Scheduled for mid April, the Palestinian Film Festival has grown into a spectacle to behold and the PFF is accepting submissions for this year, 2010. And riding on the success of the 2009 PFF, this year's PFF is supposed to be the bomb.
“Let this be a strong statement to the whole world and our neighbours that Palestine is not all about struggle for nationhood all the time. Let us show them we also know how to have a good time- kick it in so to speak- around here” said Abbas in a jolly worded prepared statement.
One hundred films and novellas are expected to feature and this being double the number of entries from last year goes to show how well organised and efficient the Palestinian tourism ministry marketing department has become for the last twelve months.
“We are glad to announce the Buzz so far has not under-whelmed” said Shariff Mutahin, CEO of the PTB[Palestinian Tourism Board] sounding as modest as he can in accordance with mid-east culture.
“Duration, venue and exact date of the event still remain top secret for obvious reasons but everything is set, we're locked and loaded and ready to roll in short notice”he added.
Even though Organisers are usually impartial and submissions from almost all countries with a respectable film industry are considered, India was suspended last year for what the PA considered 'a break in cinematic rhythm and flow' whereby in most of their films groups of Sari dressed women would appear from nowhere in one direction, men from another then burst into well rehearsed choreography.
“Not that we were jealous of their dance moves or had anything against their young women with shrill made in India voices either the script had to change this year or it's bollywood boulevard for them” said Shukri Mehanna one of the coordinators.
“Dance at every take,that's a FAIL!! it's like, hey, we just watched this great ad on IMAX-ads are so frequent and near between that you end up watching the ad[s] and being advertised the movie” added Mehanna
As we were on our way, we asked a 6 year old boy Jamal, from the West Bank City of Jenin what his favourite movie was.
“Toy Story” he answered in accented english. And we asked what he would be watching at the festival, “Toy Story” again was his answer.
As our team planned to leave it seems the blockade was no obstacle for the Palestinian film festival spirit. Props, lighting equipment, plastic chairs, generators and livestock,like live sheep, cows goats were being smuggled in through the tunnels.