The current situation for Palestinians is a complex and multi-layered one and the Bristol Palestine Film Festival works to help the public to understand the Palestinian people and celebrate their creativity. Festival director David Owen says: “Palestine is a place that most of us only know from brief news reports about the latest conflict but through our festival we hope to show that Palestine also produces a very broad range of fascinating and illuminating stories and directors with the talent to tell the stories well.”
This year’s opening event at the Cube Cinema is the feature length documentary Cinema Palestine, exploring the work of generations of Palestinian media artists and film makers.
The weekend commencing Friday December 5th, will showcase a range of powerful events and talks including Gaza Calling featuring true stories about the impacts of border controls and travel prohibitions forced upon Palestinians; Duma one of the few films which documents the stories of Arab women who bravely speak out about the sexual abuse they have suffered at the hands of friends and family; Salt of this Sea the first full length feature from a female director, about a young woman born and raised in Brooklyn who decides to return to her family’s native Palestine where she meets a man whose goal is completely different to her own and Oscar nominated Omar, about a young man who constantly puts his life in danger by crossing the separation wall to visit the woman he loves.
The festival will then continue over the next couple of weeks with screenings and events at various locations around Bristol including Hunger Strike a documentary depicting Palestinian political prisoners in an open hunger strike to obtain better detention conditions and this year’s closing event Open Bethlehem a film spanning seven years in the life of Bethlehem uncovering the beauty and discord of a city under occupation. After the screening, director Leila Sansour will take part in a Q&A to discuss the film, her inspiration and the Open Bethlehem campaign.
Thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign, this year’s festival promises to be the biggest yet with over a dozen features and documentaries. Many of the festivals events will also feature introductions from the directors and Q&As and events will take place at a range of locations around the city. For a full festival programme and more information about tickets and event locations please visit www.bristolpff.org.uk
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