The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

A Palestinian film honored at the Cannes Film Festival

Cinefondation palmares. Crédits : Déborah Neris / FDC.

The Palestinian student film "Ambiance" arrived on the podium during the 22nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation selection. The short film won 3rd place in the competition, which it shares with its Polish competitor "Duszyczka", by Barbara Rupik.

Directed by Wissam al-Jafari of the Dar Al-Kalima University of Arts and Cultures in Palestine, “Ambiance”, a 15-minute short film in black and white, tells the story of two young Palestinians who are trying to record a demo for a music competition in a noisy refugee camp. While the two boys fail because of the hubbub, they decide to adapt and capture this noise to “turn it into art”, explains the filmmaker during an interview at AFP.

Wissam Al-Jafari

 

“The image is better than words to explain the lives of Palestinians,” says the director, who touched his first camera when he was 15. “Cinema is like magic, when I first used a camera in a school workshop, I immediately told myself that I wanted to make it my job.

 

An international competition

 

Hailed for his various qualities, the film distinguished itself from the more than 2000 applications submitted to the foundation this year. The jury particularly highlighted the “humour, freshness, and extraordinary use of cinema and sound” found in “Ambience”.

Ambience

Each year, the foundation selects between fifteen and twenty short and medium-length films submitted by film schools in all countries. In addition to the prizes awarded to the winners, the winner of the first prize (Louise Courvoisier, Mano à Mano) is also assured that her first feature film will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. In parallel, the winning films are screened at the Cinema du Panthéon, in Paris.