Directors Hani Abu Assad and Annemarie Jacir (Photos: AFP)
The campaign sheds light on the most important Palestinian films and their makers from 1946 until 2021 on the pages of the Arab Cinema magazine issued at Cannes.
The magazine's 15th issue presents 75 films by Palestinian filmmakers or that tackle Palestinian issues, inviting film aficionados and filmmakers to add their suggestions for more feature length and documentary films.
While the preliminary selection has been released during the Cannes Film Festival, the Arab Cinema Centre will release the final list of films in the upcoming weeks.
Alaa Karkouti, the founding partner of the Arab Cinema Centre, said the campaign aims to “shed light on the stages of development of Palestinian cinema, its turning points and its achievements.”
He also explained the depth of the challenge facing the campaign in selecting the most important Palestinian films, saying “with the loss of much of the Palestinian cinema heritage due to the Israeli occupation, we rely on a vast cooperation with many film institutions and industry experts from Palestine and the Arab countries."
The list includes works such as A Girl From Palestine (1948) by Mahmoud Zulfikar, The Dupes (1972) by Tawfik Saleh; six films by Elia Suleiman including Introduction to the End of an Argument (1990), Chronicle of Disappearance (1996), War and Peace in Vesoul (1997), Divine Intervention (2002), The Time that Remains (2009), It Must Be Heaven (2019); two films by Omar Al Qattan, such as Dreams and Silence (1991) and Jerusalem (1998); Yousry Nasrallah's The Gate of the Sun: The Departure and The Gate of the Sun: The Return (2004); Annemarie Jacir's Salt of this Sea (2008), When I Saw You (2012) and Wajib (2017); Hanna Elias's The Olive Harvest; Mai Masri's 3000 Nights (2015); Mohamed Diab's Amira (2021), among others.
Diab, an Egyptian screenwriter and director, provided more details about the magazine issue being offered at Cannes, saying “we invited two of the most important Palestinian filmmakers of our time to write about their experience in making films as Palestinians, namely director Hani Abu Assad and director Annemarie Jacir.”
Going on to describe the centre’s plans for the campaign following Cannes, he said “we will continue to provide space for more filmmakers to express their experiences in the upcoming issues of the magazine, which is published in the most important international film festivals. Throughout the year, we will use all of the center’s online platforms to provide information on Palestinian cinema and shed light on important and forgotten aspects of its rich history.”