This year’s Palestinian Film Festival will be the biggest yet with 11 films coming to Leeds, many for the first time between 13 November and 9 December.

Showing at eight different venues in and around Leeds ranging from the Town Hall to the Old Fire Station in Gipton, and from Otley to Wakefield, the Festival films highlight Palestinian history and politics but many will appeal to a wide audience, offering insights into unexpected aspects of everyday life: women footballers, surfers in Gaza, entering the Arab ‘X-factor’, moving a sofa, and stirring stories of resistance.

Many events are ‘pay-as-you-feel’ and so accessible to people on low incomes. At three events you can meet and talk to people who have visited Palestine and made films of what they’ve seen and at many events, Palestinian produce such as dates, olive oil, embroidery, ceramics will be on sale, making excellent gifts.

Women from the Leeds Republica football team who visited women footballers in the West Bank will be at the festival to discuss ‘Balls, Bulldozers and Barriers’, the film of their visit.

The festival launches with Gaza Surf Club (also part of the Leeds International Film Festival)

Despite strict sanctions, surfboards have been brought into Gaza offering a beleaguered community a small slice of freedom

Other highlights include:

Firefighters Under Occupation

“Our first enemy is the occupation – our second enemy is the fire”

The film-maker – a South Wales firefighter who travelled with a delegation of UK firefighters to the West Bank – will attend the showing, which is being held at the newly converted ‘Old Fire Station’ in Gipton.

The Occupation of the American Mind

“One of the most compelling and important documentaries in recent years” (John Pilger)

Narrated by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, explores Israel’s battle for the hearts, minds and dollars of Americans.

After the film Jewish Labour Party activist and former Reuters journalist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi will discuss how and why a moral panic about ‘antisemitism’ has taken hold in the UK.

The Idol (with Otley Film Society)

A true, gripping and heart-warming story of a young man from Gaza who dreams of singing. Overcoming many challenges, he enters the Arab ‘X-factor’ – with a nail-biting finish.

For the full programme see




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