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Encyclopedia of Arab Women Filmakers$

Rebecca Hillauer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789774249433

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774249433.001.0001

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Other Filmmakers

Other Filmmakers

(p.421) Other Filmmakers
Encyclopedia of Arab Women Filmakers

Rebecca Hillauer

American University in Cairo Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a list of other woman filmmakers not included in the previous chapters. The list includes a brief description of women filmmakers from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen. In Egypt, most of the directors listed here graduated from the Higher Film Institute in Cairo and have made documentaries or short films.

Keywords:   Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Yemen, woman filmmakers, Cairo



NA Exil à domicile (Exile at Residence), video, 52 min A documentary about Algeria, produced by the France2 television station.


Djamila Amzal, actor and director, studied civil engineering in Algiers and lives in Italy

2004 Le tuteur de Madame la Ministre (Madam Minister's Guardian), beta SP, 26 min After brilliantly completing her university degree, Lila becomes a government minister. She refuses to get married even after becoming pregnant because she would have to go through the humiliating procedure of obtaining her male legal guardian's permission, as is required by family law in Algeria.


1978 Taqrir al-masir (Self-Determination), NA (Award winner at (p.422) Palestinian Film Festival in Baghdad 1978) Film collage using archival material about the the national liberation struggles in Africa and the Arab world.


Farida Belghoul studied business management in Paris and has made two short films.

1980 C'est Madame la France que tu préfères? (You Prefer Madame France?), video, 40 min Samira wants to escape the watchful eye of her family. She pretends to be studying in Grenoble, but in fact she moved to a different district in Paris.

1984 Le départ du père (Father's Departure), video, 41 min An Algerian emigrant in Paris returns to his native village. His daughter accompanies him and tries to convince him to return to France.


2003 Beladi/Du côté de chez soi/Where Home Is, doc, 54 min


Fejria Deliba, an Algerian born in Tunis, studied dramatic arts and has worked as an actress.

1993 Le petit chat est mort (The Little Cat is Dead), 35 mm, 11 min A small poetic comedy about a young actress who is rehearsing a new role.


Mila Guerra was born in France.

1992 Merci Monsieur Monnet (Thank You, Mr. Monnet), 35 mm, 13 min A short film about the unifying element of music. A North African gardener and his boss's daughter come together through music.


1978 Nous avons parlé avec (We Have Talked With), NA

2004 Lucioles/Fireflies, 33 min Documentation of a social survey commissioned by the Algerian National (p.423) Office for Commerce and Cinema.


After several years with the Algerian National Cinema Office (ONCIC), Mina Kassar works as a scriptwriter for Canal Algérie, the second channel of Algerian-Francophone television.

2003 ‘Alam al-samt/La douleur du silence (The Pain of Silence), beta SP, 26 min


Faika Medjahed studied medicine and has made documentaries for Algerian television.

1992 Women at War (for Algerian television and Channel Four) Documentary film about women in Algeria, of different ages and social backgrounds, who join together to fight a family law that reduces women to minors.


2000 al-Darb al-bati'/La voie lente/The Way Out, fiction, 35 mm, 37 min


Babeth Si Ramdane works mainly as a film editor in Paris.

1995 Anita Conti, la femme océan (Anita Conti, th Ocean Woman), video, 26 min

1997 Ventura dit Lino (a portrait of Lino Ventura), for ARTE, 90 min

2000 Dernières nouvelles des étoiles (a portrait of Serge Gainsbourg), 90 min


2001 al-Tariq al-mukhtasar/Chemin de traverse/Shortcut, 35 mm, fiction, 22 min


Yasmina Yahiaoui studied journalism before turning to film. Prior to her feature debut, she directed several documentaries on immigration.

1989 Voilée-dévoilée (Veiled, Unveiled), doc, NA

2003 À force, à force, y'en a marre! (In the End, It's Unbearable), doc, NA

2004 Rue des figuiers/Where the Fig Trees Grow, 35 mm, fic, 81min A tragicomedy set in (p.424) Toulon. In Marfouz's hairdresser's in Toulon, in the south of France, Maghrebi women immigrants of the quarter meet. A romance develops between one of the women, Djamila, and Marfouz—until he gives in to his parents' urging to get himself a veiled woman from the old homeland.


1995 Suwar rahil/Photos de voyage (Photos of a Journey), fiction, beta, 6 min

1996 Leçon de choses (Lesson of Things), 14 min

1997 La maison de Roy Adzak (Roy Adzak's House), 5 min


Unless otherwise noted, all the directors listed below graduated from the Higher Film Institute in Cairo and have made documentaries or short films.


Ferial Abbas completed her studies in art in 1968. She has made numerous documentary films.

1990 al-‘Uqda (The Knot), NA

1991 Salata (Salad), NA

1992 Sawa sawa (Together), NA


2004 Taxi, mini dv, 51 min Samiha, a female cab driver in Cairo, tries to earn a living in a stereotypically male occupation.


After studying literature at the American University in Cairo in 1961, Laila Abu Seif went to the United States where she received her master's degree and her Ph.D. After returning to Egypt in 1971, she was an instructor in the Academy of Arts in Cairo.

