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The Sea Ahead

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The Sea Ahead
Directed byEly Dagher
Produced byArnaud Dommerc
Written byEly Dagher
  • Manal Issa
  • Roger Azar
  • Yara Abi Haidar
  • Rabih Al Zaher
  • Joseph Sassine
  • Fadi Abi Samra
Music byJoh Dagher
CinematographyShadi Shaaban
Edited by
  • Léa Masson
  • Ely Dagher
  • Andolfi
  • Abbout Productions
  • wrong men
  • Beachside
  • BeaverAndBeaver
Release date
  • July 2021 (2021-07) (Cannes Film Festival)
Running time
116 minutes.[1]

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The Sea Ahead is a 2021 Lebanese film directed and written by Ely Dagher. Starring Manal Issa, Roger Azar, Yara Abi Haidar, Rabih Al Zaher, Fadi Abi Samra and Joseph Sassine.

The film had it's world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival[2] in July 2021.


After a long time gone, Jana, a young woman, suddenly returns to Beirut. She finds herself reconnecting with the familiar yet strange life she had once left.[3]


  • Manal Issa
  • Roger Azar
  • Yara Abi Haidar
  • Rabih Al Zaher
  • Joseph Sassine
  • Fadi Abi Samra


The working title was "Harvest" before changing to "The sea ahead"[4]. Writing of the film started in 2015 and Production at the beginning of 2020, all before the economic collapse of Lebanon. The film was in editing phase at the time of Beirut explosion [5] fall of 2020 the film Participated in the Venice film festival Final cut section for films in post production, and won best film. [6]


The film premiered internationally during the 2021 Cannes Film Festival[7] in July 2021 part of the Directors' Fortnight[8][9]


Following the world premiere at the Cannes 53rd Director's fortnight the film by Kaleem Aftab for Cineuropa was described as "taking us on a cinematic journey that echoes work by Michelangelo Antonioni and his view of depression".[10] Davide Abbatescianni, in his review for The New Arab, gave a positive review: "Loosely echoing Michelangelo Antonioni's artistic research on existential angst, The Sea Ahead is an enigmatic psychological drama, tackling timely themes and representing today's new 'lost generation' of millennials with great depth and sincerity."[11]

The film was eligible to receive the Caméra d'Or at Cannes.[12]


  1. "THE SEA AHEAD". Directors' Fortnight.
  2. Staff, Screen (July 1, 2021). "Cannes 2021 line-up guide: Directors' Fortnight titles". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  3. "The Sea Ahead". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  4. Pedersen, Lise (September 8, 2020). "Short Film Palme d'Or Winner Ely Dagher Presents Feature Debut 'Harvest'". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  5. Akerman, Iain (July 2, 2021). "Lebanese director Ely Dagher's 'The Sea Ahead' set to premiere at Cannes". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  6. Vivarelli, Nick (September 9, 2020). "Lebanese Film 'Harvest' Wins Final Cut in Venice Workshop Prize". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  7. Staff, Screen (July 1, 2021). "Cannes 2021 line-up guide: Directors' Fortnight titles". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  8. Keslassy, By Elsa (June 8, 2021). "Cannes Directors' Fortnight Unveils 2021 Lineup – 'The Souvenir Part II,' 'Ali & Ava,' 'A Chiara,' 'Neptune Frost,' 'Futura' Among Selections". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  9. Sharf, By Zack (June 8, 2021). "Cannes Directors' Fortnight 2021 Lineup Includes Joanna Hogg's 'The Souvenir Part II' and More". Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  10. Aftab, Kaleem (22 July 2021). "Review: The Sea Ahead". Cineuropa. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  11. Abbatescianni, DAvide (20 August 2021). "The Sea Ahead: An introspective portrait of millennial fear". The New Arab. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  12. Goodfellow, Melanie (30 June 2021). "Cannes unveils Caméra d'Or jury, confirms 31 eligible first features". Screen Daily. Retrieved 6 September 2021.

External links[edit]

Category:2021 films Category:Lebanese films

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