From Wedding in Galilee by Michel Khleifi in 1987, to A Drowning Man by Mahdi Fleifel in 2017, 21 films, directed by Palestinian filmmakers were screened at Cannes Film Festival, whether in the Official Competition, the Director's Fortnight, Un Certain Regard or the Critics Week. Palestinian cinema has been bringing high quality films to Cannes for years, in 2002 Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention was awarded the Jury Prize, and Hani Abu Assad won Un Certain Regard's Special Jury Prize in 2013 for Omar.
But 2018 is quite different. For the first time ever, there will be an official representation at Cannes Film Festival: a Palestine Pavilion at the Marché du Film, from May 9 to 19, 2018.
The initiative lead by the Palestine Film Institute (PFI) and supported by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, will bring 10 films projects, 5 fictions et 5 documentaries, to the Producers Network.
The Palestine Film Institute (PFI) is a structure that supports film productions from and for Palestine, through providing development and consultancy, increasing accessibility to funding, and connecting film talents and experts. The PFI is rooted in the tradition of political cinema and the history of using independent film practice as a tool for social change.
The Pavilion's program will certainly live up to its promises. From May 12 to 15, the PFI is organizing a number of networking events and talks gathering industry professional around the current challenges of production and distriution of Palestinian cinema.
And for the first time, ten Palestine Film Festivals around the world came together to co-host a networking event within the Pavilion, on the 13th of May, from 5:30-7:30pm. These festivals have all been dedicated to screening and promoting Palestinian Cinema globally. By taking part in the Pavilion, these festivals intend to go further and actively support the PFI's efforts to develop and strenghen the vibrant Palestinian cinema industry.
The Cannes 2018 Palestine Film Festival Cocktail, an event co-organized by:
Al Ard [doc] Film Festival (Cagliary), Boston Palestine Film Festival (Boston), Bristol Palestine Film Festival (Bristol), DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (Washington DC), Doha Palestine Cinema Festival (Doha), Festival Ciné-Palestine (Paris), Haifa Independent Film Festival (Haifa), Nazra Palestine Short Film Festival (Venice), Palestine With Love Brussels (Brussels) and Toronto Palestine Film Festival (Toronto),