1978 Ayna hayati? (Where is My Life?) 16 mm, 80 min A documentary about the struggle of Egyptian women against an obsolete family law and the most significant women's rights activists of several generations: Siza Nabrawi, Aziza Hussein, Moufida Abdel Rahman, the painter Indji Aflatun, and Hoda Shaarawi.


Kamla Abu Zikri who graduated from the Cairo Higher Film Institute in 1994 worked as assistant director with numerous fiction films.

1998 Qitar al-sa‘a sitta (Six O'clock Train), 35 mm, 19 min A contemplative short film about an old man who spends an entire night waiting at a train station for his son to arrive.

1998 Malik wi kitaba (Head and Tail), NA

2003 Nadhara li-l-sama (A Glimpse at the Sky), beta, 10 min

2003 Sana ula nasb (First Year Swindlers), 35 mm, long fiction


1967 Hilm laylat sayf (Summer Night's Dream)

1983 Fannan al-khurda Salah Abd el-Karim (The Recycling Artist Salah Abdel Karim), 35 mm, 13 min


2000 Lawn al-bahr (The Color of the Sea), 35 mm, 8 min


Taghreed Al Asfouri studied art until 1977 and then transferred to the Higher Film Institute, where she gratuated in 1992. She then became a director for Nile TV.

1988 Ilaykum halat al-taqs (Now the Weather Forecast), NA

1992 Qabl al-awan (Before Time), 35 mm, 8 min

1994 Min al-dhakira (From Memory), 35 mm, 10 min

1996 ‘Ashiq al-sinima (The Cinema Lover), video

1997 ‘Ashiq al-riyada (The Sports Lover), video

NA Khamas ayam fi Qana (Five Days in Qana), beta, 22 min


Alia El Bialy received her BA in English literature at Cairo University in 1963 and her master's degree from the Adham Center for TV Journalism in 1990, followed by a camera training course at the American University in Cairo. She has produced and directed art videos and made several documentaries for Nile TV.

1999 Katibat masriyat/Portraits: Egyptian (p.426) Women Writers beta SP, 54 min

2001 Love (video backdrop for dance performance), VHS, 10 min

2003 Yawm fi bansyun bil-Qahira/Un jour à la pension Maffet Astoria au Caire (One Day at the Maffet Astoria Pension in Cairo), beta SP, 16 min


Samah Gaber graduated in 1994 first in her class at the Higher Film Institute in Cairo.

1994 Tahawala liyakun (Changed to Be), NA (Jury Prize at the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films, Egypt)

1994 Mayinfa'sh itnayn (Two Do Not Go Together), animation, NA


Mona Gamal Al Din was born on December 25, 1950. She graduated from Cairo's Higher Film Institute in 1971 and has shot numerous documentary films.

1984 Mulid al-Sayyida Nafisa (The Feast of Saint Nafisa), 35 mm, 10 min

1984 Zakharif huwa (Ornaments), 35 mm, 20 min

1988 al-Alat al-musiqiya (The Musical Instruments), 35 mm, 25 min

1990 al-Fannan Nagi (The Artist Nagy), 35 mm


Nahed Ghali went to secondary school in Paris, where she also studied social sciences and film. Since 1989 she has worked as an assistant director for Egyptian feature films.

1990 ‘Id (Feast), 35 mm

1992 Fantazya (Fantasia), 35 mm (First Prize at the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films, Egypt)

1993 al-Nas wa-l-ful (People and Beans), 35 mm, 10 min (First Prize at the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films, Egypt) Fava beans are cheap and a national meal in Egypt. This films shows how meals come to be. From manufacturing special pots and delivering bread to the (p.427) selling of sandwiches to a street vendor in the Old Town of Cairo.

1998 Agras al-rabi‘a (Bells of Spring), 35 mm


Tania Kamal El Din has an Egyptian father and American mother. She is an independent filmmaker, videographer, and a writer and lecturer at the University of California in San Diego.

1995 Covered: The Hijab in Cairo, Egypt, video,25 min Just over a decade ago it was hard to find women on the streets of Cairo who were veiled. The film examines the reasons why wearing a veil has gained popularity.

1999 Hollywood Harems, video, 24 min The film explores stereotypes of Middle Easterners with a focus on women's roles in Hollywood movies.

2001 Cairo Chronicles, video, 28 min The death of the filmmaker's father compels her to return to her father's native Egypt to document the images of the Cairo of her childhood and the realities of today.


Iman Kamel studied German Studies at the University of Cairo and has been living in Berlin since 1987, where she completed an interdisciplinary program in the department of fine art, theater, and film. She has written numerous essays.

1995 Noara, beta, 8 min

1996 Khadija, 16 mm, 6 min Khadija, a young Egyptian woman, survives in Germany doing odd jobs. She tells her mother in Cairo her dreams as if they were reality.

2002 Hologram, beta SP,10 min

2004 Nachiket (name of a village school in northern India), beta SP, 40 min


Nadine Khan was born in 1981. She has made numerous short documentary films.

