Gaza has no cinemas. I’m told there were cinemas years ago but not today. Based on the interest in the 8th Women’s Film Festival in Palestine, I suspect a cinema might be quite popular.
The festival attracted a good size crowd on the opening day Thursday at the Rashad Shawa Auditorium in Gaza —- I’m guessing 250-300 women and men.
This is the only women’s film festival in the Arab world and will tour 8 universities, 21 organizations, and 4 Refugee Camps in 14 cities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip this Fall.
Each short film had English subtitles so I was able to follow along. The subject matter ranged from engagement (Engagement Ring) and marriage, to divorce (This is the Law!), and life after divorce (Separation), the electricity outages (Cut!), women athletes (Black & White), the psychological aspect of unwanted noise in Gaza (Noise!), the challenges of being a dwarf (Little Feet), and a woman protecting her home surrounded by settlements in the West Bank (If They Take It!)
Each of them was good, but I found it very aggravating that the media cameras in attendance to document this event were set up front and center blocking nearly everyone’s view, and then they decided to shine their bright lights into the audience.
I suppose they wanted to capture the audience reaction to the short films but I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t capture alot of scowling faces.
The filmmakers at the festival should all get awards, while the TV cameramen should get lessons in how to cover such events with greater skill.