2019 Film Festival

The 2019 Festival has now ended, if you missed it, we were pleased that Leeds Councillor Al Garthwaite opened our fifth Leeds Palestinian Film Festival at Hyde Park Picture House on 18 November.  Renowned director Elia Sulieman’s 2019 film ‘It Must be Heaven’ was shown in collaboration with Leeds International Film Festival as part of their Official Selection.


Yet again, we had an array of diverse films, both documentaries and feature films and and we worked again in collaboration with partners, Otley Film Society, LIFF, Films at Heart and Screen Seven.  We also forged new collaborations this year with Beckett for PalestineLeeds Pax Christi and Leeds Justice and Peace Commission.  We screened mainly new releases with the exception of ‘Jeremy Hardy v The Israeli Army’, in recognition of the late Jeremy Hardy’s campaign work in Palestine.

We covered subjects ranging from the advocacy of an Israeli human rights lawyer to a Palestinian psychiatrist’s examination of the psychological strategies of the Israeli occupation. We also screened ‘Gaza’, a beautiful and enlightening film about everyday life in the Gaza strip and ‘Soufra’, an inspirational film about a team of women in the Burl El Barajneh refugee camp, Lebanon, who set up their own social enterprise catering company.  We had great discussions after our films, with Sir David Hare joining us at the screening of his stunning animated documentary ‘Wall’ that follows his journey to Palestine/Israel.

We attracted new audiences with just under 900 people attending this year’s festival.  We were really sorry that we had to turn away people at our last screening, but we tried to make amends showed an extra, free screening of ‘Wall’ in January 2020.

  • Monday 18th November, 2019

    It Must Be Heaven
    Time: 8:30 pm
    Venue: Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd, LS6 1JD

    Filmmaker Elia Suleiman travels to different cities and finds unexpected parallels to his homeland of Palestine.

  • Wednesday 20th November, 2019

    It Must Be Heaven
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Venue: Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd, LS6 1JD
  • Friday 22nd November, 2019

    Voices Across the Divide
    Time: 5:15 pm
    Venue: Wheeler Hall, at the back of St. Anne’s Cathedral,  LS2 8BE

    The personal journey of an American Jew raised on the dream of a Jewish homeland in Israel, as she explores the Palestinian experience of loss, occupation, statelessness, and immigration to the US.

  • Monday 25th November, 2019

    Time: 8:00 pm
    Venue: Seven Artspace, 31A Harrogate Rd, LS7 3PD

    A compelling animated documentary that follows Sir David Hare’s journey to Palestine/Israel. David Hare will join us for a Q & A.

  • Wednesday 27th November, 2019

    Jeremy Hardy v The Israeli Army
    Time: 7:45 pm
    Venue: Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, LS21 3AN

    Stand-up comedian Jeremy Hardy travels to the occupied West Bank and experiences the brutality of the Israeli military.

  • Sunday 1st December, 2019

    Time: 5:30 pm
    Venue: Pyramid Theatre, Leeds University Union, 2 Lifton Place, LS2 9JZ

    A documentary portrait of Israeli human rights lawyer, Leah Tsemel, that gets absorbingly up close as it highlights her perspective that the Israeli legal system is ‘rigged’ against Palestinians she defends.

  • Tuesday 3rd December, 2019

    Time: 6:15 pm
    Venue: Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd, LS6 1JD

    Just released and beautifully shot, this film captures how ordinary people find meaning behind the conflict in this small strip of land that borders the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Wednesday 4th December, 2019

    Beyond the frontlines
    Time: 6:00 pm
    Venue: Rosebowl, Leeds Beckett University, Portland Way, Leeds LS1 3HB

    A documentary that takes us on a journey both within our own minds and on the roads of Palestine, led by Palestinian psychiatrist and writer Dr. Samah Jabr.

  • Friday 6th December, 2019

    Soufra: Film & Food Night
    Time: 7:00 pm
    Venue: Woodhouse Community Centre, 197 Woodhouse Street, LS6 2NY

    Against all odds, Mariam Shaar built a food truck catering business from the confines of a refugee camp in Lebanon, supported and run by Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese women.

  • Tuesday 10th December, 2019

    In Between
    Time: 8:00 pm
    Venue: Heart, Bennett Road, LS6 3HN

    Three Palestinian women share a flat in Tel Aviv, each fighting their own battles to free themselves from the rule-bound Arab world and the inequality of Israeli society.