A scene from '200 meters'. Picture: Netflix
A scene from '200 meters'. Picture: Netflix

Netflix launches ‘Palestinian Stories’ collection with award-winning films

By Supplied Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Netflix is set to launch a collection of 32 films either helmed by Palestinian filmmakers or about Palestinian stories.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Stories collection will showcase films from some of the Arab world’s finest filmmakers available for members around the world.

Featuring the works of prolific and critically-acclaimed directors like Annemarie Jacir, Mai Masri, Mahdi Fleifel, Susan Youssef, May Odeh, Farah Nabulsi and many more, the collection is a tribute to the creativity and passion of the Arab film industry as Netflix continues to invest in stories from the Arab world.

Speaking about being included in the Palestinian Stories collection May Odeh, director of “The Crossing” said: “I’m glad to finally have alternative Palestinian films accessible to wide audiences through Netflix.

“We all in the Palestinian film industry have been eager to share our narrative with the world through our authentic creative productions as an alternative to news reporting.

“I can’t thank the team at Netflix and Front Row enough for the effort to make this happen.”

Spanning multiple genres and styles, the collection will showcase the depth and diversity of the Palestinian experience, exploring people"s lives, dreams, families, friendships, and love.

“The diversification of our content sits close to my heart as Netflix works to become the home of Arabic Cinema, a place where anyone in the world can access great Arab stories.

“We believe that great stories travel beyond their place of origin, are told in different languages and enjoyed by people from all walks of life and with the Palestinian Stories collection, we hope to amplify these beautiful stories to a global audience.

“While these stories are distinctly and authentically Arab, the themes are quintessentially human and will resonate with audiences across the world.

“That is the true beauty of storytelling,” said Nuha El Tayeb, director of content acquisitions MENAT at Netflix.

The collection showcases a number of award-nominated and award-winning films.

Annemarie Jacir’s “Like 20 Impossibles” was the first short film from the Arab world to premiere in Cannes and went on to become a National Finalist for the Academy Awards, as well as winning Best Film at Palm Springs, Chicago, IFP/New York, Nantucket, and Mannheim-Heidelberg film festivals.

Elia Suleiman’s “Divine Intervention” secured two wins and a nomination at Cannes, while “3000 Nights” by Mai Masri won the Jury Prize at the 2016 International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights.

Some of the films, such as “Present”, “Pomegranate” and “Myrrh”, and “It Must be Heaven”, are already on the service and will now live under the Palestinian Stories collection, making it easier for members to find outstanding content from the Arab world.

The majority of the titles will stream globally, and all the films will include subtitles relevant to those countries where they are streaming in Arabic.

Prolific director of films such as “A Drowning Man”, “Xenos” and “A World Not Ours”, Mahdi Fleifel, is excited for his body of work to sit under the Palestinian Stories Collection and reach global audiences: “Finally! A larger audience can have this exceptional opportunity to avoid all social obligations and binge-watch my films in one sitting!

“Thank you for this great privilege, Netflix. I’m thrilled!”

The Palestinian Stories Collection can be accessed via Netflix.com/PalestinianStories and by searching “Palestinian Stories” on Netflix.

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