Dubai: The Reel Palestine film festival is back with the hope that viewers in the UAE will understand the depth of the Palestine narrative.
Nadia Rouchdy, co-founder of the festival along with Ali Abotteen and Dana Al Sadek, told XPRESS the festival will be held across the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from January 19 to 27.
“We believe it is important to be able to see Palestinian culture and tenacity through film and submerge ourselves in the beautiful, difficult, emotional and inspirational moments that occur under occupation. Stories that sometimes slip under the radar: stories of love, laughter, challenges and grit and even nostalgia of a better time. We wanted to tear down the wall (literally) and allow viewers to cinematically travel to our beloved Palestine, sans restrictions,” she said.
According to Rouchdy, “Films are the best way in which to connect with Palestine and to allow our UAE audience to do the same. Some are new to the topic of Palestine and others have had Palestine in their hearts for a long time. The idea came to us in 2014 and we started our first film festival in 2015, and have been running an annual series every January since then.”
She said the upcoming series will be the fourth instalment. “We are excited to bring the festival for the first time to Abu Dhabi in addition to screenings in Dubai and Sharjah.”
She said the festival’s line-up of films includes DIFF Muhr prize winner Wajib by Annemarie Jacir and Berlinale’s best documentary prize Ghost Hunting by Raed Andoni. All screenings are free and open to the public, and on a first come first seated basis.
Rouchdy said the films, which will be held outdoors, are supported by the art and culture community - Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, Sharjah Art Foundation, Warehouse 421 and Manarat Al Saadiyat.
WHAT: Reel Palestine
WHEN: January 19-27
WHERE: Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah and Warehouse 421 and Manarat Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi