Your Father Was Born 100 Years Old, And So Was The Nakba - Razan Al Salah
And An Image Was Born (Wiladat Sura) - Firas Khoury
Area C - Salah Abu Nimah
Past Tense Continuous - Dima Hourani
Memory of The Land - Samira Badran
Coffee Pot - Thaer Al-Azzah
The Parrot - Darine Sallam, Amjad Al Rasheed
Your Father Was Born 100 Years Old, And So Was The Nakba (18+)
Razan Al Salah / Short Doc-fiction / 2017 / 7min / Dialogue: Arabic / Subtitles: English
A Palestinian grandmother returns to her hometown Haifa through Google Streetview, today, the only way she can see Palestine. Razan Al Salah pays heartbreaking tribute to the first generation of refugees.
A ghostly voice echoes: the disembodied, imaginary voice of the filmmaker’s grandmother, a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon who was never able to return to her hometown. Her words haunt Google Street View images of Haifa, the only means she could have had of visiting her lost home. But 50 years after the “great catastrophe,” the streets are no longer recognizable. The old woman’s soul wanders in vain through cyberspace in search of her house, probably demolished after the Nakba, and for her son Ameen, imagined as a little boy from another time. Over the images, which distort and pixelate as the network connection cuts in and out, are superimposed images of the trauma of forced relocation.
About the filmmaker: Razan is a 2019 Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) Grantee and Sundance New Frontier Story Lab Fellow, selected to develop The Greatest Wait, an experimental VR film tracing the migration route of a 3rd generation Palestinian refugee searching for her place through virtual reality. In 2018, Razan was awarded the Knight Foundation New Frontier Fellowship at Sundance, Latham Award for an Emerging Experimental Video Artist at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, & Sunbird Award for Best Narrative Short at Cinema Days Palestine. Her work has been exhibited internationally in festivals & galleries including HotDocs, Melbourne & Glasgow International, Sharjah Film Forum, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts & Sursock Museum. Razan teaches FIlm and Intermedia at Concordia University in Tiohtiá:ke/ Montreal, Canada.
And An Image Was Born - ‘Wiladat Sura’ (18+)
Firas Khoury / Short Documentary with Animation / Palestine / 2017 / 9min / Dialogue: Arabic / Subtitles: English
Two-year old Razi always loves to hear ‘The Monster’ story; an allegory of the Palestinian struggle, however he is too young to comprehend the political association and rather just enjoys imagining the details and living through them over and over again, while the narrator has his own film in his head.
Firas Khoury about Razi: “I’m always fascinated by Razi’s concentration and facial expressions. Through his face, I witness the birth of human imagination and wish I could get in there and see what images are being constructed. The story Razi loves is an old one, but must be told over and over, especially to a Palestinian child.”
Storytelling, in the Palestinian and Arab context, is a key social interaction where people give meaning to what they have experienced; it builds the imagination of individuals and societies. For centuries, storytellers were transmitters of news, hence building, controlling or destroying narratives is a strong political tool, in oppression as much as in creating resistance.
About the filmmaker: Firas Khoury (b. 1982) is a Palestinian scriptwriter and director. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema. Khoury has several short films to his credit; among them are the award-winning movies Seven Days in Deir Bulus (2007) and Yellow Mums (2010). These films were shown in festivals around the world and broadcast on TVs like ARTE. Alongside his directorial activity, Khoury is committed to disseminating Palestinian films and training young people, he taught cinematic expression at the School of Cinema of the Freedom Theatre at Jenin refugee camp and the University of Nazareth and Haifa Almashgal and also in Tunis. Khoury is a founding member of ‘Group Falastinema’ which develops film workshops and presents screenings throughout Palestine. His feature length film project ‘The Flag’ won 4 development prizes worldwide and production grants from CNC France, DFI and AFAC and is currently finalizing a feature film script that goes by the title ‘Dear Tarkovsky’, co-written with international director and screenwriter Hany Abu-Assad who will produce it for Khoury.
Area C (18+)
Salah Abu Nimah / Short Narrative / Palestine / 2018 / 10min / Dialogue: Arabic / Subtitles: English
Cast: Hussein Abu Nimah, Haysi, Areen Khoury, Raed Khattab
Hussein, a young Palestinian boy, tries to keep his house and family safe from the israeli settlers’ daily attacks in Area C, a Palestinian area in the West Bank surrounded by israeli settlements.
About the filmmaker: Born in Jerusalem in 1992, Salah Abu Nimah grew up in Battir village near Bethlehem. He graduated from Dar al-Kalima University College in documentary filmmaking, and then decided to study film production at the same college. He has worked on film projects as assistant director, location manager, camera assistant. He directed his first short film in 2014, Burku (Classic).