2001 Rưya/Vision, fiction, 35 mm, 10 min


Marianne Khoury, born in 1958 in Cairo, studied economics and politcs at the American University in Cairo, and in 1982 received her master's degree in economics from Oxford University. The niece of filmmaker Youssef Chahine, Khoury is a filmmaker and producer and cooperates with Chahine's production company, Misr Film International in Cairo.

1999 Zaman Laura/Le temps de Laura (The Time of Laura), doc, video, 36 min

2002 ‘Ashiqat al-sinima/Les passionnées du cinéma/ Women Who Loved Cinema, doc, beta SP,2 x 58 min Documentary film about the pioneering women in film in the 1920s and 1930sin Egypt.


Born in 1973, Hala Lotfi has made several documentary and short films since 1999.

1998 Brova, doc, beta, 17 min

1999 Quatre scènes (Four Scenes), doc, beta, 10 min

1999 Prière de pas attendre(No Waiting, Please), fiction, 35 mm, 8 min

1999 Suwar min al-ma'wa al-turab/Images ďeau et de terre/Images of Water and Earth, doc, beta SP, 20 min (Special Prize at the 2002 Rotterdam Festival for Arab Films)

2001 Cartes de voeux, NA

2005 ‘An al-Shu‘ur bi-lburuda/ Feeling Cold,52 min (Best long documentary, GoldenHawk, at Arab Film Festival, Rotterdam)


2004 Inharda hosan/Today … A Horse, 10 min


Maha al-Meshri worked as an assistant director after completing her studies. She wrote her doctoral dissertation in 1991 on the Egyptian director Kamal Al Sheikh.

1971 Mirham, NA


Rahma al-Meshri, daughter of film pioneer Anwar Al Meshri, has worked as an assistant director for television.

1985 al-‘Ahd (The Oath), NA

1987 Baba fi-l mishmish (p.429) (Papa Is Not There), a TV series, NA


Tamader Nagib graduated from Cairo's Higher Film Institute in 1969 with a degree in film editing. She wrote her doctoral dissertation in 1990. She has made numerous films about the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf War. She has also taught film editing at the Higher Film Institute in Cairo.


2003 Control Room, 83 min


Karima Othman studied literature and graduated in 1965. She has made numerous documentary films for cinema and television.

1987 Sukar ma'qud (Sugar Cube), 35 mm, 20 min


Nemat Rushdi has worked as an assistant director for television in Cairo. She directed a number of feature films, all of which were distributed only in video.

1990 Sira‘ al-zawgat (Battle of the Wives), 35 mm, NA


Maha Salah Aram studied film editing and graduated from the Higher Film Institute in Cairo in1982. She has made a number of documentary films:

NA Muhimma fi muntasaf al-layl (A Mission in the Middle of the Night), NA

NA Marbat al-faras(The Reins), NA

NA Muwazza‘ al-barid(The Postman), NA

NA Haram li-l-igar(A Pyramid for Rent), NA


Born on September 23, 1946 in Cairo, Nadia Salim completed her studies at Cairo's Higher Film Institute in 1979 and later worked as a director for the Egyptian Film Center. After her film examining the Zar cult, which is widespread in Egypt, however, she did not receive shooting permits for years.

1982 al-Tifl al-shaqyan(The Child Who Works Much), 15 min

1985 Sahib al-idara bawwab al-‘imara (Mr. Caretaker Has the Say), 90 min

1988 al-Ginn al-ahmar/The Red Demons, 35 min

1990 Zar (Possessed), 45 min

(p.430) 1992 Sur Misr al-‘azim (The Great Wall of Egypt), NA


Hana Al Sawi studied scriptwriting at Cairo's Higher Film Institute and graduated in 1971. She worked as an assistant director and has written numerous scripts for cinema and television.

1977 al-‘Ud (The Lute), NA

1978 al-Masbaha (The Rosary), NA

1979 al-‘Umla wa-l-nuqud(Currency and Cash), NA


2002 Layla (A Night), 35 mm,30 min


2004 La maison des Saoud(The House of Saoud),103 min


2004 Inta ‘arif Leih?/Do You Know Why?, NA

Mayada is torn between strict religious and cultural taboos on the one hand, and a media that promotes the female body as a brand, on the other.



Originally a singer, Sita Aqobian became a director for Baghdad Television and now works for the Al Jazeera satellite television station in Qatar.


Khadija Mandil was an assistant director for Iraqi and Jordanian productions. She presently lives in Amsterdam.


Trained as a theater director, Rohak Shawki presently works for the MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Corporation)television station in London.


Radhia Al Timimi has made an animated film.



2000 al-Zanzun/Zanzoun, beta SP, 21 min Divorced, and suffering from multiple scleros is, twenty-three-year-old Zeina is fighting for her (p.431) life while hiding her suffering with humor, hope, and ambition.


Lamia Abu Haidar made a short film together with Maria Ousseimi.

1992 Enfance perdue/ Childhood Lost, 16 mm, 40 min


Rana Alamuddin studied audio-visual media and graduated with honors. She worked as a journalist for The Beirut Times.

