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Directed byZayn Alexander
Written byPascale Seigneurie
StarringZayn Alexander
Pascale Seigneurie
CinematographyWin Khant Maung
Edited byMadison Velding-VanDam
Release date
Running time
10 minutes
CountryUSA and Lebanon

Abroad (Arabic: الغربة‎) is a short film directed by Lebanese filmmaker Zayn Alexander.[1] The film made its world premiere at the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2, 2018.[2][3][4] The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies awarded Alexander the 2020 Khayrallah Art Prize for the film.[5][6]

Plot and Themes[edit]

The film tells a story from the perspective of a Lebanese couple, Jad and Rania. The story starts with their shared common dream of having a successful life as actors in New York City but gradually reveals different aspects affecting their lives, which finally takes them to a point of divergence propelled by differences of opinions and decisions. In the course of ten minutes, the film explores the issue of typecasting, effects of societal expectations and the life of the struggling artist.[7][8][9][10]


  • Zayn Alexander as Jad
  • Pascale Seigneurie as Rania


In an interview with Directors Notes, Alexander said the film was based heavily on his and Seigneurie’s personal experiences and struggles of finding work in the American entertainment industry. He also added the film involved an effort to show that people, irrespective of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, are not much different.[11]


Critical Reception[edit]

The film made its debut to an American audience at the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it received mixed to positive reviews.[12]  The introductory segment of the film, while having a resemblance to some widely familiar stereotypical terrorist plots, has received praise from critics for its apt cinematic usage.[13] Critic Kirk Fernwood commented "Abroad can safely claim a space among well-conceived, credibly engineered, and suitably pertinent short film efforts".[14] Critic Felix Vasquez of Cinema Crazed stated that “Abroad is a stark statement about the entertainment industry and the difficulties of minorities to achieve their dreams in an art form where they were stigmatized decades ago.”[12]

The Moise A. Khayrallah Center, which awards the annual Khayrallah Prize recognizing the artistic expressions pertaining to Lebanon and the Lebanese Diaspora, has awarded Alexander and Abroad The 2020 Khayrallah Art Prize.[15] The selection committee considered the film to be significant in the post 9/11 era specifically for portraying the stereotypes and racism faced by Lebanese immigrants.[16][17]


Award/Festival Year Category Winner/Nominee Won
Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2018 Best Live Action Short Film Zayn Alexander Nominated
SOHO International Film Festival 2018 Best Showcase Short Film Zayn Alexander Nominated[18]
Lebanese Film Festival 2018 Best Short Film Zayn Alexander Nominated[19]
Beirut International Women Film Festival 2019 Best Short Film Zayn Alexander Nominated


  1. ^ Hipes, Patrick (2018-01-17). "Santa Barbara Film Festival Lineup Unveiled". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  2. ^ York, The New School66 West 12th StreetNew; Ny 10011. "Zolberg Film Series: "Abroad" and "Like Salt" film screening, followed by a discussion with the directors moderated by Zolberg fellows". Zolberg Film Series: "Abroad" and "Like Salt" film screening, followed by a discussion with the directors moderated by Zolberg fellows. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  3. ^ Solutions, M. A. D. "MAD Distributions Films - Zayn Alexander". mad-distribution.film. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  4. ^ Hixon, Michael. "Santa Barbara International Film Festival celebrates stars and independent filmmakers". The Beach Reporter. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  5. ^ "Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies - NC State". lebanesestudies.ncsu.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  6. ^ "جائزة خير الله الأميركية في دورتها السادسة: فوز كاتبة ومخرج من لبنان". annahar.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  7. ^ "Short Film Review "Abroad" ← One Film Fan". Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  8. ^ "Zayn Alexander, comédien et metteur en scène libanais à New York". L'Orient-Le Jour. 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  9. ^ ""مهرجان الفيلم اللبناني" يختتم أعماله ويوزع جوائزه". الشرق الأوسط (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  10. ^ "Student Film Reviews » Blog Archive » The Action Shorts I (SBIFF 2018)". Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  11. ^ h, About the Author / MarBelle MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his; On, S.; disorder, find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work Directors Notes is the multi-decade incarnation of this; School, Remains so Much Cheaper Than Film (2018-08-07). "Abroad by Zayn Alexander | Short Film Drama". Directors Notes. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  12. ^ a b "Shorts Round Up of the Week – 4/15/19 |". Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  13. ^ "'Abroad' de Zayn Alexander : une question de choix". AgendaCulturel. 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  14. ^ "Short Film Review "Abroad" ← One Film Fan". Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  15. ^ "Khayrallah Prize 2020". us10.campaign-archive.com. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  16. ^ "Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies - NC State". lebanesestudies.ncsu.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  17. ^ "Two winners announced as US university celebrates Arab art with Khayrallah Prize". Arab News. 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  18. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Ninth Annual Soho International Film Festival Wraps With Awards Night Honoring Independant [sic] Films Around The World". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  19. ^ "Clôture de la 13ème édition du Festival du Film Libanais". lepetitjournal.com (in French). Retrieved 2021-02-27.

External links[edit]


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