The third Palestinian Refugees Film Festival will be launching in Bethlehem later this month, screening 23 short films from around the world.
The annual festival is taking place between September 23 and 25. It is organised by the Shoruq Organisation, an independent organisation formed in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, south of Bethlehem.
While the films in the programme focus on the plight of refugees in general, there is an emphasis on issues that Palestinian refugees face.
This year, the festival will reflect on human rights issues faced by Palestinians locally and in the diaspora. It also aims to bolster works by Palestinian filmmakers and help disseminate them across the world.
Films being screened include fiction, documentary, animation and experimental works. According to Shoruq Organisation, more than 400 works were submitted to the festival this year.
The films include 18/11 by Medhat Maged, which tells the story of a somnambulist who is accused of killing her husband; Before Heaven by Ahmed Heydarian, which revolves around a collection of children’s paintings on the wall of a house that a new owner removes; Federing by Tianlin Xu, which tells the story of an Iranian-Afghan family by only showing their hands; Headcount by Akram Ameen, about the struggle of a Palestinian man in a solitary cell in an Israeli prison; Hydrangeas in Winter by Helene Rastegar, which explores the relationship between an Iranian refugee in France and an elderly sculptor who is gradually losing her sight; and Khoonab by Mojtaba Ghasemi, about a group of women who flee a war zone.
Also showing at the festival is Siri Miri, Luay Awwad’s Palestinian short film about two teenagers who ask Siri for help to spice up their monotonous life; and Don’t Get Too Comfortable by Shaima Al Tamimi, an introspective letter addressed to the director’s deceased grandfather.
A Lonely Woman by Paribartana Mohanty tells the story of Bhojpuri migrant workers from India in Suriname.
Meanwhile, A Midnight Robbery by Raghda Karam is about a thief who hides under the bed when the owners of the house return and witness the unexpected, as For You by Mahmoud Hamdan is the real-life story about the killing of Sajid Mezher, a Palestinian volunteer paramedic, by Israeli forces.
The Date by Mahsa Abdulmuwaffaq tells the story of a woman who, dreading the monotony of her days, strives to find peace within.
The festival will hold its opening ceremony at the President Putin Palestinian Organisation for Culture and Economy in Bethlehem on Friday.