The Six: The Reel Palestinian film festival in Dubai

A photo of Cinema Akil. (Image Supplied)
Updated 19 December 2018

The Six: The Reel Palestinian film festival in Dubai

DUBAI: The film festival celebrating all things Palestinian is set to return to Dubai’s Cinema Akil from Jan. 18-26. With more than 18 films set to be screened, there will be plenty to watch.

‘What Wala’a Wants’
Directed by Christy Garland, this docu-drama focuses on a girl who is raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank and follows her as she overcomes the significant obstacles in her way.

The feature-length animated film stars two-time Academy Award nominee David Hare in an 80-minute film that examines the impact of the Israeli barrier wall.

‘The Tower’
Mats Grorud directs this story of an 11-year-old Palestinian girl who lives with her family in the refugee camp where she was born.

‘Naila and the Uprising’
When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in 1987, a woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family and freedom in this animated documentary directed by Julia Bacha.

‘The Judge’
A legal docu-drama about Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih, whose career provides rare insights into Islamic law and gender-based justice.

‘White Oil’
Directed by Judy Price, the documentary explores the day-to-day lives of the quarry owners, workers and security guards in Palestinian territories.


Artists discuss their most personal pieces at Sharjah Film Platform

Updated 36 min 7 sec ago

Artists discuss their most personal pieces at Sharjah Film Platform

SHARJAH: An artist’s work reveals how they see the world through their own personal lens and that theme was explored at a recent panel discussion during the inaugural Sharjah Film Platform festival.

Set to wrap up on Jan. 26, the film festival is screening more than 140 movies from over 40 countries and is also hosting a series of panel discussions — all organized by the Sharjah Art Foundation.

One of the panel discussions, titled “Ethnographic Entanglements,” saw artist Minia Biabiany, artist Basir Mahmood and filmmaker-artist Laura Huertas Millan come together to debate themes of ethnography — the study of people and cultures that is designed to explore the phenomena of researchers observing society from the point of view of the subject of the study.  

Artist Mahmood discussed a video installation he created called “I’m on the ‘us’ side and you are on the other.”

The work documents Pakistani and Indian army parades between the two countries’ borders and the artist told the crowd that the aim of the piece was to look at an issue that is so personal to him from an outsider’s perspective while sharing that experience with the audience.

For her part, Biabiany took to the stage to discuss the inspiration for her art piece, “Toli Toli” (2018), which was shown at the 10th Berlin Biennale.

The art piece reflects on knowledge systems, gestures, and narratives that are disappearing from the artist’s native Guadeloupe. The art work combines hand-woven bamboo mats with a video production by the artist in an installation that mimicks the traditional fishing traps of Guadeloupe — a metaphor for the entanglement of the country’s tropical environment with its colonial past.

Meanwhile, Millan spoke about her interest in post-colonialism and said that it was sparked after she saw postcards with images of indigenous people, portraying them from a subordinate, inferior angle. One of the artist’s films, “Journey to a Land Otherwise Known,” was inspired by the so-called human zoos in Europe during the height of the colonial period in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

The film centers on a tropical greenhouse in France and is narrated by excerpts from colonial books describing the people and lands they conquered and explored.