1998 Boys first … Ladies after, NA

1999 Murur al-kiram, NA A young woman strolls down the street and fantasizes about the lives of the people around her.


2000 Remembrance, beta, 37 min The film explores the circumstances of the nakba (catastrophe) in Palestine in 1948.


1995 Risala min Nabil/La lettre de Nabil (Letter from Nabil), 35 mm, 21 min


1997 Sarkha (Scream), fiction, video, 18 min


Maria Chakhtoura is a journalist. She has made a short film and lives in Beirut.


2002 al-Kursi/La chaise/ The Chair, 16 mm, 22 min Nader and Samer inadvertently damage the chair of their deceased brother while playing basketball. Afraid they'll suffer their mother's wrath if she sees it, they throw the chair away, but try to retrieve it once their guilty conscience gets the better of them. But it is gone! A film about life in the streets of Beirut.


Born in Beirut in 1959, Christine Dabague studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1983 she moved to New York where she studied film. She has directed and (p.432) produced short films, organized performances, and published two short stories. She lives in Beirut and New York.

1990 Bernt Naber, the Artist at Work/ Ľactrice en devenir, video, NA

1991 Fields, the Anatomy of Morning/ Ľanatomie du deuil, 16 mm, 15 min

1993 The First Night/ La première nuit, 16 mm,20 min Pictures of war-torn Beirut and Scheherezade's exotic chambers collide with each other, thereby creating a connection to the present-day Middle East.

1997 Zaynab wa-l nahr/Zeinab et le fleuve (Zeinab and the River), 35 mm, 80 min Zeinab, traumatized by the assassination of her only son, starts off a journey on foot in an attempt to liberate herself from this terrible memory.


2000 Casting, video, 13 min


Rana Eid studied audio-visual media in Beirut and has made two short films.

1998 Kamal Joumblatt, about a Druze leader, NA

1999 Lettre à un ami palestinien (Letter to a Palestinian Friend), NA While a college student is writing a letter to a Palestinian friend she thinks back to her visit to the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon.


2000 Fustan al- ‘arus/La robe de mariée/The Wedding Dress, fiction, 16 mm,15 min

2001 ‘Ala-l-khatt al-akhdar/ Sur la ligne verte(On the Green Line), NA


1998 al-Huriya/La Sirène/The Siren, beta SP, 18 min Seventeen-year-old Nadia dreams of seeing the sea one day. She wants to escape her father, who intends to arrange a marriage for her against her will.


Samira Gloor-Fadel, born in 1956 in Beirut, has studied film at INSAS in Brussels and worked as a freelance journalist for al-Mustaqbal magazine. She presently lives in Switzerland.

1997 Berlin cinéma, 35 mm, 105 min A conversation with the German filmmaker Wim Wenders and excerpts from black-and-white documentary films are montaged to create a picture of the city of Berlin.


Maha Haddad studied audio-visual media in Beirut. She heads the A/V department of a school.

1998 thouryeB/TurieB (‘Beirut’ spelled backward) (Award at the International Beirut Film Festival) A bold, poetic film that reflects on the situation of young women in Middle-Eastern society.

2002 Je vais bien, et toi? (I'm Well, What About You?), fiction, 16 mm, 24 min


Moutiaa Halabi is an assistant director for Lebanese television.


Amal Harb was born in 1976 in Beirut, where she later studied at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). She has made several short films.

1997 Le temps (The Time), video, 3 min

1998 Le mur (The Wall), based on a novel by Jean-Paul Sartre, video, 12 min

1999 The Other Self, beta SP, silent film, 17 min (Best Camera Award at the 1999 Beirut Film Festival) A silent film with background music about a thirty-year-old man with a mysterious dual identity. Confronted with the loneliness of his everyday life he tries to escape the demands of modern times.


2003 Beit Bayyi/La maison de mon père/My Father's House, 21 min


1995 Ghasil raqm 10452 (Wash (p.434) No. 10452), fiction, beta, 13 min


Tania El Khoury completed her studies in audio-visual media in 1999 in Beirut.

1999 Yasmina, fiction, 8 min Eighteen-year-old Yasmina wants to run away from home because she constantly has to wait on her brother, the ‘man of the house.’

2002 Abdo, doc, beta SP, 25 min (co-director)


Nadine Labaki completed her film studies in Beirut in 1997. She has made a few short films:

1996 11, Shari' Bastoor/11, Rue Pasteur (11 Pasteur Street), video, 12 min (Best Short Film at the 1997 Beirut Film Festival)

It isn't a sin to look out the window and make nasty remarks about the neighbors. But does that still apply when the observer is a sniper who looks through a telescope sight in search of a victim? A satirical version of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.


Myrna Maakaron, born in 1974, studied directing at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut, and acting at the University Paris III—Sorbonne. She has appeared on stage and in films (by Jocelyne Saab and Randa Chahal-Sabbag, among others). She has been living in Germany since 2002.

1995 Une rencontre (An Encounter), 16 mm, 6 min

1996 Conte ďadulte (Tales of Adults or: Yasmina), 16 mm, 14 min

1997 Confusion, 16 mm, 10 min

2001 Kleiner Spatz (Little Sparrow), video clip on mini dv, 4 min

2003 28, mini dv, 1 min

2003 BerlinBeirut, doc, beta SP, 23 min (Received several awards, including the Berlin Today Award at the Talent Campus of the Berlin International Film Festival 2004)


2002 100% asphalt (100% Asphalt), doc, beta SP, 26 min (Best Short Documentary at the Biennial of Arab (p.435) Cinema in Paris) About homeless children in Cairo “who no longer are children.” Living on the street and exposed to drugs and violence, they are lonely and always looking for an escape.


