GAZA, a film that takes a look into everyday lives on the Gaza strip, is premiering in the Sundance Film Festival 2019 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The official trailer is below, along with some behind the scenes vlogging by Gazan citizens Fady Hanouna and Ali Abu Yaseen as they document their journey via The Long Road to Sundance, as they wait to find out if they will be permitted to leave Gaza for the first time and travel to the festival.
From directing duo Garry Keane (The Deafening, The Writing in the Sky) and Award-winning conflict photographer Andrew McConnell, GAZA is a beautiful portrait of everyday Gazan citizens. It brings us into a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.
It’s hard to imagine anybody living a normal life in the Gaza Strip. Frequently labeled as the world’s largest open-air prison, it makes an appearance on news reports every time a confrontation erupts between Israel and Hamas. From TV sets thousands of miles away, this tiny piece of land has been reduced to an image of violence, chaos and destruction. So what do the people do when they’re not under siege?
Referencing the film’s official selection, Garry Keane said, “On behalf of my co-director colleague Andrew McConnell and I, it is a huge honor for our film GAZA to be selected for the Sundance Film Festival 2019 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. This is not only a professional Everest for us both, but even more so, it is a clear testament to the resilience and bravery of our contributors who have shared their lives with us in this beautiful and much misunderstood place. It is a privilege to have spent time with them and to have had the chance to bring their stories of hope and survival in one of the most unique places on earth to the world’s most prestigious documentary festival.”
GAZA is a Real Films and Filmoption International co-production in association with Fine Point Films and Gebruder Beetz Filmproduktion, produced by Brendan J. Byrne (Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Elián) with Paul Cadieux (The Triplets of Belleville, P.S. Jerusalem), Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell and Executive Producer Trevor Birney (No Stone Unturned, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) and Christian Beetz (The Cleaners). The editing is by Mick Mahon (Citizen Lane, The Queen of Ireland) and the Original Score is by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning Canadian composer Ray Fabi.
FOLLOW TWO CITIZENS OF GAZA AS THEY ATTEMPT TO LEAVE THE STRIP FOR A RARE ESCAPE TO THE USA,
TO ATTEND THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THEIR MOVIE ‘GAZA’ AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IN UTAH
AND THEY’LL BE VLOGGING EVERY STEP THE WAY.
Gazan citizens Fady Hanouna and Ali Abu Yaseen are documenting their journey via their new vlog The Long Road to Sundance as they wait to find out if they will be permitted to leave Gaza for the first time and travel to the festival. For all the Sundance Film Festival crew and the filmmakers of GAZA, the situation is nerve-wracking. But for Fady and Ali, imprisoned and helpless, the wait is excruciating.
In Episode 1 they introduce themselves and their journey and in Episode 2 Fady Hanona explains how the clock is ticking down on their efforts to get to Sundance, their bags are packed and ready, and all we can do is wait for news. Unless the border opens in time, their Sundance dreams will end in tears.
Ali is a featured character in the documentary ‘GAZA’, a film about the lives of the strip’s ordinary citizens, and Fady was the film’s fixer and location manager. Their dream is to leave Gaza to attend the world premiere of their movie at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 29th 2019. If they make it, it will be 30 year old Fady’s first time in his life to fly in an airplane and to sit in a movie theater.
Unfortunately, the prospect of them being able to attend their own premiere is under serious threat. A dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has resulted in the temporary closure of the border between Gaza and Egypt and no one knows if it will open in time for Fady & Ali to make it to their appointed Visa interviews in the US embassy in Cairo. So if things stay the way they are, their dream could be in tatters.
GAZA, a film that takes a look into everyday lives on the strip, from directing duo Garry Keane and Award-winning conflict photographer Andrew McConnell. It is a beautiful portrait of everyday Gazan citizens, bringing us into a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.
Fady and Ali ask you to follow their journey via their journey.
GAZA – The Long Road to Sundance