THE PALESTINIAN FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCH
By: Rumana Akoob
The Palestinian Film Festival was launched at the Durban Art Gallery Wednesday evening at the Durban Art Gallery.
Speakers included Speaker of Durban, Logie Naidoo, Tamer Almassri of the Palestinian Embasssy and Vice Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, Professor Ahmed Bawa.
Almassri said that the Palestinian struggle is no longer an Islamic issue but it has become the focus of attention of honest and free people everywhere. “I would like to thank South Africa and its wonderful people for your support and for initiating events like this festival. We encourage such activates and hope this event will start many more Palestinian-South African events in Durban and elsewhere in South Africa.”
Professor Bawa said that the day the Palestinians are liberated will be the day the day Israelis are liberated. The festival intends to educate South Africans on the current realities and the blight of the Palestinian people. This will be through films and photographs which are entitled “Phambili Palestine Phambili”, meaning ‘Go forward Palestine Strive’. The four week long event explores life of these people since the beginning of the 19th century.
The festival, which is the first of its kind, will feature content from Israeli, Palestinian and
international photograhers and journalists namely- Ahmed Deeb and Mahmoud Emad Al Zanoon from the Gaza Strip. French photojournalist based in Ramallah Eloise Bollack is currently in South Africa and also has her work on exhibition.
Furthermore the Durban University of Technology’s Department of Photography have supplied South African content.
The event will run from 27 September through to 24 October and will screen two films a day. Entrance is free. “We strive to present a festival with feature films and documentary content that is open, critical, and reflective of Palestinian culture and, experience and vision,” organisers said.