The Editorial: Festival Ciné-Palestine 2018

The Festival Ciné-Palestine (FCP) is pleased to invite you to its 4th edition, taking place from May 25th to June 3rd at our partner cinemas: Le Luminor Hôtel de Ville and Les 3 Luxembourg in Paris, Le Méliès in Montreuil, l’Écran in Saint-Denis and Le Studio in Aubervilliers.

Since 2015, the Festival Ciné-Palestine has dedicated itself to promoting a rich and varied Palestinian cinema to French audiences. It especially supports a new generation of artists making their mark in all areas of cinema, including the most original.

In accordance with our audience’s wishes and artists’ expectations, this 4th edition sees our project expanding, both in number and diversity of events and in the audiences we are trying to reach.

The FCP 2018 coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the “Catastrophe”, a central event of Palestinian history, designating the ethnic cleansing, displacement of populations and destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

The commemoration of this historical event constitutes the thematic thread of our 2018 program, with the “1948, The Nakba” focus in which we’ve given priority to the voices of Palestinian directors. They bring their own testimony and tell, in images, of their experience of this collective trauma of exile and dispossession, a major element of Palestinian history and identity. The FCP hopes thereby to oppose a counternarrative to the dominant Israeli narrative denying the existence of these events, even as they continue today in different ways. This focus comprises eight films spread throughout the program.

Two master-classes, in a new format, will give the opportunity to discover the work of two Palestinian directors emblematic of Palestine’s shattered geography: Kamal Aljafari, a Palestinian from Jaffa, and Mai Masri, a Palestinian of the diaspora.

In addition to her master class, Mai Masri will be the subject of a retrospective of her career as a documentarian focusing on the life of Palestinian refugees, in camps between Palestine and Lebanon. Kamal Aljafari, a leading figure in Palestinian experimental film, will present the place occupied by the Nakba in his filmography.

After a first short films competition open to film students and young Palestinian directors, in 2018 the FCP has decided to dedicate its second competition to emerging or established professionals. Six short fiction and animated films will compete for a jury prize and an audience prize, the 29th of May at the 3 Luxembourg cinema in Paris.

The Festival is bringing back its open-air screening in Saint-Denis, an all-evening event combining a film, a meal, a concert and a dance show. And, for the first time, the FCP Night will show films from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Le Studio in Aubervilliers. 

The FCP has always had the ambition of developing its audience to reach film professionals more specifically. We are thus inaugurating in 2018 the first edition of our FCP Industry Days, which will take place the 28th and 29th of May at the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris. This event aims to create a working and meeting place for Palestinian, French and international professionals, and allow them to share ideas, exchange expertise, make professional connections, and of course initiate and develop projects.
Lastly, among the 28 films presented--short films and feature-length, narrative and documentary--the FCP 2018 has the honour of screening two French Premieres:

  • Our opening film, the 25th of May at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville, The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, a feature-film by Muayad Alayan, Palestinian director from Jerusalem, which won the Hubert Bals Fund Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for exceptional artistic achievement at its World Premiere at the 2018 International Film Festival of Rotterdam
  • What Walaa Wants, a documentary by Christy Garland about a female student in the Palestinian Police Academy, which made a strong impression at the last Berlinale.

The closing night of the Festival, the 3rd of June at Le Studio in Aubervilliers, will screen The Dupes, an extremely rare film by Tawfiq Saleh, an adaptation of Men in The Sun, the novella by a major Palestinian writer, Ghassan Kanafani.

Enjoy the festival!