BAFTA: a British-Palestinian filmmaker rewarded for her short film

The British-Palestinian short film “The Present”, which relates the daily life of a father and his daughter in the West Bank, was crowned best short film at the 74th British Academy Film Awards on Saturday.

Farah Nabulsi, a British-Palestinian filmmaker, accepted the honor remotely, during the ceremony which was broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall in London and took place over two days, in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines .

In his speech, Nabulsi dedicated his award “to the people of Palestine, who have waited too long for freedom and equality.”

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The film, also nominated for an Oscar, tells the story of a Palestinian, Yusef, and his daughter, who want to buy a present. The film shows the duo being stopped at a checkpoint, confronting Israeli soldiers and walking down segregated roads.

“The Present” is the first film directed by Nabulsi. In addition to being the film’s director and producer, Nabulsi co-wrote the screenplay with Hind Shoufani, a Palestinian-American poet and director, according to Al-Jazeera.

The film also stars Saleh Bakri, a famous Palestinian actor.

Nabulsi spoke about some of his hopes for ‘The Present’ during a virtual panel discussion hosted by Other Israel Film Festival – a festival whose films present an ‘in-depth look at Israeli and Palestinian societies and underrepresented populations. in Israel”.

“I want the audience to… think about the lives that people like Yusef and Yasmine lead. When something simple, when everyday life is deliberately and unnecessarily complicated,” Nabulsi said.

“Palestinians just want… to live a life of freedom and independence,” she added.

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK, wrote on Twitter that “‘The Present'” captures a nation’s pain, which has gone on for far too long. We have been the victims of oppression and oblivion. Thank you. »

The film is available on Netflix. On April 25, he will be in the running for the Oscar for best short film.

“The Present” is in competition with the Israeli film “White Eye” which tells the story of a man, named Omer, who has his bicycle stolen. Omer calls the police to report an Eritrean migrant, Yunes, whom he accuses of stealing his bicycle. The film highlights the difficulties faced by migrants and asylum seekers in Israel.

Hymn to the glory of modern hippies criss-crossing the United States, “Nomadland” won four prizes: best director (Chloé Zhao), best film, best actress (American Frances McDormand) and best cinematography, Sunday during the ceremony Bafta, the British film awards.

Director Chloe Zhao, left, appears with actress Frances McDormand on the ‘Nomadland’ film set. (Credit: Searchlight Pictures via AP, FIle)

Emerald Fennell received the prize for best original screenplay for the feminist thriller “Promising young woman”, which also won the Bafta for best British film.

Anthony Hopkins was crowned best actor for his interpretation of an old man sinking into dementia in “The Father”, by Frenchman Florian Zeller, which also won the prize for best adapted screenplay.

The Bafta for Best Supporting Actress went to South Korean Youn Yuh-jung, 73, for “Minari”, which tells the story of an American family of South Korean origin in search of a new country life.

Briton Daniel Kaluuya, 32, received the award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, a young leader of the black revolutionary movement Black Panther, in the film “Judas and the Black Messiah”.

The “rising star” award went to Bukky Bakray for “Rocks”, which honors a group of teenage girls from diverse backgrounds taking their first steps in the cinema. She plays a 15-year-old teenager abandoned by her mother and who tries to get by with her younger brother, supported by her friends.

This is the very first role of this young girl with dual British and Nigerian nationality who had been spotted in her acting class.

Cries of joy rang out at the actress’s home at this announcement. “Thank you my god, thank you to my parents”, reacted the young girl.

This award is a consolation for this film which had accumulated seven nominations, as many as “Nomadland”. But his status as an underdog favorite was quite a symbol for awards criticized for their lack of diversity.

1635638481 933 BAFTA British Palestinian filmmaker awarded for short film

Chloe Zhao poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 22, 2018. (Credit; Photo Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)

The 2020 nominations featured no non-white actors in the four main categories and no female directors were shortlisted, prompting the organization to add a round of voting in a bid to achieve greater diversity in its selection.

Thanks to new rules that, among other things, made viewing all long-listed films mandatory for academy voters, this year’s list of lead role nominees was surprisingly more diverse, and four of the six filmmakers nominated for Best Director were women: Zhao, Sarah Gavron (“Rocks”), Shannon Murphy (“Babeteeth”) and Jasmila Zbanic (“Quo Vadis, Aida?”).

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BAFTA: a British-Palestinian filmmaker rewarded for her short film