My Father from Haifa + Though I know the river is dry

My Father from Haifa + Though I know the river is dry

Films by Omar Shargawi and Omar Hamilton

My Father from Haifa

Omar Shargawi

Documentary | 52′ | 2010

Danish, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles

“My Father From Haifa” tells the very personal story of Danish-Palestinian director Omar Al Shargawi and his search for understanding and reconciliation with his father Munir, who fled Palestine as a child in 1948. The film covers Omar’s bid to persuade his father to embark on an emotionally fraught journey back to Haifa with the aim of finding his childhood home. It’s a touching film, not only of a personal history, but also of a new relationship emerging between a father and son, both of whom in their own ways are struggling with their identities.

Omar Shargawi was born in 1974 in Denmark. Raised by his Danish mother and Palestinian father in Copenhagen. Shargawi started his career as a photographer, before directing his first feature in 2008, titled “Go In Peace, Jamil” which won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Best Direction Award at the Transylvania International Film Festival, the Church of Sweden Film Award and FIPRESCI Prize at the Gothenburg Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Warsaw International Film Festival. “My Father From Haifa” is a personal documentary debut by the Director, it won the Special Jury Prize in the Muhr Arab Documentary competition and the People Choice Awards /Best Film at the Dubai International Film Festival and the Best Documentary Award at the Robert Festival in Denmark in 2010.

+

Though I know the river is dry

Omar Hamilton

Fiction | 19′ | 2013

Arabic with English subtitles

This independent, crowd-funded short film weaves together familiar themes of Palestine: the division of families, the role of the past and the notion of return. Protagonist Alaa has just returned to Palestine after living in Detroit for years. On his journey through the country he relives the trauma of his past and the choice that sent him to America: a choice between a passport for his unborn child and a safe haven for his activist brother.

Omar Robert Hamilton is an independent filmmaker, a founding member of the Mosireen Collective in Cairo, and producer of the annual Palestine Festival of Literature. Since 2011 he has made dozens of short documentaries on the Egyptian Revolution as part of his work with the Mosireen Collective. His third short drama, Though I Know the River is Dry, premiered in competition at Rotterdam this year and has been nominated in the Best Short Film category at the 2013 European Film Awards.