International Competition


Karim Kassem
Screening time  
04.04. / Monday, 21:00 - 23:00 Theatre 5 Ticket
05.04. / Tuesday, 15:00 - 17:00 Theatre 4  

Octopus is a metaphysical exploration of the Beirut port explosion aftermath that starts with a filmmaker who arrives to work on his new film and is faced with a colossal, cataclysmic Port of Beirut explosion that changes his life and what he can do for himself and his city. The film surfaced during that trauma. Octopus silently navigates that unfolding, giving space to the myriad of existential questions birthed by the enormity of the happening. Questions of unexamined worldviews, of suffering and meaning, of collective purpose, and of many other quiet thoughts strewn amidst the rubble. What are we saying when we say nothing at all?


Karim Kassem

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Karim Kassem mainly works between the US and Lebanon on films, music videos, and commercials. Karim’s artistic exploration first began in music, spinning techno for four years until his interest in photography was awakened by a college professor who invited him on a trip to Indonesia. Since moving to New York in 2012, he has made numerous short films, and completed his first feature Only the Winds, which was selected for the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam and Visions du Réel 2021 in Switzerland. Most recently, he landed in Beirut only a day before and survived the massive explosion that destroyed much of the city. This last experience inspired his second feature film Octopus, which won best film at IDFA 2021. It was supported by the Doha Film Institute and the Red Sea Film Fund. He is currently in development for his third feature film titled Thiiird (2022).

General sponsor


USA, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
2021, 61'

Directed by:
Karim Kassem

Screenplay by:
Karim Kassem

Karim Kassem

Edited by:
Alex Bakri

Sugam Khetam

Karim Kassem, Moustafa Kassem

Produced by:
Screen Productions

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA: Best Film - Envision Competition (2021)
True/False FF (2022)


Karim Kassem