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Palestine competition fetes movies on life beneath Israeli occupation | Arts and Tradition

Ramallah, Occupied West Financial institution – Curtains got here down on the eighth version of the Palestinian movie competition, with the ultimate screening for the profitable movies specializing in life beneath Israeli occupation and in exile going down earlier this week within the occupied West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah.

The Palestine Cinema Days movie competition that celebrates Palestinian filmmakers and movies centered on Palestine, awarded sizable financial prizes, with the highest prize of $10,000 granted for movie manufacturing.

A brief movie, Siri Miri, which means “backwards and forwards” in Arabic, was awarded $3,000 and a feature-length documentary, Little Palestine: Diary of Siege, gained $5,000, as a part of the Sunbird Awards competitors.

No less than 2,000 individuals attended all through the six days of the competition, with screenings throughout the cities of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gaza Strip and Haifa, the place some 60 completely different Arab and worldwide unbiased fiction, documentary and brief movies had been showcased.

Viewers had been taken on a whirlwind of feelings; they ended the primary – a brief, six-minute movie – with laughs, and the second, a documentary, with continuous tears, and an air of devastation.

No less than 2,000 individuals attended all through the six days of the competition, with screenings throughout the cities of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gaza Strip and the Israeli metropolis of Haifa [Abbas Momani/AFP]

Whereas showcasing two very completely different features of Palestinian actuality, the movies overlap within the feelings they painting and evoke, of being caged in.

Siri Miri, by 23-year-old filmmaker Luay Awwad displays the darkish humour of dwelling beneath Israeli navy occupation.

Two younger males, struggling to seek out one thing to do for leisure, ask iPhone’s Siri for ideas. Offered with a listing of actions one would usually be capable to do, reminiscent of “go on a street journey”, the 2 pals discover themselves unable to do any of the ideas.

‘Youths will be capable to relate’

It ends with Siri’s suggestion: “go to the seashore”, after which viewers are introduced with a shot of their automotive being blocked by the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem. “Siri, child, we reside in Palestine!” one of many youths responds, to which Siri says, ‘Did you imply Pakistan?’ – a typical response many Palestinians obtain, which left viewers laughing.

Awwad, from the small city of Beit Sahour in Bethlehem, stated this movie shot in Palestine is the primary he has ever made, and that he produced it throughout his second yr as a college scholar in Bethlehem.

“This film is the closest factor to me; I’ve been affected by this drawback mainly since I turned a teen and began going out to the city. I’m going to show 24 and I’m nonetheless affected by the identical drawback – when somebody needs to essentially disconnect and have enjoyable, there’s nothing they will do,” Awwad advised Al Jazeera.

“I really feel that many youths will be capable to relate,” he continued, including that he was not anticipating to win. “I feel the judges had been actually in a position to perceive how a lot the movie is coming from someplace deep, from the spirit of youth right here.”

Awwad stated he hopes to purchase his personal digital camera with the $3,000 to have the ability to make movies. “I really feel that the movie competition actually likes to help youth and people who find themselves nonetheless rising – the prize means loads to me.”

The second movie screened on Wednesday: Little Palestine: Diary of Siege was made by Palestinian refugee Abdullah Khatib. The documentary chronicles the painful every day actuality in the course of the Syrian authorities’s siege on the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria between 2011 and 2015. It tells the story of hunger and bombardment, and of being doubly displaced, first from Palestine after which Syria.

Supporting the movie business

Hanna Atallah, the creative director for the movie competition, advised Al Jazeera that the competition takes pleasure in with the ability to award such prizes for movies centered on Palestine.

“We don’t have an area fund for cinema manufacturing, and there aren’t any specialised establishments to help youth who’re to start with of their journey right here, making their first movies,” stated Atallah. “No less than we now have a manufacturing prize for Palestinian filmmakers of their nation.”

The third and largest prize – a $10,000 manufacturing award – is meant to assist filmmakers take their scripts by filming, post-production and distribution.

The cash for the manufacturing award is gathered from the tickets bought for the Palestine Cinema Days competition, Atallah stated.

“Everybody within the viewers who purchased tickets is a producer on this movie, and it got here from the thought of offering assist to at least one one other, to cooperate and gather cash for somebody who has a movie and needs to supply it,” he defined.

The winner of the manufacturing award, Amman-based filmmaker Dina Naser, stated she feels very grateful. “It’s a kind of seed-fund for me to have the ability to full the movie.”

She advised Al Jazeera the prize is especially emotional for her, as a result of like thousands and thousands of different Palestinian refugees who settled in Jordan and are blocked by Israel from returning, Naser, 40, has by no means been in a position to go to.

“It’s an award from crucial place in my life – Palestine, however which I’m forbidden from visiting,” stated Naser.

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