim (an Ottoman prince whose mother was Armenian Christian), a hero of the French Resistance in World War II, and the love of his life, the Jewish woman Clara. They marry in the aftermath of WWII; unfortunately, the chaotic dislocations due to the 1948 war in Palestine keep them apart for years, during which time Ossyane is unjustly committed to an asylum in Beirut.

Their marriage is presented in the novel as an exemplary rejection of suspicion and hatred between peoples, most particularly in the Middle East. In the final scene, the Muslim-Jewish lovers’ reunion in Paris, the result is that we can see Ossyane and Clara together but do not hear what they are saying. As the New York Times book review (23 January 2000) of Ports of Call says; “Their future can only be imagined: will they take up their life together again, or are the scars too deep? We are left wondering whether peace, between individuals or nations, is anything more than a beloved word.”

The struggles of the Middle East are brought painfully to life in this delicate, tragic and compassionate love story. Ossyane, in telling his story to the narrator, allows us to see through his sympathetic eyes his life journey of love in France, Beirut, and Haifa (Israel/Palestine), during a turbulent time and in a war-torn region.