Conflict, Resilience, Strength and Spirit
From the award-winning documentary Ghost Hunting where ex-prisoners re-enact nightmarish interrogation memories, to political hip-hop feature Junction 48, and Australian documentary From Under the Rubble, the Palestinian Film Festival Australia returns this year with a program that celebrates the life, art and culture of Palestine and its people.
Five documentaries, two features and five short films will screen in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth from 26 October - 19 November. Tickets to the Festival are on sale now at www.palestinianfilmfestival.com.au.
'We are thrilled to present this incredible selection of films that goes behind the news headlines and celebrates the culture and community of Palestine. We want people to leave with a deeper understanding of Australian-Palestinians, their stories and journeys, and that of the global Palestinian experience more generally," said Festival Director Naser Shakhtour.
'This year's festival falls on the same year that Palestinians remember and reflect on the 50 years since the 1967 War – the war where Israel occupied the remaining Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. The memory is one of trauma and loss but also of one of strength and resilience, and the Festival program is reflective of this spirit," added Shakhtour.
The reflective documentary, Stitching Palestine will open the Festival in each city. Stitching Palestine delves into the lives and identities of 12 high-powered Palestinian women, with the stitching of a piece of embroidery progressing as they tell their stories, linking one to another.
Writer and architect Suad Amiry is one of the 12 women featured in Stitching Palestine and will attend the Festival as a guest this year. As well as having written several acclaimed books, Suad is the founder of RIWAQ, an NGO dedicated to preserving Palestinian collective memory through the restoration of architectural heritage sites in rural Palestine.
• Junction 48 sets the Israel-Palestine conflict to a hip-hop soundtrack as Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar stars as a version of himself, dreaming of hip-hop stardom whilst facing Israeli bigotry.
• Personal Affairs is the charming directorial debut for Maha Haj. The film centres on the relationships and tensions of an extended family, dispersed across multiple borders.
• From Under the Rubble, is an Australian feature-length film and explores the ongoing psychological damage and trauma faced by women and children after enduring years of conflict.
• Ghost Hunting won the Glashutte Original Documentary Award at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and has generated buzz all over the world for its inventive and controversial style of storytelling. The film follows a group of Palestinian ex-prisoners who share their stories by re-enacting the nightmarish memories of their own interrogations.
• Off Frame aka Revolution Until Victory explores the Palestinian revolutionary period of the late 1960s and early 1970s through archival and old movie footage from the time. The film depicts the shift in the way Palestinian began to think of themselves: from refugee to freedom fighter.
• Looted and Hidden – Palestinian Archives in Israel exposes, for the first time, Palestinian materials that were plundered and erased from the public sphere by Israel and for many years were considered lost. • Emwas: Restoring Memories is a personal film that follows director, Dima Abu Ghoush and her efforts to rebuild a scale model of her demolished hometown from the memories of its people.
Accompanying the program will be five incredible international shorts. Highlights include: A Man Drowning which was nominated for the Palme d'Or - Best Short Film at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and In Defense of the Rocket which charts the rise and fall of the Middle East peace process in photos to the rhythms of Beethoven's 7th Symphony.
The Festival is partly funded through the Council for Australia-Arab Relations (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade) and supported through the Australian Cultural Fund.
The Palestinian Film Festival opens in Sydney (26-30 Oct), Canberra (27 Oct), Melbourne (2-5 Nov), Adelaide (10-12 Nov), Brisbane and Perth (17-19 Nov).
Palestinian Film Festival Australia
26 October – 19 November 2017