A programme of shorts from Palestine
Villagers - Nidal Badarny
My Second Eye - Ahmad Saleh
Haneen - Ossama Bawardi
Five Boys and a Wheel - Said Zagha
Wahdon - Norma Marcos
Narrative / Palestine / 10 min / English subtitles
Screenwriter, Director: Nidal Badarny
Producer: Wafi Blal
Production: Elmanshar Art & Production
A tempestuous Palestinian love story alongside the “separation wall”. The story heads towards an end when Majdi decides to leave the country since his dreams and the plums can no longer find their space given the circumstances. His love, Salma, tries to stop him, but to no avail. Suddenly, Majdi and Salma escape from their secret love-nest near the wall, after ‘Abu Mustafa’ discovers their story. The tragic love story ends and another one begins with a new protagonist, Abu Mustafa, with the same wall present in all details; giant, grey, absurd. Simply an absurd film, because cinema is frivolous; cinema is absurd!
Nidal Badarny was born in Arrabeh, in the Galilee of Palestine. He studied theatre and cinema and directed and acted in multiple comedic plays. ‘Villagers’ is his first short narrative after his debut documentary ‘The 30th of March’ which had a number of screenings internationally.
My Second Eye
Stop-motion Animation / Palestine, Jordan, Germany / 11 min / English subtitles
Screenwriter, Director: Ahmed Saleh
Producer: Stefan Gieren
Cast: Ahmed Saleh (narrator)
Based on true events, Ayny follows two young boys who run away from their mother's protection and slack line on the danger of war to play music with the instrument they always dreamt to own.
Ahmad Saleh is a writer/director based in Germany. His ﬁrst work was a collection of short stories titled Zowwada. This collection was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation's Young Writer Award in 2004 in Palestine. Saleh's ﬁrst short ﬁlm House, which he made as part of his Master's in Digital Media at the University of Arts Bremen in Germany, had a successful festival run before it was released in 2012. The ﬁlm earned several important awards in Europe, USA, Iran and Jordan. Recently, he ﬁnished another Master's study in Film, in which he wrote and directed two more short ﬁlms (Circle, MaaBaa) and started writing his ﬁrst feature. His graduation project Ayny won a Golden Oscar at the Student Academy Awards 2016 in the Foreign Animation category.
Narrative / Palestine, Jordan, Qatar / 17 min / English subtitles
Screenwriter, Director: Ossama Bawardi
Producer: Annemarie Jacir, Ossama Bawardi
Cast: Suad Amiry, Mohammad Qawasmi
A story about nostalgia, loneliness, and the absence of love. Haneen is an old woman surviving within the memories of her home; estranged from her husband and son and struggling between slow monotony and her passion to rediscover life. She befriends Salem, a new boy in the neighbourhood who steals oranges from her garden, and their relationship deepens when the army arrests his father.
Ossama Bawardi is an independent producer working in Palestine and Jordan. Bawardi has been involved in various productions including Salt of this Sea, Paradise Now, and Waiting for Salah Al Din before focusing his work more on producing. He produced the feature film When I Saw You that won the NETPAC award for Best Asian Film at the Berlin International Film Festival in addition to nine other awards. The film’s production was noted for being entirely Arab financed. He produced Horizon, In Overtime, and co-produced Mai Masri's 3000 Nights. He also directed and produced the short film Haneen (2010). He is the line producer of (No) Laughing Matter as well as numerous other films both fiction and documentary. Most recently he line produced Amin Matalqa's The Rendezvous starring Stana Ktatic as well as Barbara Eder's Thank you for Bombing. Bawardi is a member of the EAVE producer’s network and the Asia Pacific Screen Academy.
Five Boys and A Wheel (2016)
Narrative / Palestine, Jordan / 20 min / English subtitles
Screenwriter, Director: Said Zagha
Producers: Akram Al-Ashqar, Ahmad Khatib
Cast: Ali Suliman, Mohammad Idris, Nadira Omran
An adaptation of the story "Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes" by Raymond Carver. A school teacher must help his son out of a petty conflict with the neighbors. As the parents of each respective family are summoned to discuss the issue at hand, the discussions begin to quickly spin out of control, finds himself in a position to regain his son's confidence and admiration through an act of violence, putting the values of the father to test.
Said Zagha is a Palestinian filmmaker from Ramallah. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Film from Ohio’s Kenyon College in 2011. His debut narrative short film Five Boys And A Wheel stars the acclaimed Palestinian actor Ali Suliman and he is currently developing his first feature film, titled ‘The Girl’.
Narrative / France, Lebanon, Palestine / 11 min / English subtitles
Screenwriter, Director: Norma Marcos
Producers: Olivier Berlemont Matthieu Warter
Cast: Jihad al-Atrash, Hassiba Freiha, Alain Saadeh, Jamal Awar, Joe Seklaoui
At the border of a forest, a Lebanese poet gets a breath of fresh air on his terrace, as every evening. He watches four young people disappearing into the forest and returning in the early hours. Wahdon draws its inspiration from two true stories: one is from the poem by the Lebanese writer Talal Haidar, which was written immediately after the failure of a Palestinian militant operation. The other is based on the story of a French woman, Francoise Kesteman, who was an activist for the Palestinian cause, who the filmmaker met in the early 80’s. She was killed at sea during a military operation against the Israeli army.
Norma Marcos is a French filmmaker, writer and screenwriter from Palestinian origin. Among other works, she has directed three acclaimed documentaries: "Fragments of a Lost Palestine" (2010), "Waiting for Ben Gourion" (2006) and "The Veiled Hope" (1993), which were selected by a number of prestigious festivals around the world (Rotterdam, Rome, Montréal, San Francisco). She's currently working on a feature film screenplay and is about to publish her first book.