Mornings in Jenin
Fall Grants 2020 - Development Stage
Current project status: DEVELOPMENT
Philadelphia 2001. Amal lives an unremarkable life with her daughter, Sara, but mother and daughter are becoming estranged through Amal’s attempts to bury the past. Then Amal receives a phone call, a call that she has been both dreading and anticipating for the last 30 years. The next day a man arrives at the house, a 50-year-old Israeli named David. This encounter forms the framework to go back to the Nakba of 1948, where the lives of Amal and Yousef are torn apart when their brother Ismail is snatched by an Israeli soldier (and is brought up as David). Over the course of the following 50 years in Palestine, Lebanon, and the USA we see how the paths of the three siblings intertwine and collide in painful and dramatic ways—the painful exodus from their home near Haifa; the growing closeness of Amal and Yousef as they suffer the loss of both parents; in Shatila camp in Lebanon when Amal loses her husband; at an Israeli checkpoint when David the IDF soldier encounters his brother Yousef; and ultimately on Amal’s return to Palestine, and the refugee camp in Jenin, some 30 years after her departure. Amal finds a final moment of redemption and acknowledgement, as well as a rekindling of the love and understanding between her and her daughter.
- Annemarie Jacir
- Ismail Khalidi, Naomi Wallace
- Alison Sterling
About the Director
Annemarie has written, directed and produced over sixteen films. Two of her films have premiered as Official Selections in Cannes, one in Berlin and in Venice, Locarno, and Telluride. All three of her feature films were Palestine’s official Oscar entries. Her short film ‘Like Twenty Impossibles (2003) was the first Arab short film in history to be an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and continued to break ground when it went on to be a finalist for the Academy Awards. Her second work to debut in Cannes, the critically acclaimed ‘Salt of this Sea’ (2008), went on to win the FIPRESCI Critics Award, and garnered fourteen other international awards including Best Film in Milan. Her second feature ‘When I Saw You’ won Best Asian Film at the Berlin Intl. Festival, Best Arab Film in Abu Dhabi and Best Film in Amiens, Phoenix, and Olympia, and garnered a nomination at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards. Her most recent film ‘Wajib’ (2017) won 36 international awards including Best Film in Mar Del Plata, Dubai, Amiens, DC Film Festival, Kosovo and Kerala and Jury Mention at the London BFI Festival.
Production Company Profile
Ignition Films is a UK-based production company founded and run by independent film and television producer Alison Sterling. Credits include 'Flying Blind' and a host of award-winning short films. Other development projects include 'Burnt Grass' with Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, a co-production with Metro Films in Poland with development finance from the Polish Film Institute.