Upon the invitation of Claudine Aoun Roukoz, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), and Mr. Bruno Foucher, French Ambassador to Lebanon, the new masterpiece of filmmaker Michel Ocelot Dilili à Paris (Dilili in Paris) premiered in Cinemacity – Beirut Souks on December 9, as a closure to the international campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence”.
This cultural event was attended by the representative of the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun, Minister of Culture Mr. Ghattas Khoury and his wife, the minister of Justice Salim Jreissati and his wife, ministers of State for Administrative Development Inaya Ezzeddine and for Combating Corruption Nicolas Tueni and his wife, Deputies Dima Jamali, Roula Tabsh, Alain Aoun and his wife, Eddy Abi Lamaa, Ali Bazzi, Eddy Maalouf, and his wife, Chawki Daccache and his wife, Farid Al Bustani and his wife, Antoine Bano, Nicolas Sehnaoui, as well as ambassadors, representatives of the army and security forces, directors generals, members of the NCLW, representatives of international organizations, politicians, officials in the judicial, social and cultural institutions, the media, school directors, teachers and students from different schools, representatives of civil society organizations and associations, and a large number of guests.
Claudine Aoun Roukoz, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women delivered the opening speech: “On the occasion of the end of the 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women, I am pleased to invite you today to relive childhood, to watch a film that takes us to a world where we directly know who is the hero and who is the bad guy, and where the good prevails over the evil. “Mrs. Aoun Roukoz added: “I invite you to restore the time of dreams, the time of enthusiasm to defend humanitarian issues.”
The filmmaker and friend Michel Ocelot in Dilili in Paris, an animated film, encourages us to hope that good intentions and firm will eventually win, and put an end to the domination of women, their underestimation and their prohibition to act with dignity, pride and joy. “She concluded: “I invite you, Ladies and Gentlemen, to look at a masterpiece of drawings, colors and music that holds a Lebanese signature, composed by Gabriel Yared, and to conclude this year the international campaign to end violence against women with hope and joy. “The French Ambassador to Lebanon, Bruno Foucher, said: “Dilili has become the UNICEF ambassador, and the UNICEF has taken this decision because the situation of girls in the world is very worrying, and we must do our best to change mindsets. Girls and women represent half our humanity. It is highly urgent to address early marriage and defend the right of girls to education. “Let’s work with the UNICEF, the National Commission for Lebanese Women and with good intentions to give girls the power of creating the future.”
He concluded by honoring the endless talent of Michel Ocelot and thanked him for his wonderful work, modesty and good heart.As for Michel Ocelot, he said: ” I came to Lebanon to present all my films one after the other. Lebanon is a fascinating country that makes me feel at ease and where I meet a lot of people that I get along with.
This evening, I am overwhelmed by this huge Avant-premiere of Dilili. I thank all those who have contributed in its creation, and I thank all of you for taking the time to see my small changes on this civilization and to share the happiness of being together as men and women.
My true speech will come later; it is the movie.”
Michel Ocelot, French writer, character designer, storyboard artist and director of animated films known for the animated series Kirikou and Azur et Asmar came to Lebanon at the occasion of his new animated film Dilili à Paris, upon the invitation of Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, president of the NCLW and the French Ambassador to Lebanon Mr. Bruno Foucher, to close the international campaign of 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women.
Dilili à Paris is a Franco-Belgian-German animated movie by Michel Ocelot, released in 2018. It tells the adventures of Dilili, a French-Kanak girl, in the Paris of the “Belle Époque” where she investigates alongside Orel, a young deliverer in scooter, the mysterious disappearance of a number of girls who were kidnapped by a network of bandits called “Mâles-Maîtres” (male masters). The two heroes will go through extraordinary places: Montmartre, the Orsay railway station, the Eiffel Tower, and will cross fabulous characters: Sarah Bernhardt, Marie Curie, Picasso, etc. who will help them solve this mystery.
In his film, Ocelot tackles many forms of intolerance, including the mistreatment of women. The filmmaker highlights the sect’s misdeeds against the girls abducted by a wicked tyrant to become slaves. “That’s what we should do: shake the audience, it’s time to do it. I want to shock people a little bit.” Says Ocelot. He also emphasizes the girl-boy equality that is crucial to him. A young Métis girl and a young white delivery man join forces to conduct the investigation. Indeed, in an interview published in Le Parisien, Ocelot stresses that “Serenity can only come from the alliance between men and women. I am one of the men who understood that it is wonderful to have strong women in front of you. ”
Mrs. Aoun Roukoz and Michel Ocelot are participating in the focus group held on December 10 in the French Cultural Center on ways to introduce Dilili à Paris in schools and use it as a tool for education and communication on violence against women and the prevention of violence against girls. Ten experts, including a representative from the French association “L’Escale”, and a group of students selected by the Minister of Education will take part in the focus group and will debate the necessary methods to make sure that the message reaches students from all sociocultural backgrounds.
The film will be screened in Lebanese cinemas starting January 10.