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Festival Director Letter

Al- Kasaba... 10 years of liberality
and the bird of Palestine is the Al- Kasaba International Film Festival permanent symbol


This year, we chose the bird of Palestine with its small size and beautiful colors, to be a permanent symbol for the Al-Kasaba International Film Festival. Today, this bird will build the Festival Nest, and will reproduce and grow, so that we see flocks of birds of Palestine, carrying the depth and sweetness of the experience in their wings, until we see this festival when It has become part and parcel of the Palestinian cultural fabric, so as to confirm a significant presence at the Arab world as well as the international world, over the years.

Al- KasabaTheatre and Cinematheque, celebrates in this year its ten years of sustained effort and many accomplishments, represented in the following: 

  • The establishment of Al Manara Theatre days Festival.
  • The establishment of Al- Kasaba International Film Festival.
  • The production of 12 theater plays for adults and five theater plays for young children, and showing them in the Palestinian cities, villages and camps.
  • The establishment of the first Academy of Drama.
  • The participation in 21 local, regional and international theater festivals, Showing hundreds of theatrical performances in most European and Arab cities, and the rest of the world.
  • Obtaining many Arab and International awards, through the theatrical performances.
  • Hosting hundreds of theatrical and musical groups and films.
  • The promotion and distribution of many the Palestinian films in the international festivals.
  • Conducting hundreds of daily screenings over the years.

All of these achievements wouldn’t have the chance to be as deep without the public support and interest, in addition to the efforts of the successive boards of directors and staff, and the support of the Palestinian National Authority. Definitely, the support of our partners, artists and donors had the greatest impact in achieving these accomplishments. We appreciate all of your efforts, and would like to thank you all.

In the year 2000, and since the opening of Al- Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque, the idea of organizing an international film festival started to haunt our minds; and since we know that organizing such a festival is not an easy thing, especially that we made sure from the beginning to meet our standards of technical professionalism, we didn’t want to be in a hurry in organizing this festival, and we started during the period between the year 2000 – and the year 2005 in the organizing several screenings, film weeks and specialized film festivals ; such as the European Film Festival, the refugees cinema Festival, the Israeli image in the Palestinian cinema, pioneer women festival, immigrants week in European cinema, as well as the cinema weeks such as the French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Moroccan, Syrian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Australian, and Brazil cinema weeks. These programs have formed a great opportunity to Al- Kasaba Theatre, in building a cadre of professional specialists, and in building relationships with many directors, producers, distributors and other Palestinian, Arab and foreign film festivals.

Here we are today, and after the accumulation of the required expertise, celebrating the opening of the fifth session of Al- Kasaba International Film Festival, which has deservedly become, one of the most important cultural events, presenting to the Palestinian people, through its sessions years, some of the best Arab and foreign films, and hosting many of the significant filmmakers.

This year as well, you are going to see a series of feature films and documentaries that have won international prizes, in addition to a wide range of short films, where it was agreed with the Berlin International Festival, to screen all the short films that were screened there this year, and we'll also host the Director of the Short Film Department of Berlin Festival.

Certainly, the Palestinian Cinema will have distinctive presence; as the main objective of the festival is to present and promote all the works of the Palestinian filmmakers to the public.

Finally, we can’t fail to extend our thanks and appreciation to all the institutions that provided support for this festival; we would like to thank the European Union, the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, and the Prime Minister and Konrad institution of Germany. We would also like to thank our colleagues, the crew of AL Kasaba, who contributed to the development of this cultural event.

Khaled Elayyan
Festival Director

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