Hadi Zeidan takes Lebanese music to the world, including Adelaide with OzAsia Festival 2019

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Hadi Zeidan is a Paris-based, Lebanese DJ producer who is bringing two of his shows highlighting Lebanese music to OzAsia Festival 2019 in Adelaide in October and November 2019. Read our interview with him below and find out more about the shows at the end of the article.

Hadi Zeidan, you’re coming to Australia for OzAsia Festival 2019 with your two shows Beirut Electro Parade and Shik Shak Shok. Tell us about these two shows.

The two shows represent a sonar and festive expression in the image of Beyrouth, my birth town and the source of intimate inspiration.

Whereas Shik Shak Shok is the recreation of an imaginary cabaret from the 70s and 80s (the period during which Lebanon was in civil war but which was also the golden age for Lebanese music), Beirut Electro Parade identifies the artistic manifestation of youth after the civil war: underground nights, industrial techno, electro, rock, debauchery, etc.


Your performances explore the music of Lebanon, the golden age of music as well as today’s electro music. What is your favourite music style?

I cannot define a favourite style. There are creations or compositions that I like but these transcend a “musical genre”. Nevertheless, if I had to choose a musical practice that inspires me, it’s free jazz, which is just as valid with traditional, improvised or electronic instruments. Free jazz is an expression of the soul in a moment.


How is Lebanese music different to Western music? 

Lebanese music takes its inspiration from the environment and the countryside which constitutes the “Land of the Cedars”. Lebanon is a tiny country, with two mountain chains and a very fertile Mediterranean coast. It’s a peninsula which has welcomed numerous civilisations and populations over the years and, its music, if not its art, is the proof of this cosmopolitan, multicultural and fertile richness.

We find inspiration from everywhere : from surf rock to Balkan music going from Indian or even Latino music!


What’s your favourite song from the golden age of Lebanese music?

Without a doubt Oumi ta Nourkouss by Sammy Clark and composed by Elias Rahbani.
traduction : lève-toi qu’on danse (get up we’re dancing)

Whereas Lebanon was in the middle of war, this disk is very happy and came out in 1982.
It shows the Lebanese’s willingness to party, to make love, to love life.


And from modern electro music?

I have a great admiration for Daniel Avery, who is a British artist based in London. His album “Drone Logic” is an unparalleled opus.


When did you know that you wanted to work in music?

I always knew having being lucky enough to take music lessons when I was very young.
We had a record store nearby, at which I spent all of my afternoons after school. I fantasised about having my own store when I was 13. Today the industry has evolved and I express myself through mediums which are accessible to me and which I master: the programming of events, music production and expressive DJ sets.


What does music mean for you?

Music cannot be explained. It uses a universal language, like maths, but it is not only rational. It is also an emotional language. I cannot image my daily life, or even humanity, without music. It’s the divine language of the universe which crosses all cultures, politics and religions.


You’re Lebanese from Beirut but you now live in Paris. You studied at a French school in Lebanon. Your music explores the influences of Lebanese culture. Has attending a French school and living in France meant that your music also has French influences?

This double life, in France and Lebanon is the driving force in my work: it’s from Lebanon that I draw my inspiration and it’s in France that I create. It’s always a relation between where I come from and where I am.


You also created Shik Shak Shok, the first web-radio dedicated to cultivating the golden age of Arabic music. What was the inspiration and what were the challenges in establishing Shik Shak Shok? How many listeners do you have around the world?

The challenge is the time that had to be consecrated to it. I’ve spent nights digitising vinyls and categorising snippets to reassure myself of the broadcast quality. It’s not my only enterprise so if I could divide myself into 4, I happily would!

The inspiration for this project was enshrined firstly in the line of my work: I wanted to put Beyrouth on the world music map by all the means possible, and web-radio seemed to be a good method in today’s world.

We have about 300 unique listeners per month; but I am currently looking at the feasibility of increasing our visibility through an extensive marketing plan as until then it’s been a homemade project.


You regularly play in Paris at La Bellevilloise as well as at Jardin 21. You’ve toured to Beirut, New York, Berlin, Kuwait, Lucerne (in Switzerland) and even Rabat (in Morocco). And in November, you will be able to add Australia to the list! Do you have a dream place at which you’d like to perform?

Definitely in Latin America.

I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between what’s happening in the Middle East and in Latin America. There’s a cultural effervescence which is very inspiring and I maintain distant relations with producers and other cultural actors in this region.

Perhaps one day! After all, who would have said that I would end up in Australia with my projects?!



You can see Hadi Zeidan’s two shows at OzAsia Festival 2019, as well as see him in some other free events:


Shik Shak Shok

31 October, Nexus Arts

Duration: 2 hours

Adults $35

Concession $29



Beirut Electro Parade

1 November, Nexus Arts

Duration: 6 hours

Adults $30

Concession $25



QBE Outdoor Music Sessions

Hadi Zeidan will also perform a free DJ set with Jad Atoui, another Lebanese DJ composer

2 November

Lucky Dumpling Market




Music workshop: Hadi Zeidan – Lebanon Underground

Madley Rehearsal Space

30 October, 2pm

Duration: 1 hour


Registration via email to [email protected]

7 more French language films at Melbourne International Film Festival 2019

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There are a few French language films to see at Melbourne International Film Festival in 2019. But hurry, it’s only on until 18 August! Below we let you know about films that are in French, and French only. For multi-language films which include French, click here. For more information about other films at MIFF 2019, scroll to the end of the article.