2002 Who Hangs the Laundry? Washing, War and Electricity in Beirut, beta SP, 20 min, co-directed with Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdottir (Iceland)


Nadine Naous lives in Paris and makes experimental video short films. She was an assistant director and actress, writes screenplays and film reviews, and also makes art installations.


2001 Malaika, video, 16 min


1992 Enfance perdue (Childhood Lost), fiction, 16 mm, 40 min (co-director with Lamia Abu Haidar)


1995 Abrahunna/À travers elles (Through Them), fiction, 35 mm, 10 min (co-director)


Eliane Raheb is a founding member of Development Cinema in Beirut.

1995 al-Ard al-akhir/La dernière séance (The Last Seance), fiction, 16 mm, 11 min

1996 Liqa'/Rencontre (Encounter), fiction, beta SP, 28 min

2001 Qarib wa ba‘id/Si proche si loin (So Near Yet So Far), doc, beta SP, 58 min The film recounts how in October 2000 Mohammed al Durra, an innocent child, was shot by the Israeli occupation forces while in the arms of his father. The boy's death had a strong impact on millions of people in the Arab world, especially children.


2003 I Love This, video, 13 min A whimsical account of a girl's awkward but (p.436) delightful transition to becoming a young woman.


Rima Samman was born in 1966. After studying orthopedics and sociolinguistics in Marseilles, she worked as an assistant director and production assistant.

1998 Libna qishta (Milk and Cream), fiction, 35 mm, 11 min Nora is a lively girl. She is never where you expect her to be.

2002 Carla, fic, 35 mm, 19 min


Rania Stephan was born in 1960 in Beirut. Before moving to Los Angeles to work as a sound and editing assistant, she worked as a sound technician in Melbourne, Australia and in a video cooperative in Paris. She has made some documentary films and video clips. She was first assistant director to Simone Bitton for her documentary, Wall (2004).

1985 Ya layl, ya ‘ayn, an Arabic expression,219 video, 10 min

1986 Le miracle de la Manekine (The Wonder of Manekine), video, 24 min

1986 Oh! Souffle de la brise (Oh! A Soft Breeze), video, 5 min

1991 Adonis, video, 26 min

1992 al-Qabila/La tribu (The Tribe), art video, 9 min

1993 Phèdre(s) (Phadras), hi 8, 3 min

1995 Muhawalat ghira/ Tentative de jalousie (An Attempt at Jealousy), beta SP, 24 min

1997 Ba'l wa-l-mawt/Baal et la mort (Baal and the Death), beta SP, 26 min

1999 Wayn al-sikka?/Trains-Trains, Où est la voie? (Train-Trains), beta SP, 33 min In 1896 the French laid the first railway in Lebanon, connecting Beirut and Damascus. This connection is no longer in use. This documentary film shows the villages along the former railroad and the people who live in the out-of-service train stations. A special editing technique made it possible to create an unusual image of Lebanon after the war.


1994 al-Hamama (The Pigeon), fiction, beta SP, 15 min


2000 al-Mulaqqin/Le souffleur (The Prompter), doc, 17 min

2001 Ila man yahummuhu al-amr/A qui de droit/To Whom It May Concern, b&w, fiction, beta SP, 17 min


Nadine Touma studied in the United States and has made a video short film.



Touda Bouanani studied art in Bordeaux and has made a short film:

NA Une histoire de pureté (A History of Purity), video, NA First Prize at the 1993 Mohammedia video festival)

1992 Histoire de la poussière (History of the Dust), 3 min

1993 Contes de la énième nuit (Tales of the Umpteenth Night), 3 min


Born in 1962, Souad El Bouhati studied film in Paris and worked as a film editor and assistant director. She co-authored a screenplay for a feature film.

1999 Salam (Peace), 35 mm, 30 min The elderly Ali feels apprehension about dying in France, yet he is just as uncomfortable at the thought of returning to Morocco, which has become foreign to him after having emigrated so many years earlier.


Farida Bourquia was born in 1948 in Casablanca. She studied graphic arts in Moscow until 1973 and today directs documentary films for Moroccan television. The Charcoal was her first full-length film.

1982 al-Jamra/La braise (The Charcoal), 35 mm, 104 min The film takes a look at the repression women are subject to in Arab society.


The Bouziane sisters, Yasmina and Anissa, are New York-based filmmakers of Moroccan and French background whose artistic collaboration extends beyond film into photography, video, and writing.

1993 Ali Baba: Hollywood and Paris at Their Best, video, 12 min A compilation of images taken from early and contemporary Hollywood movies that illustrates how little progress has been made in the representation of the supposed “other.”

1993 Le regard (The Look), video, 12 min The issues a female Arab videographer faces as image-maker, specifically regarding the socioeconomic status of Arab women within contemporary society.

