Palestinian film “When I Saw You” wins two awards at Greek festival

Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir’s film When I Saw You has received two awards at the Olympia International Film Festival For Children and Young People in Greece.

The film, which was the Palestinian Oscar entry in 2013, had already won the “best Asian film” and “best Arab film” awards at festivals in Berlin and Abu Dhabi.

Now it adds to those a UNICEF Award from the Olympia Festival, recognizing its role in highlighting social and political issues which affect young people. The festival’s “best actor” award went to Mahmoud Asfa, the child actor who gave such a stunning performance in the film’s central role of Tarek.

When I Saw You, set in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan in 1967, tells the story of 11-year-old Tarek and his mother, Ghaydaa, as they try to adapt to loss and dislocation in the wake of the Israeli occupation of their West Bank home and the disappearance of Ghaydaa’s husband, Tarek’s father.

The film has been widely praised for its moving storyline, powerful performances, compelling depiction of refugee life and of Palestinian resistance, and its vibrant soundtrack.




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Sarah Irving

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Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, co-editor of A Bird is Not a Stone (a volume of Palestinian poetry translated into the languages of Scotland), and a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked and traveled in Palestine since 2001.