Palestinian Film Festival in Leeds (November)

We hope you will be able to come along to some of the films that we are showing at venues around Leeds, including the Town Hall, Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton, Heart in Headingley, Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds Beckett University and the Hamara Centre in Beeston.

At Heart and Hyde Park Picture House we will be selling Zaytoun food products (including olive oil and dates), Hadeel crafts and Recipes of Resistance cookery books, all of which make great Christmas presents!

Welcome to the first Leeds Palestinian Film Festival

We are proud to bring you a selection of films from and about Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora. Ranging from documentaries to dramas to our favourite – a Claymation – we hope these will illuminate the darkness of troubled times.

We are pleased to have Richard Burgon (MP for East Leeds and newly appointed Shadow Treasury Secretary) opening the festival on 15thNovember, given his longtime interest and commitment to Palestine.

Our screenings are:

The Wanted 18: Sunday 15th November 8.30 pm, Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall, Headrow, LS1 3AD.

This winning mix of documentary and clay-animation offers an unexpectedly humorous account of a West Bank town’s experience of the first Intifada, a subject that doesn’t usually generate a lot of laughs in cinema. It recounts the true story of how the Palestinian neighborhood of BeitSahour near Bethlehem acquired a herd of 18 dairy cows and then had to hide them from the Israeli security forces when their existence was absurdly deemed a threat to national security.

Screened in collaboration with Leeds International Film Festival

Directors: Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan, released: 2014, running time: 75 minutes

Tickets £5 / £6

If you want to recommend this to or let a friend n Sheffield know about this film, it is also showing at the Showroom on Saturday 28thNovember.


Amreeka: Tuesday 17th November 7.30 pm, Seven Arts Centre, 31A, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, LS7 3PD

This lighthearted film chronicles the adventures of Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. Told with heartfelt humor, “Amreeka” is a universal journey into the lives of a family of immigrants and first-generation teenagers caught between their heritage and the new world in which they now live and the bittersweet search for a place to call home.

Director and writer: Cherien Dabis, released 2009, running time: 96 minutes, cast includes Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem and Alia Shawkat

Tickets £5 / £3.50 concessions


Two Blue Lines: Monday 23rd November, 6.30 pm, Beckett Studio, LBU Headingley CampusLS6 3QS

Shot over a period of 32 years, this documentary examines the human and political situation of Palestinian people from the years prior to the creation of Israel to the present day. By primarily featuring the narratives of Israelis whose positions run counter to their country’s official policy, Ohio-based filmmaker Tom Hayes provides a portrait of the ongoing conflict not often depicted in our mainstream media.

Director: Tom Hayes, released 2015, running time: 98 minutes

Free entry, donations welcome, free parking and a bar on campus


Film and Food Night: Friday 4th December, 6 pm onwards, HEART Centre, Bennett Street, Headingley, LS6 3HN screening Divine Intervention

The lovely folk at HEART Café will have some delicious Palestinian and middle eastern mezzes on their menu, especially laid on for the evening from 6 pm onwards.  There will also be lovely Zaytoun Palestinian products and Palestinian crafts available for sale (great for Christmas Presents).

Divine Intervention will be introduced at 7pm by Keith Withall, local film enthusiast or who has a keen interest of film by and about oppressed peoples fighting neo-colonialism.

This film (which will start at around 7.20pm) is made by Palestinian director Elia Suleimanand is a surreal black comedy.  The film records a day in the life of a Palestinian living in Nazareth, whose girlfriend lives several checkpoints away in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

One lyrical section features a beautiful sunglasses-clad Palestinian woman (played by Manal Khader) whose passing by not only distracts all eyes, but whose gaze causes Israeli military checkpoint towers to crumble. The director features prominently as the film’s silent, expressionless protagonist in an iconic and powerfully moving performance that has been compared to the work of Buster Keaton, Jim Jarmusch and Jacques Tati.

Director and writer: Elia Suleiman, released 2002, running time 92 minutes, cast include Elia Suleiman, Manal Khader and George Ibrahim.

Tickets £5 / £3.50 concessions


On the side of the road: Thursday 8th December 7 pm, Hamara Centre, Tempest Road, Beeston, LS11 6RD.

This documentary by Israeli journalist Lia Tarachansky examines the collective Israeli denial about the expulsion and displacement of Palestinians in the wake of the 1948 war for independence. Referred to by the Palestinian people as the Nakba, or “the catastrophe,” the destruction of villages resulted in generations of refugees and, as parks and new cities were built on the ruins of those villages, years of violent history were swept under the rug.  Tarachansky interviews several former soldiers who participated in the destruction,. The film refrains from dehumanizing either side, instead making the simple request that the region’s history never be forgotten.

