Mounia Akl is a Lebanese Director and Writer based in New York where she co-founded the Collective Breaking Wave Pictures. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from ALBA and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. Apart from her Directing work, Mounia has taught film Directing at the Northwestern University, Chicago (NHSI) and taught a screenwriting Lab at Columbia university, New York where she was also Richard Peña's teaching assistant. Her previous work includes Fiction Films, Web Series and fashion films.
Her short film, Submarine, was in the Official Selection of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the Cinéfondation category. It also had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its MENA Premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival where it won the Muhr Jury Prize. Submarine was awarded the James Bridges Production Grant, the Kodak Motion Picture Product Grant, the IFP audience award, the Liberty Global Best Film Award at the Denver Film Festival and an honourable mention at the Atlanta film Festival. It was also Staff Picked by Vimeo’s curators.
In 2017, Mounia was chosen by the Directors' Fortnight to represent Lebanon at the 70th Cannes Film festival as part of Lebanon factory. She co-wrote and co-directed with Costa Rican director Neto Villalobos and their film "El Gran Libano" opened the Directors' Fortnight on may 18, 2017 then went on to screen at the BFI and the Sarajevo Film Festival.
In October 2017, Mounia directed the episode Forbidden Love in London of the Do Not Disturb Series, produced by Pulse Films and Jude Law, for content production house Blackpills. Just a little after that, she completed 11 minutes, a Fashion Film in collaboration with Fashion Designer Sandra Mansour which was released exclusively on Vogue then Staff Picked by Vimeo.
Mounia recently completed the 5 month Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation Residency in Paris with her first feature, Costa Brava Lebanon, set in Lebanon, co-written with Spanish screenwriter Clara Roquet and produced by Abbout Productions (Myriam Sassine and Georges Schoucair) in coproduction with France. The project was also selected to participate in the Torino Film Lab where it was mentored by Palme D’Or winner Cristian Mungiu and will then go to the Atelier D’Angers, created by Jeanne Moreau. The project also won the CNC Development Award at the 71st Cannes Film Festival and the new century award development award at the Gouna Film Festival.
In parallel of her first feature film, Mounia is currently working on commercial projects like Fashion Films and films for brands between Lebanon, New York and Paris where she is represented by WOMANRAY. She is also developing the treatment of her second feature film, set in Italy and New York.