Palestinian Film Fest Opened in Umm al Fahem
The Palestinian Film Festival was opened Friday at Diwan al Ljoun Theater in the Palestinian city of Umm al Fahem, with the screening of Palestinian director Rashid Mashharawi’s film Sawt Felestin (The Voice of Palestine).
The event to be concluded on February 21, will screen 17 films by Palestinian directors, including Mashharawi’s films, Haifa, Rabab, al Qabu (The Vault) and Waraa al Aswar (Beyond the Walls).
The films, Al Kaak Ala al Rasif (Cookies on the Pavement) by Ismail al Habbash, Ors Fil Jalil (A wedding in Galilee by Michael Khalifi, Ghumoud (Ambiguity) by Ahmed Habash and “48” by Mohammed Bakri, will be screened at the festival.
“Sawt Filistin” which is a joint French and Palestinian production was screened in January at Fipa International Festival of Audiovisual Programs held in Biarritz, south of France.
The film tackles the history of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and the way it was operating before it was destroyed by the Israeli occupation army last week. The film which was also screened by the French German TV channel, Art, last Friday evening after it had been screened at the last Ismaeliyyah and Amsterdam festivals is considered a live witness on the way of life under which a group of Palestinian journalists were operating in view of the prevailing extraordinary circumstances. It shows also how these journalists provided coverage for the Intifada day by day until the establishment was destroyed.
The film features the movements of the journalists and their life even inside their houses raising the inquiry whether Voice of Palestine was a media tool or a way of struggle with the enemy.
Mashharawi highlights the humanitarian side of the journalists by accompanying them to the meetings and their outdoor work under shelling and shooting and the Israeli ban on their movements through the a military check post.
The film was shot last summer when the Palestinian uprising was at its peak. It ends with the ongoing shortages, which the Palestinian establishment was suffering from particularly the equipment and other necessary tools highlighting the difference between working for this media corporation and other foreign and Israeli corporations.
Mashharawi has wrapped up many short films in addition to two long ones the last of which was Haifa. He lives and works in Gaza where he established a cultural center named al Mutell. Among his prominent activities is the training of the youth on how to make films.
The Palestinian director was appointed head of the Arab Independent Screen Festival jury held last March in Qatar, but the Israeli occupation authorities prevented him from travelling to Qatar to participate in the festival – Albawaba.com