Dania Bdeir is daughter to Syrian parents who called Lebanon their home. Bdeir is a writer & director with an intense love/hate relationship with Lebanon. Her work focuses on social and cultural stories about Lebanon, her biggest heartache and sincerest inspiration.
Bdeir was born in Montreal, where her parents traveled to escape the Lebanese civil war. They later moved back to Beirut, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut.
In 2016, Bdeir, a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, received her MFA in writing and directing from Tisch School of the Arts where she received a full scholarship on her third year. Her pre-thesis film "Meshkal" (English title: Kaleidoscope), has traveled to film festivals in France, Morocco, Pakistan, Mexico, Czeck Republic, India and many more. It has won a few notable awards including Award of Excellence at the 2014 Canada International film festival and Golden Palm at the 2014 Mexico International Film Festival.
Her latest short "In White" had its world premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and screened at the 60th BFI London Film Festival as well as on BBC Arabia. It also won the International Grand Prize at Rio De Janeiro Short Film Festival, which makes it eligible for the 2019 Oscars.
Among the awards "In White" has also received are: Best International Short film at the 2017 Milan International Film Festival Awards, Best of Fest at the New Renaissance Film Festival in London and Best Fiction Short at the Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival.
In White, which received the Spike Lee production grant as well as the 2016-2017 Riese award, and the 2017 James Janowsky award, is a proof of concept for her first feature film which she is currently in development for.
Adnan is an Arab immigrant living in New York. He has a humiliating job that he hates. All he wants to do after a long annoying day is to go home and indulge in his one pleasure: smoke a Shisha. However, things are not that easy.
The film follows the different steps of the pilgrims across their 5-day journey, breaking down the complex and spiritual experience of Hajj to focus on the emotion of faith and the diversity of the people through the strengths of the sounds of Hajj: the murmurs, the vibrations and the quran verse recitation.