Love films? How about Palestine? Then get on board with Reel Palestine and see Palestine this year like you’ve never seen it before. Given the success of its first series in January 2015, this local UAE initiative, is back again this year to spread Palestinian awesomeness for 8 days across Dubai and Sharjah starting from January 23rd on till the 30th, 2016. The series kick off is being hosted by Sharjah Art Foundation and will take place at Mirage City Cinema.
Now in its second year, the 2016 festival will be screening 12 features and short films covering a wide range of genres. Each film provides a realistic perspective on both the positive and negative aspects of life in Palestine. Reel Palestine’s team, Nadia Rouchdy, Noora, Ali and Dana are more determined than ever to organize an outstanding event that “cinematically” reveals to the UAE touching stories about happy and even sad moments in Palestine that have been overlooked.
According to Rouchdy, the founder of Reel Palestine, “Showing these films, in essence, gets people to see beyond the wall, beyond what’s on the news and beyond the heart wrenching events that happen”. She continues, “We forget that there is love and heartbreak. There are children. There are still happy moments that happen in Palestine, and we want to highlight both sides of it.”
One of the 12 films to be showcased during the festival is On The Bride’s Side, directed by Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande and Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry. This film covers the 4-day journey to Europe embarked by a Palestinian poet, an Italian journalist and five Palestinians and Syrians Refugees in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria. By faking a wedding, as a decoy to avoid getting themselves arrested by traffickers, they decide to help these refugees complete their journey to Sweden.
So what makes this year’s event special? Rouchdy explained to Barakabits that “ This year we have tried to make small steps forward, while still trying to grow as organically as possible. We have more films that are more recent and we have bigger venues. We are even bringing an actor for a Q&A, which we didn’t have last year. We’ve grown our team and we’ve also tapped into our volunteer network more to get support! Growing requires more hands and we couldn’t do it alone!”
So, mark your calendars this week and support Reel Palestine’s dream: spreading Palestinian film to the UAE and tearing down the wall to reveal the real moments in Palestine.
And be there early, as screenings will continue to be free and open to the public with seating on a first come first served basis!
This event is sponsored by the Cribb. It has also obtained community support from organizations like Careem, Bilbaal, Bayt and Party Social and Image arts, as well as community support from individuals, such as Rami Afifi, Waleed Masoud and Naima mm. Reel Palestine’s venue partners are: Sharjah Art Foundation, A4 Space and thejamjar. Also Cinema Akil is their presenting partner.