Celebrating Palestinian heritage on the UAE’s big screen

Reel Palestine, a UAE-based film happening devoted to Palestinian movies, is returning for its sixth version next month. Set to kick off from Jan. 17-25, The week-long festival will be screening independent Palestinian films in venues across three emirates: Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, the Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al-Saadiyat.

The pop-up festival, which debuted in 2015, is held in partnership with independent arthouse theatre Cinema Akil in an effort to present Palestinian culture and heritage in an authentic way through a top-quality selection of short films, characters and documentaries.

In adding to film screenings, the sixth edition of the film fest will also bring together some of the inspirational filmmakers liable for the featured works for Q&A sittings to discuss some of the pressing issues facing Palestinian people.

Amongst the films set to showcase during the event is the Elia Sulaiman-directed “It Must Be Heaven.” The satirical-comedy film tells the story of a Palestinian man, played by Sulaiman himself, who travels the world but faces the same problems as he would in his home. Notably, it won the Jury Special Indication award at the 2019 edition of the Cannes International Film Festival.

Also viewing is the 2017 documentary entitled “Soufra.” The making, which was directed by filmmaker Thomas A. Morgan, follows the inspirational story of a generational refugee named Mariam, who, after expenditure, her entire life in the Burl El-Barajneh refugee camp located south of Beirut, sets out to change her fate by launching her own catering company, Soufra.

Temporarily, in addition to determining Palestinian films, visitors will also be able to discover a carefully curated gathering of unique crafts, souvenirs and items made and inspired by Palestinian traditions at the RP Souk. The week-long marketplace will be open during film screening hours at Cinema Akil in Dubai.

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