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The sixth edition of the Reel Palestine Film Festival hosted by Cinema Akil will run from January 17 until January 25 at Alserkal Avenue.

The festival will feature critically acclaimed movies by Palestinian filmmakers, along with talks and a session with Jaime Villareal, the director of ‘The Journey of the Others’.

The festival will also have several free screenings, along with an artisanal market. Tickets for the majority of the screenings are priced at Dh52.5.

Gulf News tabloid! puts together a guide to the top films to see at Reel Palestine.

IT MUST BE HEAVEN

Directed by: Elia Sulaiman

A movie that explores nationality and identity, ‘It Must Be Heaven’ follows Suleiman who has left Palestine but can’t seem to get away from his home. Even in Paris he is always reminded of his country.

When: January 17 at 7pm; January 21 at 7pm; January 24 at 9pm; and January 25 at 7pm and 9.15pm.

GAZA

Directed by: Gary Keane and Andrew McConnell

‘Gaza’ is a look into the lives of regular people — a teacher, a student and a barber — who share their hopes, daily lives and dreams with a driver, which shows how lively Gaza is despite the lack of freedom.

When: January 24 at 7pm; January 25 at 5pm.

WESTERN ARABS

Directed by: Omar Shargawi

‘Western Arabs’ is inspired by the director’s personal experience, as he follows his family and friends through emotional and comical situations.

When: January 23 at 8.30pm.

SOUFRA

Directed by: Thomas A Morgan

‘Soufra’ tells the story of Mariam Shaar, a refugee who created a food business. The movie follows how she and her colleagues slowly heal from the war using food.

When: January 18 at 7pm; January 22 at 7pm; January 25 at 2pm

THE JOURNEY OF THE OTHERS

Directed by: Jaime Villareal

The film follows a group of actors who are practicing a play about the resistance. The story shows how their trauma helps them achieve freedom with the help of storytelling.

When: January 17 at 7pm; January 18 at 9pm, along with a Q&A with the director.

IBRAHIM, A FATE TO DEFINE

Directed by: Lina Al Abed

The movie follows the disappearance of Ibrahim Alabed, a secret member of the Revolutionary Council, a Palestinian militant organisation, and how the lives of his family members is impacted.

When: January 19 at 7pm; January 21 at 9.15pm.

SELFIE ZEIN

Directed by: Amira Diab

Zein is a young woman from Bethlehem who is determined to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque after US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognising Occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Zein’s strength inspires her to get creative with her appearance in an attempt to overcome the many hurdles that lie ahead.

When: January 20 at 9.15pm; January 23 at 7pm.

ON THE DOOR STEP

Directed by: Sahera Dirbas

This documentary explores the life of three generations of the Bisharat family who maintained a very strong attachment to their home in Occupied West Jerusalem after the Israelis took over in 1948.

When: January 20 at 9.15pm; January 23 at 7pm.

YOU COME FROM FAR AWAY

Directed by: Amal Ramsis

The film tells the story of a dispersed Palestinian family taking them from the Spanish Civil War in which the father Najati Sidki fought against France to the Second World War, the Nakba and the Lebanese Civil War.

When: January 19 at 9pm.

REEL PALESTINE SHORTS

MADE IN PALESTINE

Directed by: Mariam Dwedar

This movie talks about the last factory that produces the Palestinian scarf.

MARADONA’S LEGS

Directed by: Firas Khoury

This story follows brothers Rafat and Fadel who are searching for ‘Maradona’s Legs’ during the Football World Championship 1990.

COFFEE POT

Directed by: Thaer Al Azzah

Jomu’a is a Palestinian living in a refugee camp who sells coffee for a living.

STRANGE CITIES ARE FAMILIAR

Directed by: Saeed Taji Farouky

This movie is a brief look into the trauma a Palestinian father has faced in his life.

HIM AND I

Directed by: Ibrahim Handal

It tells the story of a woman who created a fantasy of her ideal life to help deal with her bad experiences.

WILD PLANTS OF PALESTINE

Directed by: Alaa Abu Asad

It follows two professors and their study of Palestine’s flora and talks about the art of photography.

THE PIPE

Directed by: Sami Zarour

An experience of how a prisoner views a prison and how his thoughts go above its walls.

When: All shorts play on January 19 at 7pm.

OUTDOOR SCREENING QUOZ ARTS FEST (FREE)

AMBIENCE

Directed by: Wisam Al Jafri

Two boys in a refugee camp find a way to record music for a competition.

HURDLE

Directed by: Michael Rowley

The film follows the story of Sami and Mohammad who teach Palestinian teens parkour and photography in hopes that it will lead to freedom.

When: Both on January 25 at 8pm.

HIFF (HAIFA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL)

Hiff co-founders Rojeh Khleif and Lena Mansour will be talking about independent cultural film production in Palestine as well as creating an independent cultural autonomy in Haifa, which is in the occupied 1948 territories.

When: January 24, from 3.30pm.

— Marika Sequeira is an intern for Gulf News