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Palestinian Sunbird Production Competition

CINEMA, MON AMOUR

Synopsis
Abu Abdallah, a former projectionist, stays inside the abandoned cinema building in the last hours before it is demolished, while Tareq, the inheritor of the cinema building, tries to remove the man from the building before demolishing it and transforming it into a huge commercial center. Tareq tries to find solutions to get the man out, but he struggles to enter the locked building.

Directors' Biography
Ibrahim Handal is a Palestinian filmmaker and Cinematographer from Bethlehem. In 2019 he obtained his BFA in Cinematography at Dar Al-Kalima University. Ibrahim directed several narrative and experimental short films and he also worked as Director of Photography on various short films including the Cannes Cinefondation 2019 winner Ambience by Wissam Al Jafari. He also worked on several feature film productions in Palestine in the camera and lighting departments. 

Wisam Al Jafari is Palestinian filmmaker from Bethlehem. In 2019, he obtained his BFA in filmmaking at Dar al-Kalima University. Wisam directed several narrative and experimental short films. His previous short film, Ambience, won the 3rd Prize at Cinefondation - Cannes film festival. He worked as an assistant director, location manager, camera assistant and sound engineer in many short and feature films. Wisam is in development of his first feature film.

BETWEEN DEATH

Synopsis
The boat carrying Saleh and other fugitives from the besieged Gaza sank. Saleh, along with a dead body, embarks on a surreal journey to search for an exit.

Director's Biography
Waseem Khair is a Palestinian actor and director, born in 1986. He produced his first short film Throe in 2014. He worked with the Palestinian cooperation for radio and television directing many television shows. Nowadays, he is preparing for his second short live action Between Death. Waseem Khair has experience of theatrical shows, in directing and acting. He also won prizes for best director and best actor from international theatrical festivals.

COYOTES

Synopsis
A Palestinian doctor’s nightly commute from hospital to home in Ramallah turns treacherous when her tire blows. Surrounded by coyotes on the desolate road, a stranger comes to her rescue. She soon realizes that he’s not the Good Samaritan he pretends to be.

Director's Biography
Palestinian writer-director Said Zagha completed his undergraduate education at Ohio's Kenyon College in 2011. His second short film, Lovesick in the West Bank will premiere in 2021, following his 2016 dramedy Five Boys and a Wheel which premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2016 and went on to play at 40+ fests worldwide, winning three awards in Mexico, Oman, and Algeria. It is distributed by MAD Solutions and is currently streaming on OSN. He is currently developing his first feature film, Weedestine, a heist thriller set in the West Bank, which has already been selected at several labs and received a production grant from the Royal Film Commission of Jordan. He is also a Berlinale Talents alumnus (2020).

RHYTHM OR A HAIR CUT

Synopsis
A man enters a barbershop and sits. As his turn gets continually skipped, customers come and go. The sun sets, the lights turn off and the barber locks the door on him; as if he cannot be seen.

Director's Biography
Majdi El-Omari is a filmmaker. He received his BFA in filmmaking from the Cairo Institute of Cinema in Egypt, and his MFA in Film Production from Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada. After working in the Middle East as an assistant director and production manager on various feature and documentary films, El-Omari became a filmmaker, scriptwriter, producer and editor. El-Omari’s short films d’auteur have been selected in several international festivals. Standstill was his debut feature film. El-Omari lives in between Haifa and Montreal. He is now writing his next feature film The woman of the Bees while teaching fiction filmmaking in Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem.

WEDDING, BERLIN

Synopsis
The long awaited wedding night of Bissan and Omar in Berlin takes a different turn when an uninvited guest shows up at the dancefloor.

Director's Biography
Farah Abou Kharroub is an award winning Palestinian director, writer, and producer who was born and raised in Lebanon. She holds a BA in Filmmaking from the Lebanese University in Beirut and is currently pursuing an MFA in film directing from FAMU (Czech Republic). Her short films are Nafas (2014), Florentina (2015), Summer 2006 (2018), The Seven Villages (2020), News from Lebanon (2021) and Wedding, Berlin (2022). Farah is currently working as a screenwriter and showrunner for Shahid VIP streaming platform, the leading series platform in the Arab world.

AMPLIFIED

Synopsis
A young hearing-impaired athlete faces a disrupting incident at her Karate center. Disoriented, Hind struggles to communicate with her single mother. She finds herself trying to untangle from the pain on her own, rising more victorious than ever.

Director's Biography
Dina Naser is a Jordanian-Palestinian director and producer. In 2013, Dina received the Docnomads scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Documentary Filmmaking. She began shooting her debut feature documentary Tiny Souls in 2012, and over the course of five years Dina filmed the lives of children as they unfolded inside Zaatari Refugee Camp - Jordan. Tiny Souls premiered in 2019 in CPH Dox, and then in Sheffield Doc Fest, IDFA, DOK Leipzig and Busan. The film was awarded the Human Rights Film Award at Dokufest and the Sunbird Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Palestine Cinema Days, amongst other awards. Dina also directed the award-winning short film One Minute (2015), a sound-motivated piece about a woman living in Gaza while under attack in 2014.