"What began as an idea to serve young filmmakers has matured into a Filmlab where the needs of filmmakers, young and established alike, are addressed. The sole purpose of the idea is to revitalize the culture of films in Palestine, liberating it from the grasp of conventional European filmmaking industries and Hollywood." Hanna Atallah, Filmlab:Palestine, founder
Who we are
Founded in 2014, Filmlab Palestine was inspired by the personal experience of its founders in empowering Palestinian youth in refugee camps in Jordan through film literacy and talent program, strengthening their own personal narratives. Build on this expertise, Filmlab: Palestine aims at expanding and cultivating the existing cinema culture within Palestine, while providing the much-needed technical and artistic support for emerging Palestinian filmmaking voices.
Following the slogan "It's time to tell our stories", Filmlab is eager to promote one of the most effective audiovisual tools for self-expression, storytelling, the preservation of collective memory, while putting Palestine on the map of the global cinema industry.
What we do
Filmlab's philosophy is an interrelated program, where each activity contributes to the overall aim to activate cinema culture and raise the opportunities of the Palestinian film industry. The accumulation of the efforts are gathered in the Palestine Cinema Days festival since 2014. The local film industry's professional needs are targeted with educational workshops and masterclasses led by renowned professionals and the Palestine Film Meetings (PFM). Founded in 2017, PFM brings together key industry professionals from Palestine and abroad, creating a creative, open space to think and discuss film, to pitch and develop projects, and to network. A unique film program, showcasing international short and feature-length films for all audiences, is offered to encouraging a collective public experience of viewing and discussing film through a revival of specialized cinema theaters and venues. Besides issues of production, the festival sets as well the topic of quality and content by improving film literacy of kids and youth in Palestine is set as part of the festival through special film programs and activities.
The organization concentrated accordingly to its strategic plan on four main program activities: Cinema Culture, Talents, Production and Space.
While the programs Talent and Space are designed to support young filmmakers, our program Production concentrated on enhancing the circumstance of the infrastructure of the film industry, by providing film equipment and in-kind support for filmmakers as well as offering a production grant for Palestinian film productions (Sunbird Award) that is announced during the Palestine Cinema Days.
A major program is the Cinema Culture, that focuses on activating the interest in cinema and creating critical viewership. Activities are regular public film screenings, cinema-centric debates, hosting a variety of programs to promote production and viewership among children and the annual Palestine Cinema Days festival. FilmLab is one of the first organization in the Arab world, that develops a local curriculum for children film literacy. Inspired by the 2017 commissioned research and mapping of policy and strategies, our children literacy curriculum was created and since then, the guide for our Next Generation program. Children are not only receiver of quality content but as well doer as we engage them in a workshop series, discovering young talents and guiding them through the experience of producing quality films. In 2019, we managed to reach closer to our aim to support the professional production of local quality content for children by working on two short films.
We contribute to:
Enhancing capacities & creating jobs for youth
Strengthening the creative-cultural policy
Elevating films as an art form in Palestine
Facilitating dialogue among film industry workers
Creating a hub for filmmakers in Palestine
We work with
Filmmakers: young and experienced who are seeking opportunities to create.
Children/Youth: to expose them to different forms of self-expression and encourage their creative thinking.
The local public: to engage them in the organic development of a Palestinian film industry and integrate film into their everyday life.