Past Tense Continuous (18+)
Dima Hourani / Short Doc-fiction / Palestine / 2014 / 11min / No dialogue
What if the Palestinian refugees had returned to their villages and towns, to their homes and fields? What if they had returned to Haifa, Jaffa, Al-Masmiyya and Acre, the artist wonders, as her black and white families walk across the city in a continuous forced journey that began 70 years ago. This reenactment playing with images imprinted in the Palestinian collective memory creates a space for intervention into the story, when what happened did not only happen in the past, but it is happening now.
About the artist: Born in 1985 in Jordan, Dima Hourani gained her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah, in 2011, and her master’s degree in fine arts from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway. She further holds a diploma in graphic design and educational rehabilitation. Her artistic practice focuses on re-questioning and re-interpreting signs and symbols as well as stereotypes within a specific community. As a visual artist, she explores new spaces in the form of social interventions. By proposing alternative readings, she argues on behalf of cultural hybridization and the possibility of change.
Memory of The Land (18+)
Samira Badran / Short Animation / Spain / 2017 / 12min / Dialogue: Arab, Invented / Subtitles: English
Palestine. A body is trapped at a checkpoint; an essential mechanism of the israeli occupation. The body is pierced by structural and physical violence, which is aggressive and arbitrary and prevents and attacks its free movement and existence.
Memory of the Land, is a reflection of the human condition under the yoke of different forms of violence, collective memory and identity as forms of resilience.
About the filmmaker: Samira Badran is a Palestinian visual artist. She studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Cairo and Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. She has exhibited her work widely: White Box Art Center in NY, Al-Hoash-the Palestinian Art Court in Jerusalem, Jordanian National Gallery of Fine Arts, Modern Art Gallery in Baghdad, Biennial of La Habana, La Tramontana in Chaillé-les-Marais, Washington Museum of Women in the Arts, Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, Gemeetemuseum den Haag, Rafia Gallery in Damascus, Foreign Ministry of Berlin. She regularly teaches intensive drawing courses at the International Academy of Art- Palestine in Ramallah and lives and works in Barcelona.
Coffee Pot (18+)
Thaer Al-Azzah / Short Narrative / Palestine / 2018 / 10min / Dialogue: Arabic / Subtitles: English
Jomu’a lives in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem, and struggles with a difficult choice. He must either accept money to demolish his home before the occupation demolishes it and charges him for the expenses or continue to sell coffee at the entrance of Dheisheh, a job that does not bring him enough money to survive.
About the filmmaker: Thaer Al ِzzah was born in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, he holds a BA in Film Production from Dar Al-Kalima University and has directed three short films: Close Your Eyes, I’m Not a Number and The Knife.
The Parrot (18+)
Darine Sallam, Amjad Al Rasheed, Deema Azar, Roman Roitman / Short Narrative / Germany, Jordan / 2016 / 18min / Dialogue: Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish / Subtitles: English, Arabic
Cast: Hend Sabry (Rachel), Ashraf Barhom (Mousa), Yassmine BenAmara (Aziza), Hasan Hijazi (Saeed: The Parrot)
A Mizrahi Jewish family from Tunisia, who tries to settle into their new life in 1948 Haifa, Palestine is haunted by a disturbing house guest, left behind by the original Palestinian inhabitants, after their displacement.
Shortly after the declaration of the state of israel in May 1948, a Mizrahi Jewish family emigrates from Tunisia to Palestine: ‘Mousa’, the insecure head of the family, his wife ‘Rachel’ and their seven year old daughter ‘Aziza’ try to settle into life in the city of Haifa, Palestine. Entering their newly assigned home, the family is surprised by the haste with which the former displaced Palestinian occupants must have fled. Among their many leftovers, the Jewish family finds one particularly troublesome – ‘Saeed’, a big blue talking parrot. Like an annoying poltergeist from the past, it haunts the family in their new life.
The situation escalates when ‘Mousa’ invites their Ashkenazi neighbors over, hoping to benefit from the social influence of the wealthy family. The one thing he did not reckon with was ‘Saeed’ telling story of days past.
About the filmmakers: Jordanian director Darin Sallam holds a BA in graphic design and a Master of Fine Arts from the Red Sea Institute for Cinematic Arts (RSICA). To her credit are four award-winning short films including Still Alive and The Dark Outside. The latter received two first place awards and two special jury mentions at international film festivals, was selected to the official short film competition of the Carthage Cinematic Days Film Festival in 2012, and to many other internationally acclaimed film festivals worldwide. After The Parrot, Darin is now working on her first feature narrative film project entitled Farha, which is currently in development. Jordanian director and producer Amjad Al Rasheed was born in 1985 in Amman, Jordan. He holds a BA in business administration and a Master of Fine Arts from the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts. After receiving the Best Scenarist Award for short fiction at the First Film Production competition in Amman in 2005, Amjad started working as a director, producer and production designer on music videos, short and feature films. Amjad directed five short films which were nominated and won prizes in many international film festivals. In 2013, he directed the popular Jordanian comedy series The Rania Show. Amjad is currently in the pre-production phase of his first feature film, Inshallah a boy; a chapter from the fabled life of Nawal.