Screening will be followed by a conversation with filmmaker Rita Baghdadi and Vulture’s Roxana Hadadi.
On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and her thrash metal bandmates, Shery, Maya, Alma and Tatyana (Slave to Sirens), have big dreams but few opportunities. When the band’s appearance at a UK music festival isn’t the life-changer they had hoped for, Lilas comes home to Lebanon on the brink of collapse. At the same time, the complicated friendship between Lilas and her fellow guitarist Shery starts to fracture. The future of her band, her country and her dreams now all at stake, Lilas faces a crossroad. She must decide what kind of leader she will be, not only for her band, but also as a young woman struggling to define herself in Lebanon, a country in the Middle East as complex as each of the Sirens themselves.
Produced by Rita Baghdadi, Tatiana El Dadah, and Camilla Hall. Executive Produced by Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Natasha Lyonne, and Maya Rudolph.
Courtesy of Oscilloscope Films
/Filmmakers + Moderators
Rita Baghdadi is an award-winning, Moroccan-American documentary filmmaker. Her bold, character-driven work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, Netflix, HBO, Film Independent and the International Documentary Association. Rita got her start as a cinematographer, filming verité documentaries such as Served Like A Girl, which The Hollywood Reporter recognized for its “unfussy intimacy.” Rita’s feature documentary directorial debut, My Country No More, was awarded Best Feature at the 2018 Big Sky Film Festival. The film was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and is now streaming on Amazon. Her documentary City Rising won the LA-area Emmy award for Best Social Issue Film and is being used as a tool for activism around housing inequality. Rita is the co-founder of Lady & Bird Films and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia. When she is not in the field, she is an active mentor dedicated to empowering women and girls of color through documentary film training. Her latest feature documentary, Sirens, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Roxana Hadadi is a TV critic with Vulture who also writes about film and pop culture. Previously, she was film editor and critic with Pajiba, and her reviews, essays, recaps, and other writing have also been published by The A.V. Club, Polygon, RogerEbert.com, the LA Times, Crooked Marquee, The Playlist, Fox Digital, Bright Wall/Dark Room, GQ, and Inverse. She holds a master’s degree in literature from American University.