BARJIS is an independent Palestinian short film that I want to shoot April 2020 my BfA graduation project from Steve Tisch School of Film and TV Studies in Tel Aviv University.
In the year of 1989, around the end of the 1st Intifada, Nisreen (30) a mother and her two kids, return from abroad to troubled Jerusalem. However, on their first day back, clashes erupt across their home and the mother finds herself protecting her children and her house rules, hence, protecting the territory.
Why do I want to make this film?
I intend on making Barjis in order to talk about the First Intifada differently, as I am personally always interested in reflecting the point of view of those who are usually marginalized in the Palestinian society.
I am planning to observe the first intifada in all it’s rich details and icons through a house window, and over a day in the life of a normative Jerusalemite family who had just returned to troubled Beit Hanina from abroad.
The movie follows the Karim’s (10) curiosity, as well as Nisreen’s (30) his mother, which is slowly unraveled throughout the film no matter how hard she tries hiding it from her kids.
Their curiosity provides us the spectator a pure, clean and unaffected point of view of the struggle.
Nisreen the mother, in addition to being curious, she also manages to create her own safe haven so quickly within 8 hours, also by applying all past house rules from the first second they entered their Beit Hanina house.
These house rules she’s holding so tight onto, help her in the end to defeat a foreign military force upon penetrating her territory.
This film simplifies the conflict through a mother's’ relationship with her house which is based on respecting the personal space.
It’s a glimpse on the 1st Intifada using the photographic memory of a child combined with the perspective of his protective mother.
What is Barjis?
Barjees, or Barsees, is a board game that originated in Medieval India then made its way through the Silk Road to Persia and then the Levant. It became especially popular in Syria, where families would gather round to watch a game and cheer on one of the two teams playing.
Unlike contemporary board games, Barjees is played on an embroidered cloth board with the shape of a cross stitched on it. Barjees is a two team/two player game, and the objective of each team is to get their pawns from their starting positions at the ends of the cross to the the finish line in the middle.
In lieu of dice, Barjees is played using cowry shells that the players toss to determine how many moves they can make. If one team’s pawn moves to the same location as the opposing team’s, they replace them and uproot the opposing team’s pawn from their spot.
The game ends when one team is successfully able to reach the area in the middle of the board, known as the “Matbakh”, meaning kitchen in Arabic. On the location of the Matbakh is written a quote in Arabic which roughly translates to, “Congratulations to the winner, and condolences to the defeated”. The player to reach the Matbakh first is the winner. Our film intends on using Barjis as a symbol for winning the Matbakh, the territory.
Meet the Team
Aida Kaadan: Director/scriptwriter
Born in Germany, on October 16th 1994, raised and brought up in 48 borders Palestine/Israel, with an experience of 7 years in Filmmaking and scriptwriting.
After graduating high school I then enrolled into Tel Aviv University where I majored in Film production at Steve Tisch School of Film and TV studies. During the time of my B.F.A I’ve produced and directed multiple short films among them is my second year project “Farawla”; a multiple award-winning short.
In my films, I observe and study my protagonists as 'the other' who struggles to protect and express his/her own identity, while facing prejudice and social pressures. Where I invite the audience to deal with their own preconceptions and biases.
Projects in Development:
1) Barjis (2020) currently in pre-production, principle shoot April 2020.
2) Fight or Flight: Winning short script of Le GREC (Cinematographic Film Essays Research Group) Writing Residency Program in Corsica, France, October 2020.
My Previous Work: Farawla (2017)
Muhannad Halawani: Producer/Story by.
Muhannad Halawani is a film/ TV producer from Jerusalem. He has 12 years experience working TV series, fictional and documentary films. His most notable work as a Line Producer is the feature film by Tarzan and Arab Nasser’s “Degrade”. His most recent credits include the Russian film “Mountain of Temptation" by Anar Abbasov, the Australian film "Thank you for Bombing" by Barbara Edger, as well as the Science-Fiction production “Last days on Mars” By Ruairi Robinson.
In 2017 Muhannad funded Palestine Film Club, a collective comprised of filmmakers, producers, artists and others dedicated to the production and growth of a homegrown Palestinian film industry.
Through Palestine Film Club Muhannad produced multiple projects, most notably The Storm(2019) the very first Palestinian-Polish Co-production directed by Muhammed Almughanni for the National Film School in Lodz, Poland.
Ashraf Dowani: Director of Photography
Yasmine Khaas: Production Designer
Meet the Cast
Shaden Kanboura is an independent actress and an acting instructor, born and raised in Haifa. She studied acting at Haifa University 2008-2012 and co-founded the Khashabi Ensemble and Theatre. Kanboura participated in several theatre and cinema projects locally and internationally. She also won the Ophir Award in 2018 for her role in In Between as Best Actress.
Allocation of Funds:
The film will be produced completely independently through your financial aid and in-kind contributions.
The team currently needs to raise 17,350USD to help pay for the crew, cast, production and post production costs.
The money we need to raise will help us cover the cost of:
- Principal Shoot Expenses
- Post Production Expenses.
LET'S MAKE A GOOD FILM!