1999 Talking to Stan, fiction, 35 mm, NA


Dalila Ennadre was born in 1966 in Casablanca. She lives in Paris and has made several documentary films.

2001 al-Batalat—nisa' min al-madina/El batalett - femmes de la médina/ Women from the Medina (El Batalett), doc, beta SP, 60 min

2004 Fama … une héroine sans gloire (Fama, a Heroine without Glory), doc, beta SP, 52 min


Born in 1958, Leila Houari lives in Paris as a writer, translator, journalist, director, and actress. One of her works is the award-winning novel Zeida de nulle part (Paris: ĽHarmattan, 1985).

1992 Je n'ai jamais vu de marocaines à vélo (I Have Never Seen a Moroccan on a Bike), video, 26 min This documentary is about the everyday hopes and trials of a group of young Moroccans, members of the Cactus theater group in Brussels.


2002 Tanga, hilm almaghasrin/ Tanger, le rêve des brûleurs/ (p.439) Tangier, the Burners 'Dream, doc, 53 min


Laila Marrakchi was born in 1975 in Casablanca. She lives in Paris.

1996 200 dirham/ 200 Dirhams, fiction, 35 mm, 15 min

2000 Ľhorizon perdu/ Lost Horizon, fiction, 12 min (recipient of several awards including Best Short Film at the Torino Film Festival) Abdel Salam is spending his final hours in Tangier. He is about to abandon his lover and his homeland, trading it for a supposedly better life on the other side of the horizon.

2003 Momo Mambo, fiction, 7 min


Iman Mesbahi has made a number of video short films.

NA Trace sur ľeau (Trace on the Water), NA

NA Une femme dans le tourbillon de la vie (A Woman in the Whirl of Life), NA

NA Une femme mal à ľaise (A Woman Feels Uneasy), NA


1987 Signe particulier: arabe (Special Sign: Arabic), video, 13 min


2001 Chapelet (Rosary), 35 mm, 14 min



Hiam Abbas, born in Nazareth in 1960, turned to acting after studying photography. Among the movies she appeared in are Michel Khleifi's Wedding in Galilee, Rashid Mashrawi's Haifa, as well as Danielle Arbid's Demolition and Raja Amari's The Red Curtain. Abbas has been living in Paris since 1989.

2000 al-Khubz/Le pain/ The Bread, 35 mm, 18 min (Grand Prix at the Mediterranean Film Festival of the City of Montpellier in 2001, Prix de la ville de Digne les Bains on occasion of the Festival de Digne les Bains)

(p.440) 2003 al-Raqisa al-abadiya/ La danse éternelle/ The Eternal Dance, 35mm, 26 min (Procirep Producer Award at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Silver Horse (Mediterranean competition) and Best Actor at Larissa)


2005 Good Morning Qalgilia, doc, dig, 26 min


Ummaya Abu-Hanna was born in 1961 in Haifa, Israel. There she studied English language and literature, psychology, and interior design. After moving to Helsinki in 1981, she studied radio and television journalism and Arabic. As a freelance journalist she has made numerous documentaries for the TV1 television station and has had her own show on Radio Suomi.

1993 My Homeland


Originally from Acre, Alia Arasoughly grew up in Lebanon and lived in the United States. She has curated many film festivals including A Century of Arab Cinema at the Lincoln Center in New York City in 1996 and the first International Women's Film Festival in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus in 2005. She is also a film critic and editor of the book Film Writings from the Arab World. She began filmmaking after moving to Palestine in 1997.

1993 Hayat mumazzaqah/ Torn Living, video, 23 min

2001 Hay mush ‘aisha/This Is Not Living, doc, beta SP, 42 min (Peace Prize and Jury Honorable Mention at the 9th Festival Internazionale Cinema delle Donne, Turin, 2002) The film explores the lives of eight Palestinian women and their struggle to live normal lives amid the degrading drama of war, terror, and military occupation.

2004 Bayn al-ard wal-sama/ Between Heaven and Earth, video, 30 min On the trauma of medical workers during the Intifada

2003 Shahadat milad/ A Testimony of Birth, video, 17 min (p.441) On births given by Palestinian women at Israeli checkpoints

2005 Bidna ntir tayr?! (Are We Supposed to Fly?!), video, 14 min


Suha Arraf is a screenwriter, journalist, and filmmaker living in Jerusalem.

1997 Take My Sister and Give Me Yours, doc

1998 The Gypsy Quarters, doc

1999 End of the Line, doc

2000 Her Story, doc

2000 Obscure Territory, doc

2001 Holy Fire, doc

2001 The Cinder Keepers, doc

2003 I am Palestine, doc, beta SP, 16 min

2003 Ramallah Short Cuts, Summer 2001, 6 min, experiment


2001 Asud/Lions, video, 10 min Ramallah during the second invasion by Israeli troops in April 2002.

2002 Going for a Ride?, video, 15 min Video based on an art installation by Palestinian artist Vera Tamari.

2003 Chamsa wa ‘ashrun kilometer/25 Kilometers, video, 15 min A personal journey through checkpoints starting in Ramallah, aiming to reach the director's home near Bethlehem.

