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Glasgow Short Film Festival announces Palestinian film programme

March’s Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF) is set to provoke audiences to reflect on collectivity, liberation and archives, with a special four-programme strand entitled Towards Liberation.

Towards Liberation, named after a quote from the late Palestinian critic and activist Edward Said will utilise archive, documentary and fictional short films from across the globe to examine threads around imprisonment, imperialism, representation and resistance. The strand will include a programme of Palestinian short films, which will be followed by a live performance by British-Palestinian musician and sound artist Kareem Samara, whose joining of traditional and contemporary genres explores threads of decolonial possibilities and diasporic identity.

Said can be heard speaking in the section’s opening film, Mahdi Fleifl’s 20 Handshakes For Peace, which repeats the broadcast footage of Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin’s handshake that settled the 1993 Oslo Accord, which Said strongly criticised.

Annemarie Jacir, who hit the headlines last November when she accused German broadcaster ARD of censorship after it removed her wedding comedy Wajib (pictured) from schedules in the wake of the current troubles in Gaza, will be screening her film Like Twenty Impossibles, the first-ever Arab short film selected in Cannes. The film follows a Palestinian film crew’s efforts to shoot, challenged by the oppressive mechanics of the occupation and lack of freedom of movement.

Your Father Was Born 100 Years Old and So Was the Nakba (Razan AlSalah), shows an elderly Palestinian woman using Google Streetview as her only means to see her former hometown, unable to return physically, while Memory of the Land (Samira Badran) uses a visceral and surrealist animation style to create a sense of the mental and physical violence Palestinians are subjected to at checkpoints.

Finally, In The Future They Ate From The Finest Porcelain is a part of Larissa Sansour’s sci-fi trilogy which focuses on a fictional resistance group and the closing film sees Fleifel in action again – I Signed The Petition is the tale of a Palestinian man navigating his feelings and motivations for supporting a boycott movement.

The films, on Saturday March 23 at 7.30pm, will be immediately followed by Samara’s performance in Civic House canteen, which is free, while 50% of ticket sales from the screening will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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