The BIFFF/Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film believes in the freedom of expression and the right of filmmakers and artists to express themselves by any creative means they see fit. We are therefore displeased by the recent case of censorship suffered by the Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, which took place in Beirut in early November. More specifically, the local authorities banned the screening of two films: Climax by Gaspar Noé and Nocturnal Destruction by Laura El Alam.
The Maskoon festival, which only celebrated its third edition this year, is the only genre film festival in the Arab world and is also part of the EFFFF/European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation. As a founding member of that umbrella organization, the BIFFF regrets that this friendly festival could not develop its activities in all openness. Now that freedom of expression is increasingly coming under pressure, this is a worrying evolution. Art, and more specifically film, should never be subjected to censorship and interference by political, military, or religious institutions.