BADR, LAYALY (1957–)

Layaly Badr, the younger sister of Liana Badr (see following entry), was born in 1957 in Jericho. She worked as a children's book author and director for a children's theater in Kuwait. During a television internship in 1986 in East Berlin, she produced video clips for children. In Syria, she also made two musicals and a television series for children, and wrote two film scripts. Badr has been living in Cairo since 1997, where she works for the children's channel of the ART (Arab Radio and Television) satellite broadcasting station.

1985 al-Tariq ila Filastin/ The Way to Palestine, animation, 16 mm, 8 min (Golden Laurel of East German [GDR] television, first prize at the Arab Television Film Festival in Tunis and the youth (p.442) organization in Damascus, Syria).

1993 al-‘Arusa al-bahira/ The Little Bride, video, 30 min (First Prize at the Cairo Children's Film Festival and the Arab Television Film Festival in Tunis; bronze medal presented by the Arab Council for Childhood and Development at the Cairo International Film Festival, 1996)

1994 al-Lughuz/The Riddle, 90 min

1995 A Planet All Our Own, UNICEF musical film for children

1997 The Fairy Tales Keys, a children's film series

BADR, LIANA (1952–)

The older sister of Layaly Badr (see previous entry), Liana Badr was born in 1952 in Jerusalem. She studied philosophy and psychology in Beirut, where she worked as a journalist until Israeli troops invaded in 1982. She then moved to Tunis, where the PLO leadership relocated their headquarters after 1982. After returning to Palestine she was director of the audio-visual department of the Ministry of Culture of the Palestinian Authority. Liana Badr has also written several novels.

1999 Fadwa, sha‘ira min Filastin (Fadwa, Poet of Palestine), beta SP, 52 min

2000 al-Zaytunat (Olive Trees), beta SP, 37 min

2002 al-Tir al-akhdar (The Green Bird), beta SP, 52 min

2003 HISAR Mudhakarat katiba/SIEGE A Writer's Diary, doc, beta SP, 33 min


Born in Jaffa, Maryse Gargour works as a journalist and producer for Radio-Télévision Française in Beirut and for foreign television stations in Paris.

2001 Watan Blansh/ Le pays de Blanche/Blanche's Homeland, beta SP, 28 min


2001 Wakalat safar/Travel Agency, beta SP, 14 min This is an ironic film essay. Some of the footage was shot with a Super 8 camera in Palestine of the 1970s, offering an alternative to (p.443) images shown in the mass media.


Soheir Ismail is a cinematographer and has directed two joint video projects.

1992 Palestinian Diaries, video, 52 min (Second prize at the ĽInstitut du Monde Arabe film festival in Paris, 1993) Three Palestinian camerapeople film their native cities of Gaza, Bethlehem, and Nablus.

1994 Peace Chronicles/ On the Edge of Peace, video, 105 min


Annemarie Jacir, born in Saudia Arabia in 1974, has been living in the United States since she was sixteen. She has studied film at Columbia University in New York where she co-founded the project “Dreams of a Nation” to provide resources for research into Palestinian film- and video-making. She also works with Falafel Daddy Productions, a collective of USA-based Palestinians.

1998 A Post Oslo History, video, experimental, 8 min

2001 Sayyad al-satilayt/ The Satellite Shooters, 16 mm, 16 min The story of the young Palestinian Tawfik, who lives in Texas. A story about assimilation and the experience of immigration, as well as a parody on the macho cowboy style in the West.

2002 Filastin tantazir/ Palestine is Waiting, beta SP, 9 min

2003 Kanhun ‘ashrun mustahil/ Like Twenty Impossibles, 35 mm, 17 min (Winner of several awards including Best Short Film at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, the 7th Biennial of Arab Cinema in Paris, and the 2004 Mannheim Film Festival) When a Palestinian film crew decides to avoid a closed Israeli checkpoint by taking a remote side road, the passengers are slowly torn apart by the mundane brutality of military occupation. A (p.444) film about the politics of filmmaking and the opportunism of artists.


2001 In My Own Skin, (co-director), doc, 16 min


1998 Rưyah (Vision), Beta, 5 min

1999 Sawa Rben (Together We Were Raised), 35 mm, 12 min

1999 Ah ya sitty (Oh, Grandmother) Beta, 5 min

2000 Sabil Sidi Omar, 35mm, 14 min

2001 For Archives Only, dv, 30 min


Born in 1973 in the UK to Irish and Palestinian parents, Rosalind Nashashibi is an experimental filmmaker working predominantly in 16 mm film. She is the recipient of a number of awards and grants, including the prestigious Beck's Futures Award, the first woman to ever win the award.

2000 The State of Things, b/w, 16 mm Images at a Glasgow Salvation Army jumble sale, over an aching soundtrack of a traditional Egyptian love song.

2001 Midwest, experimental, 16 mm

NA Humanjora, experimental, 16 mm

2002 Dahyat al-barid (District of the Post Office), experimental, 16 mm Shot in a West Bank neighborhood, which was designed by the director's architect grandfather in 1956 and is now marooned behind an army checkpoint. Instead of making any overtly political points, the film quietly follows aimless lives, boys playing football, a bored child setting fire to a heap of rubbish.

