Films Reviews

Bethlehem Student Film Festival

Review date: 01-04-2019

Courtesy of Bethlehem Student Film Festival

Seven short fiction films created this year by the students of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture (DAK) will be screened for the first time in Palestine at DAK, in Bethlehem. Some of these films will then tour throughout the world in one of the most acclaimed international film festivals.


Ambience, written and directed by Wisam Aljafari
Two young people attempt to record music inside a refugee camp where they are living, rushing to meet a deadline for a competition to produce a music album. Ultimately, the two young people fail due to the noise and chaos of the camp. They then decide to use their creativity to turn this nightmare situation to their favor.

Area C, written and directed by Salah Abu Ne’ema
Hussein, a young Palestinian boy, tries to keep his house and family safe from the Israeli settlers’ daily attacks in Area C, a Palestinian area in the West Bank surrounded by Israeli settlements.

Coffee Pot, written and directed by Thaer Al-Azzeh
Jomu’a lives in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem, and struggles with a difficult choice. He must either accept money to demolish his home before the occupation demolishes it and charges him for the expenses or continue to sell coffee at the entrance of Dheisheh, a job that does not bring him enough money to survive.

Him and I, written, filmed, and directed by Ibrahim Handal
A young woman in her mid-thirties lives an ordinary life between her work and home. Viewers discover, however, that she is living in a fantasy world, which she created in order to help her tolerate her destiny.

Sawsan, conceived by Marouj Alissawi, written and directed by Saliba Rishmawi
A young girl refuses to obey her mother and get married. She runs away from home, only to find herself trapped between the unexpected conflict of night life in Bethlehem and going back home to surrender to her mother’s will.

The 4th Floor, written and directed by Shayma’ Awawdeh
Seeking privacy and independence, a young woman leaves her family and moves to a new apartment. While moving her things in the elevator, excited to start her new life on her own, she discovers the unexpected waiting for her.

The Pink Bicycle, written and directed by Shada Waleed Vazouz
Lamar, a young girl who dreams of having a bicycle, doesn’t understand the strong opposition of her family and society to girls riding bicycles, until she has an accident while riding her cousin’s bicycle and everything turns upside down.

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Each of these films will be screened as part of the first annual Bethlehem Student Film Festival (BSFF) from April 1 to 6, alongside 70 other short fiction, documentary, and experimental films from across the world. The BSFF is the first international film festival in Palestine that specializes in student films from around the world, joining many other the international and regional film festivals that focus on student cinema. The BSFF will showcase a diverse selection of films from more than 15 countries, including six Arab nations. The student creators of these films come from 16 internationally acclaimed universities and film schools, including La Fémis, University of Lodz, and the Dutch Film Academy. By showcasing more than 15 hours of films of varying types, categories, and styles, the BSFF aims to foster creative development and expression throughout the world.