Updated: Mar 26
shooting in April 2023 in LA
Casting a short film for Disney’s Diversity and Inclusion program. The film takes place in 2006 Beirut and is about a family striving to carry on with life as normal war rages on outside the walls of their apartment. It is not a story of violence and trauma but rather, a beautiful portrait of a family trying to find hope and support to get through this conflict together.
The film is centered around a Lebanese family and all the dialogue will be spoken in Arabic.. And as such, we’d like to cast native Arabic speakers in these roles. Preferably people with an ear for the Lebanese accent and dialect.
As the first overnight bombing raid of Beirut begins, Tamara is woken by the booming. Terrified, she looks for support from her family - who are all, inexplicably, fast asleep! Returning to bed she stays up all night listening to the sound of the raid trying to find a way to comfort herself.
Throughout the course of the next few days, the family fills their time with eating, cooking, playing games, dancing, and fortune-telling.
As the raids continue night after night, the family slowly pieces together a plan to escape the city. In the moment when each of them comes to terms with the fact that they have to leave their home behind, the world of the apartment transforms into a magical / surreal space. As the grandmother sings a folk song of refugees, plastic drop cloths and sheets float to life, wrapping up the apartment in preparation for the family's departure.
In the final moment as the family leaves the house, possibly forever, Tamara takes a moment to say goodbye to the home she knows and loves.
Beirut, Lebanon 2006. As a war rages on outside the walls of their apartment, a family strives to carry on with life as normal. Finding magic in the moment they accept they have to leave their home in search of safety.
15 to 16 year old teen. TAMARA is a very headstrong yet cautious girl, who cares deeply for her family. Wanting to help protect them, she struggles with feeling powerless in the face of the ongoing war. A vivid imagination and a big heart, we see the beauty and magic of this world through her eyes as she comes to accept that her family must leave their home behind.
70 to 85 year old woman. Amira is the matriarch of the family. Having been a refugee in the past, the war doesn’t phase her as much. She takes it upon herself to guide the family through this experience. She finds lightness, humor, honesty and keeping busy with the small things important.
40 to 55 year old man. A mountain of a man, Dahoud’s stature and presence does nothing to help his family. His size cannot save them. So he leans into being supportive, empathetic and gentle with them all.
40 to 55 year old woman. Hala brings warmth and laughter into the world. She leads her children by example and never wants them to see how scared or worried she really is for them all.
8 to 10 year old girl. Alia is slightly too young to understand what is really going on. Not able to fully grasp the severity of the situation she leans into distracting herself with the things she loves, music, dancing, games. Alia senses her family’s worry, but she won’t panic unless she sees the adults scared.
shooting in Los Angeles, California between April 2023
Arab American Casting
Hamzah Saman, CSA