2003 Blood and Fire, dvd, 6 min.

NA Hreash House, video, NA A day spent in the home of an extended Palestinian family. The film casts a light upon disparate notions of family within cultures.

(p.445) 2005 Eyeballing, NA (filmed during Scottish Arts Council residency in New York)


Born in Cairo, Shirin Salameh moved to Australia with her Palestinian parents when she was three years old. In 1989, she worked as a freelance journalist in Cairo and from 1993 as an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reporter, receiving the United Nations Media Peace Prize for a report on the rape of Bosnian women. Since 1997, Shirin has served as a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal.

2000 Farah fi Ramallah/ A Wedding in Ramallah, beta SP, 90 min Bassam returns from the United States to marry Mariam, whom his family has chosen for him. A film about the difficulties involved in learning to love one another.


Originally from Beit Jala, Jacqueline Salloum lives and works in New York.

2003 Planet of the Arabs, experimental, 8 min

2003 Min Irhabi? (Who's the Terrorist?), experimental/ music video, 4 min


Born in Bethlehem, Sansour lives in London where she works as a journalist and producer.

2002 Global Coverage, doc, 6 min

2003 Jeremy Hardy vs. the Israeli Army, doc, beta SP, 75 min British comedian Jeremy Hardy travels to Palestine in March 2002 just before the invasion of Bethlehem—and finds himself caught up in the events. He returns later to take on the Israeli army.


Born in Nazareth in 1970, Ula Tabari has been living in Paris since 1998. She worked in public relations and as an actress in both theater and film, including Elia Suleiman's Chronicle of a Disappearance.

2002 Khalaqna wa ‘allaqna/ Enquête personnelle (p.446) (Personal Inquiry), beta SP, 90 min


2002 Not Going There, Don't Belong Here, video, 25 min


2001 Bidna na‘ish/Staying Alive, beta SP, 28 min The film follows a group of Palestinian stone throwers home and shows that their radicalization comes not only from Israeli repression, but also home-made problems: the teacher is a heavy-handed despot and the father a gambler.

2004 Madha ba‘d/What Next?, 40 min


2001 Arba‘ aghani li-Filastin/ Four Songs for Palestine, fic, 13 min



2005 Paloma, mini dv, 20 min An experimental video about the phenomenon that in every moment, something is happening somewhere: while we sleep, someone else is dying; a child is hungry in Africa; bombs drop.


2004 Sabah al-khayr (Good Morning), 16 mm, 3 min

2005 The Pot, color, b&w, video, 12 min



Mounira B'Har has made several short films.

1991 Itinéraires (Routes)

1994 Trésor (Treasure), 35 mm, 14 min A short film about two young do-nothings who are searching for a treasure in an abandoned house in Tunis and discover the ‘soul’ of the place.

1999 COUPlouetes, video


Born in 1975 in France, Molka Mahdaoui studied film in Paris and New York and now lives in Paris. She has worked as a film editor and has made a short film:

(p.447) 2000 Khmisa, b&w, 35mm, 14 min A luxurious villa in a noble section of present-day Tunis. A woman in her mid-thirties wants to commit suicide, but then the doorbells rings. …

2003 al-Ruh wa-l-qalb/Ľesprit et le coeur (The Spirit and the Heart)


Zina Modiano was born in 1974. She studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts (École des Beaux Arts). She has directed two plays for the theater and co-directed a short film:

1999 En face/Vis-à-vis, 35 mm, 27 min (co-director) Present-day Tunis: Mémia is twenty with a slight mental disability. She falls in love with her neighbor but is forced to marry someone else.


Fatma Skandarani is a television director and author of a short film.

1988 Médina … ma mémoire (Medina … My Memory), 35 mm, 28 min The Old Town, the medina of Tunis, seen through the eyes of a modern Tunisian girl.


Najwa Tlili was born in southwestern Tunisia. She studied English language and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and was assistant director for international feature and documentary films. She has been living in Montreal, Canada, since 1991. Tlili has written a few screenplays, and a publication on female francophone African filmmakers.

1994 al-Shigara/Héritage (Heritage), fiction, 35 mm, 26 min (“Image de femme” awardwinner at the Vue ďAfrique festival in Montréal) Selma returns to her native village in southwestern Tunisia. She hardly recognizes the place of her childhood; the village makes a dismal impression. Only the songs of her grandmother are able to evoke the memories of the cultural heritage that seemed otherwise irretrievably lost.

1997 Infisal/Rupture, doc, video, 52 min (p.448) Two Tunisian women who received landed immigrant status in Canada through their husbands are threatened with deportation when they get divorced.


2004 Le refuge (The refuge), video, 25 min



Jamila Ali Raja works for state-run television in Sanaa.


Naimi Bachiri lives in Geneva.

1989 Yahudi, ‘arabi, yamani (Jewish, Arab, Yemenite), doc, 52 min Many Jews still live in Yemen today, and they have preserved their thousand-year-old culture. This film leaves tourist attractions behind and sets off to find the segment of the population that lives isolated in the midst of Yemeni society.


(219) Literally, ‘O night, O eye!’