Deerskin (Le Daim)

Thanks to one very special jacket, it’s open season on killer style – and on filmmaking itself.

Wracked by a mid-life crisis, Georges (Jean Dujardin, The Artist) splashes €8000 on a fringed deerskin jacket, with a digital video camera thrown in to sweeten the deal. And it ignites in him a madness of taste. Convinced he shares a special understanding with the supple suede, Georges decides nobody else must ever wear a jacket. And he recruits waitress and aspiring film editor Denise (Adèle Haenel, The Unknown Girl, MIFF 2016) to help document his violent adventures on fashion’s wild frontier.

Country: France (2019)


Ghost Town Anthology (Répertoire des villes disparues)

Continuing to prove one of Canada’s most intriguing auteurs, MIFF regular Denis Côté examines the pervasive influence of grief on a tiny Québécois town.

When beloved 21-year-old Simon Dubé dies suddenly and violently, the 215-strong population of Irénée-les-Neiges is consumed by the unexpected tragedy. His mourning family struggles with the pain and their fellow townsfolk can’t move on from the shock. Still, the no-nonsense mayor is certain that the community will weather the storm – until the remote, snow-swept village becomes literally haunted by generations of the dead.

Country: Canada


Ghost Tropic

Arriving at the end of the subway line, a woman plunges into an overnight odyssey through a hushed and haunting Brussels in this 16mm gem.

Khadija is a 58-year-old cleaning woman who falls asleep on the train and awakes at the end of the line. With no means of getting home, Khadija (the wonderful Saadia Bentaïeb from BPM, MIFF 2017) must make the journey back to Brussels on foot and gets up close with the changing face of her adopted homeland. Through a series of vignettes with minimal dialogue, Khadija treks through the night and discovers the humanity to be found among society’s most hard done-by.

Country: Belgium


Les Misérables

Tensions between violent cops and neighbourhood youth explode in this fiery, Cannes Jury Prize-winning film from director Ladj Ly, who brings the spirit of Victor Hugo to the cultural skirmishes of the Parisian suburbs.


In Montfermeil, where Hugo set his original Les Misérables, a cop newly recruited to the anti-criminal brigade finds himself on a team whose questionable methods lead them into direct conflict with the neighbourhood gangs in their jurisdiction. When a drone camera captures a wrongful police shooting, events boil over into a dramatic clash that threatens to burn the suburb to the ground.


Inspired by the riots of 2005, César nominee and Kourtrajmé collective member Ladj Ly (co-director of MIFF 2018’s Speak Up) makes his kinetic feature debut with a powerful, thrilling work that swings between brutal social realism and moments of electric melodrama. Les Misérables critiques systemic corruption and explores the fraught tension between cops and African and Arab teenagers with a sensitivity to the complicated perspectives at play on both sides.

Country: France


Matthias & Maxime (Matthias et Maxime)


French-Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan returns with a funny, tense and heartfelt love story about two childhood best friends coming to terms with their secret feelings for each other.


Already an eight-film veteran at the ripe old age of 30, one-time boy wonder Xavier Dolan (Mommy, and Tom at the Farm, both of which screened at MIFF 2014) bounces back with this sparkling, tender bromance – in every sense of the word.


Best friends since childhood, queer Maxime (played by Dolan himself) and straight Matthias (Gabriel D’Almeida Freitas) continue to keep the same company of affable twentysomething Québécois bros, even as their paths diverge: the former is derailed caring for his mother (Dolan’s ever wonderful maternal muse, Anne Dorval) while the latter is entertaining obnoxious clients as he climbs the corporate law ladder. But a play-acting kiss uncorks a rollercoaster of emotions that can’t be suppressed, and Dolan negotiates the simmering tension with beautifully poised and personal assurance.

Country: Canada


The Swallows of Kabul

Love in a time of tyranny: this stunning animation directed by the two-woman team of Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec chronicles life under the Taliban, and bravely doesn’t shy away from either brutality or hope.

Country: France


Young Ahmed/ Le jeune Ahmed

Belgium’s acclaimed Dardenne brothers scooped Cannes’ Best Director prize for this provocative but ultimately tender tale of an Islamic teenager who falls under the influence of an extremist.


In the latest from two-time Palme d’Or-winning filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 13-year-old Ahmed goes from average Muslim high schooler to radicalised extremist when a militant imam plants some deadly ideas in the boy’s head. After attacking his teacher, Ines, Ahmed is dispatched to a youth rehabilitation centre in an effort to quell his ferocious anger.


The Dardennes handle this potentially controversial premise with their trademark humanist touch, creating a complex, deeply sympathetic portrait of a teenager at war with himself and the world around him.

Country: Belgium, France


9 multi-languages films that include French at Melbourne International Film Festival 2019

5 documentaries in French to see at Melbourne International Film Festival 2019

7 films from female directors to see at MIFF 2019

9 French animated films to see at Melbourne International Film Festival 2019



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