The Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival (DCIFF) opens up a new opportunity for local, national and international independent filmmakers to compete in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Olive Harvest News

On March 23, 2004, Amnesty International hosted a screening of The Olive Harvest at the MGM Century City Theater in Hollywood, California. The event was emceed by famed actor Danny DeVito and sponsored by the William Morris Agency.

NPR - (Morning Edition audio)
The Olive Harvest drew acclaim as the runner-up at the San Francisco Film Festival, and recently made its Middle East debut. Two brothers, one a former Palestinian political prisoner who sees no future in violence, and the other a low-level official who fights Israeli settlements, fall in love with the same woman. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports. More...

The award winning film The Olive Harvest by California-based Palestinian film director Hanna Elias has received a mixed reception at a screening in the West Bank where the love story is set. The town of Ramallah may be best known for the ruined headquarters of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

There are places and people that we learn about only from the news. The case of the Palestinians, constantly followed by the press, proves with no doubt how and how much you can talk about people without almost never saying anything of how they actually live. It is like if beyond the conflict those people do not exist. And if films can be an effective way to show the other side of reality, it often happens that all the films about Palestinians leave the conflict at the centre of the scene and push on the side, in the shadow, the “rest”. This scheme has been overturned by Hanna Elias, a Palestinian film director, with his first film The Olive Harvest.

The strength of the fest remains its showcase of new foreign films, dramatic and documentary alike. Much of the program had the urgency of a human rights festival, with Palestinian activists leafleting inside the Kabuki Theater before the world premiere of The Olive Harvest. Hanna Elias' DV-shot debut sets up a melodramatic love triangle that threatens to uproot village traditions faster than the Israeli settlements closing in on its olive groves.

46th SF International Film Festival
Palestinian Hanna Elias’s first feature snares its intimate cast of characters in a tightening web of emotional obligations—to family, self and country—with a classical economy of storytelling and an eye for dramatic conflict. Mazen has just been released from


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