Al-Awda and Alternate Focus Announce Results of First Annual Film Contest

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and Alternate Focus are pleased to announce the results of the first of our annual worldwide film contest. This contest was developed at the “Media for the Right to Return” workshop at Al-Awda’s Third Annual International Convention in Los Angeles this past year.

The results are as follows:

First place: “The Children of Ibdaa – To Create Something Out of Nothing” by S. Smith Patrick

Second place: “My Land” by Tone Andersen

Third place: “Palestine Under Siege” by Richard Hugus

Honorable mention: “People on the Ground” by Gascia Ouzounian

In addition to broadcasting these films on cable television to a relatively large audience, the first, second and third prize winners will receive $500, $300 and $100, respectively.

Al-Awda and Alternate Focus wish to congratulate the winners, all those who submitted their films for consideration, and the panel of judges for their work. The competition was intense with a good number of high quality submissions.

We thank Alternate Focus and Al-Awda members who sponsored the contest with their monetary contributions. We were able to significantly increase the cash prizes from the original amount thanks to the later contributions from Al-Awda members.

Al-Awda and Alternate Focus will announce the start of our next film contest later this year. We look forward to your continued support and participation.


“The Children of Ibdaa – To Create Something Out of Nothing” by S. Smith Patrick shows how members of the Ibdaa dance troupe from Dheisheh refugee camp use their performance to express the history, struggle, and aspirations of the Palestinian people, specifically the fight to return to their homeland. The film offers insight into their families’ displacement from their villages, the physically and emotionally stressful aspects of life in a refugee camp, and the unique experience of participating in the politically motivated dance troupe.

My Land” by Tone Andersen is about the threat husband and wife Trees and Ali in the town of Sakhnin in Galilee face by the local authority to destroy their home. About 1.3 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are still struggling 57 years after the creation of the Zionist state for their rights to their own property and land. The film shows one of those many struggles.

“Palestine Under Seige” by Richard Hugus documents life under Israeli occupation. The film was made in the summer of 2002, includes extensive footage of the destruction of Jenin Refugee Camp and eyewitness accounts from the people who live there.

“People on the Ground” by Gascia Ouzounian presents a portrait of Palestinian Canadian writer and social justice activist Leila Khaled Mouammar. Speaking perceptively on topics that range from border politics to the need for a “critical paranoia” in a post-September 11 world, Mouammar makes a compelling case for listening to alternative voices when considering media narratives, national identities and political histories.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

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