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The Myth of Mahmoud

Fall Grants 2022 - Development Stage

Mayar Hamdan / Feature Documentary / Palestine, Qatar / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Documentary


Mahmoud Said moved to Doha, Qatar, at the age of 24 from Gaza, Palestine, in the hopes of building a new home for himself and his family. Only to find that, like the Myth of Sisyphus, he is destined to roll the displacement boulder up the hill for the duration of his life. His granddaughter, Mayar Hamdan, attempts to document his displacement struggles in an architectural documentary, but soon enough realises that she herself is not prepared to flood the gates of her generational traumas.

Four years after Mayar gave up on the documentary and moved to Los Angeles, California, Mahmoud passed away at the age of 93, still struggling with his residency status. He passes down the boulder to his family, who now have to continue on to find a new home. Mayar sets off to continue her documentary—examining her own displacement struggles, the homeland, life, death, and the absurdity of it all.


Mayar Hamdan
Mayar Hamdan
Shaima Al Tamimi

About the Director

A Palestinian transmedia storyteller and multiplatform filmmaker with a strong eye for design, Mayar Hamdan has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from video games to films to video installations. Hamdan’s work is defined as the interdisciplinary exploration of migration, displacement, and feminist themes expressed through the canopy of colour theory. She obtained an MFA in Art and Technology at the California Institute of the Arts. During her time at CalArts she worked on her debut interactive 360º feature film Al-Mashata. Hamdan worked for multiple mobile gaming companies as an interactive game writer and animator in Barcelona, Spain. Additionally, she worked on the Doha Film Institute’s Film Training and Development team. During that time, Hamdan directed, wrote, developed, and produced several independent projects, most notably 'Beit Byoot' (2019), which can be streamed on SundanceTV, and 'Don’t Get Too Comfortable' (2021), which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. Hamdan is currently based in Los Angeles, CA, and is the Lead Narrative Designer at Lunacy Studios, an independent new media producer (Cinema, CR, AR, VR, & XR), Creative Director of FilmMena, & Northwestern University Studio20Q’s Industry Advisor. She is currently in production on her first feature-length absurdist architectural documentary.


  • Main Contact

    Mayar Hamdan


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