A warm welcome to the 9th edition of the Palestine Cinema Days festival. Once again, Filmlab Palestine has put together a rich program of carefully selected screenings to share current film developments and stories from around the world with our Palestinian and international audiences. Especially now, when the focus of world public opinion has shifted conflict, our festival gives stage to narratives from other parts of the world.
We have again been able to create a rich screening and festival program and look forward to sharing it with the audience, celebrating together the world of cinema and being a place of exchange. Also, this year there will be the opportunity to get closer to different topics related to the world of film and film education, as with Masterclasses for filmmakers, panel discussion about the Future of Image-Making within our Next Generation program or the focus day on short film production, New Voices.
This year's edition not only picks up the thread of celebrating cinema culture in Palestine and bringing the richness of cinematic storytelling to our cinemas and communities, but it also creates a moment to pause with its subprogram Voicing Visual Memory. The starting point is the anniversary of the PLO’s departure from Beirut in 1982, which marks a turn in Palestinian political history and artistic expression and where we can acknowledge a transformation in the form and content of the narrative and visual expression. Voicing Visual Memory is giving the floor to questions around visual memory culture, what we mean by it, and how it affects us. The film screening program, panel discussions and publication will look at how film embeds shared visions in the collective perception of our past, how filmmakers reproduce collective memories, what images we associate with our history, and how images have been used in Palestinian cinema.
To enjoy the comprehensive program of this edition now is only possible because of the joint work of a dedicated team, many hours of discussion and could not have been realized without the trust of our partners, venues and sponsors, whom we cannot thank enough. Together, over the years, we have managed to turn into a festival that has become an integral part of the international vibrant film scene, expressing commonalities with other filmmakers without losing its distinctiveness.
I am now looking forward to releasing you into exciting and inspiring festival days of the 9th edition of Palestine Cinema Day. Let's enter into this world together and celebrate cinema for its existence.