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Cinema is the Air I breathe! by Georges N. Chamchoum

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Georges N. Chamchoum is an Emmy and multiple award-winning Film Director and Producer born on July 16, 1946, in Niger, West Africa, of Lebanese origin. In the late 1990’s, Georges was honored by UNESCO for his body of work and dedication to Lebanese Cinema and most recently, in 2017, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Lebanese in the World and honored in a special commemorative publication to mark the occasion and in December 2018 the South Korean Ministry of Culture & Sports bestowed upon him the coveted DARI Award for the Asian World Film Festival for bridging and promoting the Korean Culture in the USA.

Georges is currently the Executive and Program Director of the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) which takes place in Culver City, Los Angeles and is now in its ninth successful year. The festival aims to bring the very best of Asian Cinema to Hollywood and to strengthen ties between the Asian and American film industries. The festival is unique in that it predominantly screens films which have been submitted to the Oscars and the Golden Globes for Best Foreign Language Film.

Georges served as the International Director of the Yakutsk International Film Festivalin Yakutia (Sakha Republic), until 2014, the International Relations Executive for the Notre Dame University International Film Festival (Lebanon) and is on the Executive Board of the Beirut International Women Film Festival (Lebanon) and Korean Film Festival Canada (KFFC). In addition, he is the Co-Founder of Film Festivals Cinergy, a union of worldwide Film Festivals which promotes recognized talent in filmmaking. Georges ensures that all his Festivals championed the unsung heroes of the movies.

He loves to discover Cinema that few people are aware of. For example, he was the first person to screen films from Yakutia in the West in the early 2010’s. After attending schools in Lebanon, France and Germany, Georges graduated from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. He went on to study filmmaking, as a director, at the Conservatoire du Cinema Francais in Paris, France and after graduation attended the Lodz Film School in Poland. He trained under the legendary Andrei Tarkovski (Russia), Roman Polanski (England) and Jacques Becker (France) and collaborated with the renowned German filmmaker, Rainer Werner Fassbinder & Ulli Lommel (who later became his Partner for 3 decades), in the late 1970’s.

Georges entered the film industry in 1968 and has since directed and produced over 35 feature films throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the USA. His films have always been socially and politically orientated with a Hollywood flair. Georges directed His first Film Inside Out in 1968 at age 20, Salam, After Death in 1970 which toured no less than a dozen Festivals and the landmark Lebanon…. Why? in 1978, He won an Emmy for the ABC Documentary Short Hashim’s Story in 2010. Throughout the 1980’s, Georges was a Jury Delegate for Le Festival du Film Fantastique et de Science Fiction de Paris (Horror and Science Fiction Films) in France, a leading Festival in the genre where directors such as Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Joe Dante, and many other top directors were first discovered.

During the early 2000’s Georges was a Board Member of the Francophone Film Festival and the Pan Pacific Film Festival (PPFF) in Los Angeles and from 2007-2013 was the Executive and Program Director of the Monaco Charity Film Festival. The Oxford History of World Cinema, the definitive history of cinema worldwide, contains the following quote: “…It was not until the 1970’s that a number of talented western trained Lebanese film-makers- Georges Chamchoum, Jocelyn Saab, Heiny Srour and Borhan Alaouya- emerged and began to treat social and political problems of their country in a number of features strongly influenced by documentary techniques.” Georges’ past decade work is a trilogy of films on Faith which were completed back-to-back: Journey into my Faith (2012) a Feature Documentary which he calls “my most personal movie ever – I had to do it just for my own satisfaction”, December Dawn (2013) a Documentary Short about Dawn Prayer and Ninety! (2013) a Feature Documentary about the Maronite Faith. In 2014, Georges directed Agency (2014) a Comedy Short. and the Feature documentary Ode to My Mother which won the Best Documentary Award 2014 at Indie FEST in the USA. In 2019 complete his Documentary Series: Ramez, A Celebration of Life (2016) a Feature Documentary born from pain. Produced a Short Drama Alexandra Directed by Sultan Pirzhan Uulu, and 2020 the Short TRAPPED, shot entirely in and around Beijing in March 2020 during the lock-down, first movie to deal with the Pandemic. Finally Creative Producer of the Feature Drama BELEK (the Gift) Written & Directed by Dalmira Tilepbergen (Kyrgyzstan 2022) and Producer of the experimental/existentialist multi–Award Winning Short CREATION (USA 2023), an ambitious movie born in the mind and soul of Sir Daniel Winn which will be expanded into a Feature in 2023. Georges currently has several Features as a Producer in Vietnam and 2 projects as Director one in Yakutia the other in the Philippines and road movie in the US (Actor/Director).

Georges, who has resided in Los Angeles for the past 32 years, is passionate about photography and from 1984 – 1990 was the official photographer for Visiora – Christian Dior. All through the 70’s and 80’s Directed several Plays (Lebanon & USA) and in the 80’s multiple Award-Winning Music Video.

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