Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck

In the Ruins of Baalbeck Studios
The story of this film project revolves around the biggest film production studio in the Arab world, and its lost archive. Located on Charles Helou Boulevard in the east of Beirut, the remains of Studio Baalbek, a white villa with open doors, broken windows, and a garden full of wild plants and pine trees, appear like a lifeless place. But even though the once thriving production house, established in 1962, fell victim to the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990), it has nevertheless left behind a treasure of an archive of voice recordings and films that still are famous throughout the entire Arab region, spanning productions from Erbil to Amman, and from Damascus to Cairo. Negligence by the Lebanese authorities has led to mold growing on parts of this archive inside the damp underground warehouses.
Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck shows the ruination of film heritage in Lebanon, navigated through the country’s cinematic heydays in the late 1960s and early 1970s – a period that witnessed a rise of Egyptian producers and directors moving to Lebanon to make films partly due to Nasser’s nationalization of Egyptian cinema.
by Siska
with Alexandre Paulikevitch, Nadil Semaan, Vano, Tony Cloudly, Georges Nasser, Abudi Abou Jaoude, Ibrahim Takkoush, Jerome Abi Saleh
Lebanon / Germany 2017 Arabic, French, English 48’ Colour Documentary form


  • Alexandre Paulikevitch (dancer)
  • Nadil Semaan (Kodak Laboratory)
  • Vano (Photoscope)
  • Tony Cloudly (Tiamo Music Shop)
  • Georges Nasser (film director)
  • Abudi Abou Jaoude (film poster collector)
  • Ibrahim Takkoush (ex film director)
  • Jerome Abi Saleh (comparse)


Director Siska
Cinematography Siska
Editing Siska
Music Sam Wilder
Sound Design Siska
Sound Siska
Producer Siska

Produced by

Culture Resource


Siska graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut with a master’s degree in cinema studies and film directing. He has been living in Berlin since 2009. His practice is often centered on archiveology examining sociopolitical narratives in relation to personal and collective pasts. Siska’s work often questions the ruination of Arab cultural heritage. His use of film language and codes of cinematography as strategic mediations to activate an archive allows him to experiment with new forms of storytelling and his own biography. Siska’s work has been exhibited internationally, including Gropius Bau, Berlin, Centquartre-Paris, Beirut Exhibition Center, Mosaic Rooms, London. Siska’s Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck (2017) was part of Forum Expanded 2018.


2009 Trio a study on horses in the city; 15 min. 2011 E.D.L (Eléctricité Du Liban); 21 min. 2012 Visit to the white house; 3 min. 2013 Golden Rush; 40 min. 2014 A tragic tale of fire, water, and radon; 3 min. 2015 Die Gespenterei 2; 6 min. 2017 Bayna Hayakel Studio Baalbeck; 48 min., Forum Expanded 2018 2019 Latent Border(s); 18 min. 2020 Independance Day A Work in Progress; 7 min. 2021 Das Kino Projekt

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022