A personal story filmed over four critical years in the life of Bethlehem, Open Bethlehem is the result of a filmmaker’s return to her homeland, one that she left as a teenager who promised never to return. In 2004, Leila Sansour set out to produce a film in tribute to her late father, founder of Bethlehem University, the journey would change her life: she found herself trapped behind a wall in the very place she so much wanted to leave.
Open Bethlehem, now released in the cinema in the UK, is the result of 700 hours of film making for a documentary that turned into an international campaign to save a city that was once a model for a multi-faith Middle East. The campaign aims to develop a network of passionate ambassadors for the city through the “Bethlehem Passport Program” to support lasting peace and boost international interest and awareness of Bethlehem.
For the distribution of the film, Open Bethlehem is relying on its ambassadors as well as their network of supporting organizations, and they have launched a crowdfunding campaign last March 15 in a private screening held at the American University in Dubai.