WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL AND TIMELESS STORY AND YOU CAN HELP US BRING IT TO SCREEN!
Through a community based project involving first time actors, Ehab Ghafri and his team are working on a short film adaptation of “The Child Goes to the Camp”, a short story by Ghassan Kanafani. This story, written by one of the most prominent Palestinian authors and journalists, decades ago, will be the base to telling the story of a refugee kid in the camp of Askar, Nablus, in occupied Palestine in 2018.
What’s the idea behind this project?
We are a team of passionate young Palestinians committed to creating a short fiction film that is first and foremost a community based film project.
For us, the process by which the film is made is equally important to the end product itself. By using crowdfunding we aim to create a film that is authentically Palestinian, completely independent and intentionally community-driven.
That is why we are relying on a Palestinian writer-director, Ehab Ghafri, an entirely Palestinian technical crew, and first-time actors selected from the refugee camp in which the film takes place: Askar refugee camp,Nablus.
Through the years, each member of the crew has individually gathered significant experience working with kids all over Palestine through art therapy and community lead projects, mostly in the field of theater. Building on this priceless experience, we want to use the same creative energy to produce a film that will bring people together in each stage of filmmaking from the development of the project, to the shooting on set and finally the public screening of the final product.
In addition to providing workshops for aspiring actors from the community, hiring locally, and including community input on the creative direction of the film, we will attempt to show the realities of life in some of the world’s oldest refugee camps.
Lastly, all “making of the movie” materials will be made available for future Palestinian filmmakers to learn from and build upon similar experiences and processes. We want this film to be one of many films developed, produced and distributed in the future by using the same community building resources.
One of our main goals will be creating a toolkit, that will go through all the steps of filmmaking and can be reused by marginalized communities elsewhere in and even outside of Palestine.
We envision this toolkit being using by aspiring and emerging filmmakers that want to tell stories but don’t have the resources to do it in a traditional way. By going successfully going through this process we want to open new paths for filmmaking. We are enabling ourselves to tell our own stories in our own way.
Our dream is that one day a Palestinian or Syrian filmmaker, in one of the camps of Lebanon for instance, will create his own community based film project relying on our “making of the movie” and using our toolkit.
What's the story of "The Child Goes to the Camp" about?
This film aims to tell one of Kanafani’s lesser-known short stories: “The Child Goes to the Camp”. The story is still relevant today despite being written by the author decades ago, in exile, so close but yet so far from Palestine.
In 2018, we feel the need to bring this story to the big screen because it is a powerful one that is at once very palestinian and will without a doubt resonate with audiences around the world because it is very universal at its core.
Due to the forced exile of 1948, Palestine is home to some of the world’s oldest refugee camps. To be a Palestinian refugee is to have a complicated sense of identity that has been passed down from generation to generation since the start of the Nakba, 70 years ago.
Not only is the refugee-status linked to a social belonging, it is also a place-based one. Being a refugee in your own country means having all parts of your life impacted by the ongoing conflict and having limited opportunities compared to the rest of the world. The refugee camps designed to protect the life of the refugees have ended up turning into places of isolation and exclusion.
The tale focuses on a young underprivileged boy and his extended family in the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. It follows him as he tackles growing up with conflicting identities and priorities. In this coming of age story, our protagonist has the difficult task of balancing his own desires with the inescapable daily necessities and emergencies. We focus on the inherent physical limitations to life in the refugee camp and to life as a child: to be small in size and power in a constricted environment and yet have enormous responsibilities.
Our hero is struggling to find belonging within the confines of the camp. What happens when individual aspirations, hopes and dreams come at the expense of the idea of a greater Palestine? How do you shape your world as a child when you are entangled in a situation bigger than yourself: the loss of the homeland, the occupation and the daily struggle to breathe, eat and stay alive?
This is a story as much about the complexity of identity as it is about the experience of childhood. It is a story about a story, told through a series of lenses that help illustrate the complexity of the Palestinian refugee situation: the permanence of a state and status that was supposed to be temporary. It is a story about our past and it is a story about our present.
****For more info. on the process, our team, updates and upcoming events and happenings, find us on our blog: https://makingofintothecampfilm.blog/
Presentation of the project:https://makingofintothecampfilm.blog/2018/05/31/th...
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