We go behind the lens in collaboration with London Palestine Film Festival on its opening night.
Mark Seddon is in conversation with three leading Palestinian filmmakers discussing their latest works and the complexities and challenges facing Palestinian cinema today.
Roua Naboulsi, Festival Coordinator of London Palestine Film Festival will kick things off, introducing us to the Festival and the events lined up over the next two weeks.
Lina Al Abed is a documentary filmmaker, born in Damascus to a Palestinian father, and Egyptian mother. Her most recent film, Ibrahim: A Fate to Define (2019) took seven years to make, tracing the journey of her investigation into what happened to her father who disappeared when she was six years old in 1987 and did not return. It picked up the El Gouna Star for Best Arab Documentary at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival and the Jury Prize at the Gabès Cinema Fen festival in Tunisia.
Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian writer and director. Since 2000, she has worked on both documentary and fiction films, and her critically acclaimed debut feature film was Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009). Her second award winning feature film, Eyes of a Thief (2014), was the Palestinian submission for the 2015 Oscars Best Foreign Film and the Golden Globe Awards. Najwa’s latest film, Between Heaven and Earth (2020), received a ten minute standing ovation at the world premiere in November at the Cairo International Film Festival, and her screenplay was subsequently the recipient of the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Award. Sadly COVID-19 has somewhat disrupted her scheduled cinematic world-wide festival road trip, as many festivals have had to resort to hosting online events.
Farah Nabulsi is a Palestinian British filmmaker and human rights advocate. She has written, directed and produced short fiction films exploring Palestine related topics that matter to her. Farah has spoken and screened her work internationally at film festivals, universities and at the United Nations. Her current film, The Present, underscores the importance of freedom of movement as a basic human right. The Present has won over 15 prominent international audience and jury awards at top tier film festivals so far in 2020 and has qualified for the 2021 Oscars. Farah is now currently developing her first feature length film.