Ajyal Film Festival 2023

All Films

Ave Maria (Al Salam Alayki Ya Mariam)

Ajyal Competition

Basil Khalil / Short Narrative / Palestine, Germany, France / 2015 / 14 min / Colour / DCP2K
In Arabic, English, Hebrew / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Comedy, Middle Eastern, Politics, Religion, Dark Comedy, Friendship, Satire
Qatar Premiere


Five Palestinian nuns are eating in silence somewhere in the West Bank one Friday evening when a carful of Jewish settlers crashes into the statue of the Virgin Mary outside their convent. To maintain their vows, the sisters must not speak; to keep kosher, the Jews must not use the telephone, as the Sabbath has begun. The first short film from the Arab world to be nominated for an Academy Award, ‘Ave Maria’ sees stereotypes and prejudice broken down in the name of co-operation.

Official Film Website

About the Directors

Basil Khalil was born and raised in Nazareth. After graduating from Screen Academy Scotland in Edinburgh with an MA in Producing and Script Development, he produced a number of short films and the feature documentary ‘Replay Revenge’ (2005). He currently lives and works in London as a television freelancer. He took part in the Torino Film Lab and RAWI Screenwriters Lab with his first feature-length fiction screenplay, ‘A Gaza Weekend’. ‘Ave Maria’ (2015) premiered in the Official Competition at Cannes and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.


Basil Khalil
Basil Khalil, Daniel Yáñez Khalil
Eric Dupont, Eric Fantone
Basil Khalil
Jamie Serafi
Eric Mizrahi
Sales Company
Ouat Media
Production Company
Incognito Films
Ibrahim Zaher
Set Designer
Bashar Hassoun
MAD Solutions
Maria Zreik, Huda Al Imam, Shady Srour, Ruth Farhi, Maya Koren

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