Being part of the Advancement project at Birzeit University is a pretty bizarre experience. Unlike the other projects here in Palestine, our role is fairly fluid. The first couple of weeks felt like meeting after meeting to try and establish what it is that we can do to support the university. The lack of defined role can be daunting at times, but on the other hand, that fluidity opens up opportunities, like working with the Young Palestinian Film Makers!
YPFMS provides young people with training in the world of film through the workshops held throughout Palestine. I know many people sneer at arts education, but the work of YPFMS is about so much more than teaching young people to hold a camera.These workshops encourage teamwork, confidence, creativity and many other skills that are so beneficial in all walks of life. As well as this, it gives young people here their own voice to talk about life here in Palestine.
The work I've been doing at the YPFMS has been leading up to tonight – the opening of the Second International Young Filmmaker's Festival. The work has been varied, from subtitling films (the first one being about Filipino immigrants in Fraserburgh which as a Scot of Filipina descent growing up in that area was pretty bizarre) to helping with translations and promotion. The festival is a huge event taking place in 15 venues around the West Bank and Gaza as well as in Haifa in Israel. What makes it even more astounding is the fact the majority of the work is done by two people, Anis and Isra.
It's been a busy few weeks, so I'm pretty excited about seeing the result of all the work that has gone into the festival, as well as being able to relax and watch some films!