DirectorLia Tarachansky, released 2013, running time: 82 minutes


Open Bethlehem: Tuesday 15th December, 6.30 pm, Hyde Park Picture House, 73, Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, LS6 1JD

When film-maker Leila Sansour returned to Bethlehem in 2005, she planned to make a documentary about the Palestinian city she couldn’t wait to leave as a teenager. However, her cousin Carol convinces her to stay and build upon the legacy of her father, who founded the local university in 1973. Realising that the “Separation” wall erected by the Israelis is isolating a once-thriving destination for pilgrims and tourists, Leila and Carol devise a campaign to encourage visitors to return to the birthplace of Jesus Christ and apply for passports giving them honorary citizenship.  Distilled from 700 hours of footage shot over several years and with rare archive material, the film is potent and poignant.

There will also be lovely Zaytoun products  and crafts for sale before the screening (perfect ethical Christmas Presents!).  There will also be a short update from Ghada Elkhatik …………..on life in Bethlehem.   You are welcome to leave before this or to stay if you would like.

Director:  Leila Sansour, released 2014, running time 90 minutes

Tickets £5.50 /£4.50 concessions / £6 balcony / Friends of HPPH £4

We would like to thank Leeds International Film Festival,  the Beckett Studio, Hyde Park Picture House, 7 Arts Centre and HEART for supporting the LPFF.

Organised by the Leeds Palestinian Film Festival Committee.


Plan C’s forthcoming events

Here’s a more detailed version of the upcoming events at Leeds Plan C (more details on Plan C at the end of this posting):

On Monday October 20th 7pm, The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ

Leeds Plan C host the book launch of “Futures”, the debut novel by John Barker.

The launch will feature a discussion between the author and Alice Nutter on the role that political fiction can play in political change.

John Barker was born in London in 1948. In 1969, along with six others he ripped up his Cambridge University finals papers as part of a campaign against education as a system of exclusion. In 1972 he was convicted with three others of conspiring to cause explosions in what was called the Angry Brigade trial. He served a ten-year prison sentence. He worked as a dustman and welder before being implicated in a conspiracy to import cannabis in 1986. In 1990 he was finally arrested and served a five-year sentence. Since then he has worked constantly as writer and book indexer.

Alice Nutter is a scriptwriter for TV and theatre; she was previously in the pop band Chumbawamba.

On Tuesday 28th October 7.30pm – The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ

Ten Minute Tubthump: Can the arts help change the world?

What role can culture play in changing the world for the better? Should the arts be a key arena for political struggle? Whose culture gets funded and whose doesn’t? Leeds Plan C host a short provocative talk by Rod Dixon, Director of Red Ladder Theatre company followed by informal discussion, drinks and general plotting and planning on how we can actually change this world.

Red Ladder Theatre Company was founded in 1968 and is one of Britain’s leading national touring companies. It not onlycreates theatre about and around human struggle but also brings it to communities normally bypassed by the arts. In 2014 it suffered a 100% cut in its funding from the Arts Council. Coincidentally at the same time Opera North received an increase in their Arts Council funding to £31,150,000, which is 30.5% of all the arts funding in Yorkshire, more than “all the organisations in Sheffield, York, Bradford, Hull, Kirklees, Doncaster and Barnsley combined”

On Saturday November 8th – Leeds University Union, University of Leeds

The A, B, & C of Crisis

A workshop organised by Leeds Plan C at the Leeds Summat event


On Sunday November 9th 2pm – Wharf Chambers Wharf Street, Leeds

Plan Cinema – Office Space

The first in a series of three films about work. Mike Judge’s classic film about the indignities of office work and modern management. Three company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss.


On Sunday December 7th 3.30pm – Wharf Chambers Wharf Street, Leeds

Plan Cinema – The Boss of it All

The second in a series of three films about work. Lar’s Von Trier nails the slipperiness of modern power structures. For years, the owner of a company has pretended that the real boss lives in America and communicates with the staff only by e-mail. That way, all the unpopular decisions can be attributed to the absentee manager, while all the popular ones to him directly. This all comes unstuck when a prospective buyer demands to meet the boss of it all.

On Sunday January 11th 2015 – Plan Cinema – Coming for a Visit (Wharf Chambers)

For up-to-date information, check the Plan C  Facebook page website which is usually kept up to date:

Plan C’s website, which has a lot more information, is here