Ramallah – Palestine Cinema Days Festival 2019, organized by Filmlab: Palestine, is pleased to announce the members of the three Sunbird Award juries.
For the fourth year in a row, the festival hosts the Palestinian Sunbird Award competitions, dedicated to Palestinian films, or films related to Palestine, made by local, Arab, and international filmmakers. The three juries will choose the three winning films in the three competitions: the Sunbird Short Film Award, the Sunbird Documentary Award, and the Sunbird Production Award. The winners will be announced in the closing ceremony of the festival, on October 9, 2019 at Ramallah Cultural Palace.
More than 60 films were submitted, 29 of which were selected to participate in the competitions, including 9 feature documentaries, 9 short films, and 11 projects. The films come not only from Palestine, but also from a number of different countries including the Arab world.
The Sunbird Documentary Award jury includes Pierre-Alexis Chevit who runs the Doc Corner & Doc Day industry program at the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes. With a predominant focus on documentaries. He has also worked in the VOD/DVD field, dealing mainly with docs and short films.
Mette Hoffmann Meyer who is a Danish CEO and co-founder of the Why Foundation. Mette has worked with documentary film for nearly 30 years all over the world, and is currently focusing on modern-day slavery through the Why Slavery? Campaign that launches this fall.
Dima Abu Ghoush who's began her career as a short story writer before turning to filmmaking. After gaining freelance experience, she, in 2005, co-founded the independent production house Collage Productions in Palestine. Currently, her film EMWAS RESTORING MEMORIES continues to circulate at festivals globally.
The Sunbird Shot Film Award jury includes Cherien Dabis, a Palestinian American film and television writer, director, actor and producer. Her films have opened the Sundance Film Festival and premiered at Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. She co-executive produced and directed Hulu’s critically acclaimed RAMY, the first half hour Arab American comedy on television.
Fatma Cherif is a filmmaker and director of photography. Her debut documentary film BENT EDDAR [SWEET HOME], garnered her international recognition and various awards. Fatma worked on several film festivals and was General Delegate of the first edition of the International Arab Film Festival in Gabès, Tunisia in 2019.
Eduardo Guillot From Valencia, Spain. Has worked as a cultural journalist for more than 25 years in different Spanish specialized magazines, and collaborated on books. He has been involved in programming teams to various extents. He is currently the director of programming for Mostra de València-Cinema del Mediterrani film festival.
The Sunbird Production Award jury includes Tania Al Khoury, a producer, and the legal financial manager of the independent production company Moby Dick Films since 2005. In 2017, she founded the production company Khamsin Films. Her current projects include Sonia Ben Slama’s newest feature documentary MACHTAT (co-produced with Alter Ego Production), and Ghassan Salhab’s feature fiction, THE RIVER (2019).
Ehab Assal began his career in the 90s as first camera assistant on iconic Hollywood films, such as THE INSIDER, THE APOSTLE, and SLING BLADE. He founded Yellow Dawn Productions, offering professional services for local and international productions in Palestine, starting with the award-winning feature film, THE TIME THAT REMAINS. His work continued to gain recognition in OMAR and THE IDOL.
Sheyma Buali is a producer and film programmer for the BBC’s Arabic service and has been Festival Director of the BBC Arabic Festival of documentaries and short films, since 2015. Buali has also worked as Commissioning Editor and Culture Correspondent for multiple outlets focusing on film and visual arts from the Arab world. Since 2011, she has been an organizer and programmer for the London Palestine Film Festival.
As part of an initiative to support film production in Palestine, the festival charges screening tickets at 15 NIS each, and 20 NIS for both opening and closing ceremonies. The proceeds will go towards funding the Sunbird Production Award. This initiative grants the Palestinian public the opportunity to directly contribute to a Palestinian film production.
The sixth edition of Palestine Cinema Days Festival will take place from October 2-9, 2019 in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Nazareth and Gaza. This year’s festival will be dedicated to presenting strong, independent, and diverse cinematic voices from Palestine and around the world.