First Palestinian Film to Participate in Cannes Fest Formal Contest
The Palestinian Filmmaker Elia Suleiman’s film Tadakhol Elahi (Divine Intervention) will participate in the formal contest of the 55th Cannes Film Festival to be held in the French city during the period between May 15 – 26, according to the London-based daily al Sharq al Awsat.
The list of the films participating in the formal contest was announced Wednesday in Paris.
The participation of the Palestinian film is considered the first of its kind, as the Palestinian participation in the previous sessions of the French festival has been limited to screening the films of many Palestinian directors, such as Michael Khalifi, Rashid Mashharawi and Elia Suleiman, out side the formal contest, and they won awards of appreciation.
Suleiman’s film Felestin (Palestine) was screened at the festival last year through the Critics’ Two Weeks Program.
Suleiman was born in Nazareth in 1960, well after the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel in Palestine. After twelve years of self-imposed exile in New York, he returns to the land of his birth to find his roots. But his journey becomes a search for roots by a man whose culture has been uprooted.
In a remarkable journey in search of what it means to be Palestinian, the images in his film Sejel Ekhtifaa (Chronicle of a Disappearance) are strung together like memories in an attempt to weave a whole out of elements that have been blasted apart.
Suleiman’s film Sejel Ekhtifaa participated in Venice Film Festival, 1996, and won Luigi De Laurentiis Prize. It also won the Best First Feature at London Film Festival, 1996.
In 1997, the same film participated in Sundance Film Festival, New Directors New Films, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival and San Francisco Arab Film Festival – Albawaba.com