08 June 2010

Cinema Jenin: Coming Soon!

"The Heart of Jenin"

In 2005, Ismael’s 11 year old son Ahmed was shot down by the Israeli army. Despite his grief, Ismael decides to donate his son’s organs to Israeli children thus saving their lives. One and a half years after his decision, Ismael travels through Israel to meet the children he has helped and their families. It is a journey through a territory marked by prejudice.

Cinema Jenin
By definition, a cinema is a place where people gather to view films. In the West Bank town of Jenin, it was the other way round: a film has made hundreds of people gather to bring the vision of a cinema to life. War has closed it more than 20 years ago - we cannot wait for peace to reopen it. Instead: why not try it the other way round again?

Watch the great official trailer about the movie project in high definition here:

The cinema is scheduled to open its doors to the public in August 2010 in a glamorous event. The local team currently involved in the renovation process will act as the core management team. Together with a group of young and old people from Jenin, parts of whom are already receiving technical training, they will be running the cinema. The cinemas programming will be supervised by a board of directors that consists of local dignitaries, Palestinian and international film makers. It is planned to have six screenings along with other activities every day. In each section the audience can vote for the films they liked most. These films will be shown on weekends.

The official ticket price will be 5 NIS (1 EUR). It is hard to estimate the number of daily visitors to the cinema. Yet, the combined offering of screenings and performances inside the cinema and in its open air part as well as the garden with its cafeteria are believed to attract a lot of people also from outside Jenin. The business plan calculations are based upon a conservative minimum of 300 visitors a day, a number which should increase through the offering of additional activities. These will include educational screenings in cooperation with schools and special programs for women to include these important target groups. Film and theatre workshops in cooperation with local and international partners will get more people involved in the cinema. At the same time, the stages of Cinema Jenin will serve as the venues to present all cultural goods created this way, including (short) films, theatre plays, music concerts, etc. as well as for private feats such as weddings. The cultural center that Cinema Jenin is becoming will not only increase Jenins overall attractiveness but also reintegrate the isolated region into an international cultural discourse.

Become a part of this vision: Become a volunteer and/or offer a workshop:
There are many talented and open minded people in Jenin. Help to enable the locals to run this project by themselves, organizing a workshop in your field of expertise. We are looking to qualify people, potentially working for our project. But as we are committed to the idea of sustainabilitiy, we would also like to work with kids not only to increase the skillpool for further activities, but also to offer job opportunities in Jenin.

Currently we are looking for experts to share their knowledge in the fields of:


Let there be Light
To complete our existing team, we need lighting engineers and technicians to help us set up the Cinema lighting, but especially for knowledge transfer: Our goal is to qualify local technicians to run and maintain the lights system independently as soon as possible.

We need an expert sound master to set up the Cinema sound system and to help qualify locals to be able to manage and maintain the important sound system when the cinema will be running. Furthermore, we will begin to build up our subtitling and synchronization studios, starting this summer. Knowledge transfer, the further qualification of local staff for these tasks is an essential component of this part of our project.

This is not an exclusive list. If you have different qualifications and ideas, you need more information or want to start a workshop soon, please contact us: info@cinemajenin.org.

The project is financed by the German Foreign Office, Arte, Kodak, the Sundance Institue, the Goethe-Institut Ramallah, AirBerlin and many others. "The heart of Jenin" won the German Film Prize in 2010.

N/B: The majority of the the text and all the pictures in this post is directly taken from Cinema Jenin's official website.

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