Cape Town to host Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival

Channel 4 Network SA, a Cape Town-based international news network and syndication company, will be hosting a Palestinian film festival from 2-4 October 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The objectives of the festival are to educate the public and create a general awareness around the situation in Palestine to foster a culture of human rights, respect for human dignity and justice for all. The Palestinian struggle denotes the ultimate struggle of the human spirit’s will to survive; it is a cry to the world of nations for the rediscovery of their humanity; a battle for the soul of humanity. The world has a responsibility to honor its commitment to its promise “never again.” This Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival is aimed at honoring that commitment.

Channel 4 Network SA is excited to announce that former US congresswoman and 2009 US presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will be the special guest at the festival. McKinney gained prominence when she was arrested by the Israeli occupation force navy trying to break the siege on Gaza. Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and board member of the Free Gaza Movement, Huwaida Arraf will also honor the festival with her presence. Several local dignitaries, including secretary-general of COSATU, Zwelinzima Vavi (invited), prominent academic Dr. Virginia Tilley, Dr. Shabir Wadee and many more will also grace the occasion, delivering lectures and presentations. The internationally-acclaimed Act of State: 1967-2007 photo exhibition by Tel Aviv-based “visual philosopher” Ariella Azoulay will be on display. In addition, a kuffiyeh picket in support of the Palestinian struggle will take place. McKinney will partake in an olive tree-planting/sod-turning ceremony, releasing white doves, twinning with Gaza City, where a similar event will take place as a symbolic gesture of peace. Also other exciting events will be taking place throughout the weekend.

The festival’s main attraction however, will be its excellent array of documentaries on show. Channel 4 Network is proud to announce that four documentaries will premiere (shown for the very first time) at the festival, namely, Coca Cola & Israel: Is Not The Real Thing (first locally produced film by Channel 4 Network SA, director Fahrie Hassan); Tiger by the Tail (by British director Robert Sutcliffe), To Gaza With Love (Director Aki Nawaz) and the contribution from the US, Operation Small Axe (Block Report Radio). Another scoop is the acclaimed DEFAMATION, an expose on anti-Semitism, which screened recently at the Encounters Film festival. Also to be screened are 6 Floors to Hell, Zainab’s Story, Deir Yassin Remembered, Demolitions, Offside and acclaimed documentary filmmaker of Iron Wall fame Muhammed Alatar’s latest production, Jerusalem: East Side Story and many more.

The festival venue is The Joseph Stone Auditorium, Klipfontein Rd, Athlone, Cape Town.

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