Conversations about Cinema

Leila Sansour

Conversations About Cinema is a national project seeking to promote the exhibition of film. Funded by the British Film Institute and led by Watershed, the project invites curators to select and exhibit a selection of films related to a chosen theme.

In 2015 I was selected to curate a strand exploring the impact of conflict. My proposal was based on cinematic narratives in Palestinian cinema. As part of this programme I developed links with Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You, Salt of this Sea) to select and deliver a series of eight films looking at (i) the role of woman film makers, (ii) experiences of occupation, and (iii) narrative within Palestinian cinema and identity. Films selected included Oscar nominated Omar (Hany Abu-Assad), Villa Touma (Suha Arraf) and Chronicle of a Disappearance (Elia Suleiman).

Highlights of the programme included:

  • The successful digitising and screening of one of the first Palestinian full-length feature films: Return to Haifa.
  • Facilitation of a live twitter chat with director Suha Arraf
  • Curating a mini-season of three films for Borderlines Film Festival, the 6th largest UK Film Festival.

The programme reached over 400 audiences and was successful in gaining a wide range of media attention. Discover some of the audience reactions here:

Image: Conversations about cinema, Borderlines Film Festival © Matthew Evans


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