Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) first collaborated with the Ministry of Information, Communication & Culture through the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) to stage the very successful inaugural Kuala Lumpur Palestine Film Festival from 4th – 6th February 2012 (KLPFF2012).
KLPFF2013 is a follow on from KLPFF2012 which not only succeeded in generating RM2 million in funds from both the public and the Ministry of Education, it was able to reach an audience largely not exposed to the realities of the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.
Our close collaboration with the Ministry has enabled us to showcase a film festival of international quality in the Asia-Pacific which we hope would remain a regular feature in our mainstreaming of the Palestine cause.
The objectives of the festival are twofold:
1. to create awareness about the Palestinian struggle through cinema; and
2. to raise funds for VPM's ongoing projects in Gaza.
This year the funds raised from the festival will be channeled to:
1. Rehabilitation of the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip
2. Equipping a Paediatric Surgical Referral Centre for the Gaza Strip
Bringing together film makers from France and Britain among others, these movies juxtapose the complexity with the simplicity of the life of a Palestinian. The films reflect the legendary spirit of an entire people that stays unbroken in spite of over sixty years of brutal occupation. It is about ordinary people living extraordinary lives.
VPM would also like to record its appreciation towards all who have contributed in making this event a reality. It is hoped that the Kuala Lumpur Palestine Film Festival will succeed in further mainstreaming the reality of the Palestinian struggle here in Malaysia.
5 Broken Cameras - screening time: 5.30pm
5 Broken Cameras gained international fame when it was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards 2013.
It is about activism in the West Bank, particularly one man's story. Emad lives in Bil'in where the residents have been protesting against the building of the separation wall for years. When his fourth son Gibreel was born, Emad got his first camera and started filming not only his son growing but also the protests. This changed his life; daily arrests and night raids which intimidated his family and friends. The Israeli forces destroyed his camera, but Emad just went out and got another. Camera after camera, over five years, each camera capturing part of his story.
5 Broken Cameras is the winner of several awards, among them World Documentary Directing Award at the Sundance Festival 2012, Grand Jury Award at London Open City Docs Fest 2012.
Man Without Cellphone - screening time: 12pm
A funny, political and clever film by a Palestinian doctor, Man without Cellphone takes a sharp look at the social environment of a Palestinian village located inside Israel.
Jawdat is a young and restless concrete worker. All he wants is to have fun, talk on his phone and find love, practically impossible in a place where politics and traditional values dominate. Jawdat's father, an ill tempered man makes things worse. He believes the Israeli cell phone tower is poisoning the Palestinians with radiation and drags the entire village, including Jawdat in an outrageous battle against the tower. Two contrasting attitudes are portrayed; the hysterical father and the cool son. Jawdat just wants to impress the girls and at the same time pass his exams.
Director Zoabi brilliantly captures the social injustice faced by the Palestinians through good natured humour and this subtlety proves impactful on the audience.
Lemon Tree - screening time: 3.20pm
Lemon Tree is the story of a Palestinian widow defending her lemon tree field from her new neighbor; the new Israeli Defence Minister. She feels isolated with her sons moving to Washington and her daughters married. The local village elder advises her to give in, but Salma decides to work with the young lawyer and they take their case all the way to the Supreme Court. She meets Mira, the minister's wife, who sympathizes with Salma.
The court case receives notable media attention, and Mira gives a news interview that her husband regrets. Mira believes that the Israeli military overreacted, and she also shares Salma's sense of personal loneliness. A complex, though not always evident, human bond develops between the two women. But Salma's case is dismissed, Mira moves out, and a concrete wall is built between Salma's land and the Defense Minister's house. A final camera shot reveals the lemon trees to have been cut down.
Lemon Tree's accolades include the Asia Pacific Screen Awards - Best Performance by an Actress; Asia Pacific Screen Awards- Best Screenplay; Israeli Film Academy- Best Actress; Berlin International Film Festival- Panorama Audience Award; Chicago International Film Festival- Nominated Best Feature.
Gilad and all That Jazz - screening time: 2pm
Gilad Atzmon is one of modern music's greatest saxophonists. He is also one of Europe's most controversial public speakers. He has stolen many hearts with his music just as he has angered others with his political activities.
Gilad was born into a pro Zionist family and even served in the first Lebanon War. But he had a dramatic turnaround; he quit the army, picked up his saxophone and exiled himself to London, declaring himself an enemy to the state of Israel. His feisty improvisation in music is coupled with his blunt and outspoken political views that have led to death threats.
The film seamlessly juxtaposes concert scenes and interviews, conveying an organic whole of what his music and ethical quest mean to him. This is introduced from the first images; wounded Palestinian children and the cleaning of the saxophone.
Gilad and all that Jazz accolades include Logan (Utah) Film Festival 2012 – Best Feature Documentary; The London International Documentary Festival 2012-Official Selection.
A Set of 3 Documentaries – total 65mins
Screening time: 10.30am
Free Running in Gaza - An optimistic account of survival in Palestine following two young men who use Parkour (urban gymnastics) to express their freedom and their entertainment in Gaza.
Eid - An inspiring and popular video portrait of a Palestinian man who lives in a tiny village in the West Bank and uses art to express himself and depict the world around him.
Yellow Mums - This film looks at the Christian community in Palestine and it is beautifully photographed. It follows a young boy as he faces bullying and tries to participate in a game played traditionally in Palestinian Christian villages at the time of Easter.
Charity Premiere will take place on Sat, 18 May 2013 at 2.30pm.
• Movie for the Premiere will be '5 Broken Cameras'. There wil be a special appearance by Imad Burnat, Director and Producer for 5 Broken Cameras for the premiere.