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Odeh: ‘I traveled the world with my film and I missed its premiere in Jerusalem’

15 kilometers between Ramallah and Jerusalem, prevented Producer and Director Mai Odeh from being at the screening of her film in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem24 – “200 meters” is a film that simulates the realities of the daily life suffering of Palestinians, focusing not only on the suffering caused by murder, Judaization, and the loss of souls and lands. But a distance of 200 meters that may separate families and isolate homes from their residents. This Palestinian family has also been separated and divided on two sides of the Apartheid Wall, making a journey of two hundred meters into two hundred kilometers.

A true personal story, directed by Amin Nayfeh, who decided to turn his own story into a feature film that has traveled around the world and won many awards. The Palestinian film “200 meters”, directed by Amin Nayfeh, won the award for best feature film within the activities of the first edition of the “Jerusalem Festival for Arab Cinema”, which ended last Monday. The film won a number of awards, including the Audience Award at the last Venice Festival and five other awards at El Gouna Film Festival.

I was deprived of seeing the reaction of the Palestinian public to my film, and screening the film in Jerusalem is the most important to me.”

Producer and director Mai Odeh, whose first feature film is this film, was not able to be present in the screening of her film in Jerusalem, which is the film’s first screening in Palestine, although she traveled the world with her film and presented it in the most important and prominent festivals of the world in Italy, Egypt, Greece, Korea and Spain, but the distance of 15 kilometers between Ramallah and Jerusalem, stood still in front of her presence at the screening of her film in Jerusalem.

May Odeh was not able to be present due to her inability to obtain a permit to visit Jerusalem, as she is a resident of the occupied West Bank, like other Palestinians who suffer daily from Israeli restrictions on movement between Palestinian cities, which would distort the lives of Palestinians on a daily basis, even in the simplest things such as going for work, university, or even the screening of your own movie at a festival.

May Odeh told Jerusalem24: “Filming between the checkpoints, on the roads, and next to the apartheid wall in itself is a great difficulty and it requires boldness.”

Ola Al-Sheikh, a film critic and a member of the jury at the Jerusalem Festival of Arab Cinema expressed her happiness with her participation in this festival and with names such as Anisa Daoud and Ely Dagher, despite her presence online due to the pandemic, but she described her participation in this festival as special and different from any other because of its connection with Palestine.

“Very happy with my participation and very proud that “200 meters” was the opening film at the festival. It is a wonderful film that won many international awards and it was necessary to show this film to the Palestinian audience.”

Ola Al-Sheikh praised the role of actor Ali Suleiman and his distinguished acting performance, which gave great energy to the film, adding: “The film 200 meters deserves these awards and deserves appreciation and is an important step in filmmaking and the Palestinian presence in it.”

Mona Hijjawi

Editor/Presenter Graduated from The Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Cairo, BA in Translation and Mass Communication. Currently Ramallah based Journalist and presenter at Jerusalem24.

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