Bristol Palestine Film Festival 2012

by Will Simpson
on Wednesday 05 Dec 2012

type: Event Notice
topic: Miscellaneous
region: Bristol
event time: Wednesday 05 Dec 2012 15:00
The Bristol Palestine film festival returns this week for a second season of films, art and talks that explore fresh perspectives on economic, social, political and cultural life in the Occupied Territories.

Like last year, the festival features a diverse range of films, from moving dramas to quirky comedies that show the full range of the Palestinian experience, beyond the clichéd images we are used to seeing on TV news reports.

It all starts on Friday 7th December when the festival will be opened and introduced by Festival patron Ken Loach and the writer and broadcaster Bidisha, followed by a screening of 5 Broken Cameras, a multi award-winning documentary that was filmed by West Bank farmer Emad Burnat over a five year period during which the huge changes occurred in and around his village.

The festival also includes an exhibition featuring work by Palestinian artist Eid Suleman and the Students of the Airowwad Cultural and Theatre Society. Meanwhile Bristol’s own strong links with Palestine are represented by a night of conversation and acoustic music from the Bocastle Busker John Maughan, a local musician who joined a ship carrying aid to Gaza in 2010.

Then there is ‘free running’, an adventure sport practised in gyms, parks and abandoned structures. With its philosophical roots in freedom of expression and movement, players aim to move quickly from a to b, negotiating obstacles in creative and playful ways. The festival includes a demonstration at Knowle West’s Free Running park followed by a documentary that looks at the experience of two Gazan free runners.

People and communities are at the heart of the festival. Some of the events will attempt to forge links between the Palestinian communities on screen and the audiences watching them in Bristol. An interactive map installation will encourage visitors to think about the cartography of the West Bank. Where is Bil’in, the village featured in 5 Broken Cameras? Does it show up on Googlemaps? How far is it between Bil’in and Walaja, the village in Leila Sansour’s devastating 2 minute short They Came In The Morning? And is it possible to drive on the route suggested by Google?

Last year’s festival was hugely successful, with over 600 people attending the nine events at the Watershed and Cube Cinemas. The festival is also part of a growing international network of art events (including the London Palestine Film Festival) that celebrate the culture of this much-reported but often misunderstood part of the world.

This year’s events take place at the Watershed, Hamilton House, Parlour Showrooms and Knowle West Media Centre. The 2012 festival has received support from Bristol City Council’s Creative Seed Fund and sponsorship through CrowdFunding, the Bristol Sweet Mart, Unite and Number 10.

Tickets are on sale now and range from FREE to £8 depending on the event.