VIBES – “A Walled Citizen” by Samir Qumsiyeh

Jerusalem24 – A walled citizen – an honest documentary about a filmmaker’s travels across the world to demonstrate the contrasts between life in Palestine and the rest of the world in order to defy the restrictions on movement imposed on Palestinian passport holders. On this episode, Samir Qumsiyeh joined us to speak about his experience making this film, his inspiration for it, and the hurdles he had along the way. Qumsiyeh used his passion for travel and filmmaking to give the rest of the world a better understanding of the difficult daily life that Palestinians face. Finding the essence of the film and trying to fit it into a two-hour documentary was the most difficult element for Qumsiyeh, and the documentary was made much more difficult due to a lack of funding, resources, and a Palestinian film industry. The documentary was screened at about 20 worldwide festivals as a one-man show and received two awards. Qumsiyeh attributed his achievement to the unofficial team that aided him along the journey, which included friends, relatives, and random people he met on the road who assisted him with translation, editing, and intellectual feedback. Qumsiyeh expresses his dissatisfaction with Palestine’s lack of a movie industry, which compels brilliant filmmakers to look for work and resources elsewhere. He encourages filmmakers to be more innovative and develop their own resources in order to pursue their passion and promote Palestinian filmmaking. We also discussed his future goals and his present plans to create a 10-episode web series highlighting Palestine’s alternative life — music, culture, art, food, and so on. We’re excited to see what Samir Qumsiyeh has in store for us, and you should be too!

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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