Palestinian short film 'The Present' wins Bafta: 'I dedicate this award to the people of Palestine'

Palestinian-British filmmaker Farah Nabulsi accepted the award virtually during Saturday night's ceremony

Director Farah Nabulsi accepting the award for Best British Short Film for 'The Present' during the 74th annual Baftas. EPA
Director Farah Nabulsi accepting the award for Best British Short Film for 'The Present' during the 74th annual Baftas. EPA

Palestinian-British filmmaker Farah Nabulsi's The Present took home the Bafta on Saturday evening for Best British Short Film.

Nabulsi virtually accepted the award at the first instalment of a two-part ceremony, the main event for which will take place on Sunday evening, virtually, from London.

The film, which is Nabulsi’s directorial debut, tells the story of Yousef, played by Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, who decides to go with his daughter to buy a gift for his wife on their wedding anniversary. However, the task of shopping for the gift is made almost impossible because of the challenges of life under occupation.

The award for British Short Film was presented by Clara Amfo, who announced The Present as winner over Eyelash, Lizard, Lucky Break and Miss Curvy.

“Wow, wow, amazing,” Nabulsi said as she accepted the award. “For anyone who has seen The Present, which is now streaming on a worldwide platform …you would know why I dedicate this award to the people of Palestine for whom freedom and equality is long, long overdue.”

The film made its world premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in February 2020 and won the audience award.

The film, co-written by Palestinian filmmaker and poet Hind Shoufani, was shot over six days in the Palestinian territories.

In an interview with The National last year, Nabulsi said that, to her, the film is about "human dignity and the importance of dignity and what it means for someone to continuously be dehumanised".

“It’s a simple story that speaks volumes about the absurd situation that exists there [in Palestine].”

The Present has also been nominated in the Live Action Short category for the Oscars. The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 25.

Published: April 11, 2021 08:26 AM

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