Toronto is currently holding its fifth annual Palestine Film Festival (September 29 – October 7, 2012). The festival opened with the Canadian premiere of the award winning documentary, ‘The War Around Us’, directed by Abdallah Omeish. Set in the winter of 2008, when the first Israeli bombs dropped on Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, the film follows Ayman Mohyeldin and fellow Al Jazeera journalist and friend Sherine Tadros, who found themselves the only Western reporters there to capture it.
The other entries include; “Road Map to Apartheid“, by Ana Nogueira, and “This Is My Land…Hebron“, by Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson, about Hebron, where 160,000 Palestinians are confronted by an Israeli settlement of 600 settlers, guarded by 2,000 Israeli soldiers, intent on expelling the indigenous population and occupying their homes.
Last month, Toronto celebrated its annual International Film Festival (TIFF) which brought protests from the local and American film artist in 2009 for the screening of Israeli movie “Tel Aviv”. The movie glorifies the city of Tel Aviv which is built on land stolen from Native Muslim and Christian Palestinians.
This year, some films from Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Occupied Palestine, which are not critical of Israel (After the Battle, As if We Were Catching a Cobra, Inescapable, The Attack, etc.) were screened but no film from Israel’s No.1 enemy, Iran was invited this year as result of Ottawa’s break-up of diplomatic relation with the Islamic Republic.