Production of the annual London Palestine Film Festival is currently suspended. The PFF issued the statement below in May 2015:
After 17 consecutive editions of the London Palestine Film Festival, the Palestine Film Foundation has announced that from 2015 it is
suspending production of the annual film festival indefinitely. The Foundation will remain active in the fields of research,
preservation, and consultancy. The possibility of returning to festival production will be reviewed periodically.
The London Palestine Film Festival began life in 1998 as a student-led initiative at London University’s School of Oriental and African
Studies. In 2004, the Palestine Film Foundation was created to oversee the festival, forming a long-standing venue partnership with
London’s Barbican Cinema, where the Festival was based from 2005 through to 2014. Over this period, the annual two-week series
established itself as a unique platform for sharing moving image works related to Palestine spanning all genres, nationalities, and
historical periods. Accompanied by conferences, art exhibitions, and panel discussions, it was an early contributor to the growth of
London’s increasingly dynamic Middle East arts scene, and it meanwhile made a significant impact on the ways film from and about
Palestine are now exhibited internationally.
From its inception, the festival struggled to secure adequate funding and has relied heavily on voluntary staffing and donated resources.
Delivering the annual festival to the standard deemed necessary by the Foundation requires a level of sustained material support that has
continued to elude the organisation. It is for this reason that the decision has been made, with regret, to cease festival production from 2015.
The Foundation will continue to appraise the situation for opportunities to re-establish a festival at a later date. In the meantime, we
take this chance to acknowledge the generosity of the many hundreds of filmmakers and artists who contributed to the festival over its
history. During this period, we were honoured to have the support of two enthusiastic and knowledgeable festival patrons: Ahdaf Soueif
(2005-2007) and Karma Nabulsi (2008-2014). We are indebted to the scores of volunteers who brought the festival to fruition each year,
and to the festival’s sponsors and donors whose financial support made it possible. We also thank our programme and venue partners – the Barbican Cinema in particular. Most of all, we extend our thanks to the loyal and energetic audiences who made the festival such a
rewarding project to share each year.
Palestine Film Foundation
London, May 2015