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The Present

Spring Grants 2019
Current project status: COMPLETED

Farah Nabulsi / Short Narrative / Palestine, Qatar / 25 min / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Drama


Yusef is a family man from the West Bank, battling enormous queues at dawn to get to work every day, exacerbated by severe back pain and surrounded by military checkpoints. On his day off, to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife Noor, he takes their daughter Yasmine on a trip to buy a surprise gift. The celebratory plan starts off well, but eventually, Yusef has to grapple between parenting and the humiliating realities of the checkpoints they become entangled with. Along the way, they meet many others enduring similar setbacks and daily indignities. Yusef overcomes the small but brutal realities, withstands the pain in his back and tries to motivate Yasmine to cultivate hope. However, by nightfall, as their patience shatters into fatigue and cold, the gift that was intended as a surprise is under threat of not making it home, and they find themselves in danger. Can Yusef suppress the mortification he endures and the debilitating pain in his back to overcome the limitations forced on them? Will little Yasmine succumb to the trauma of the degradation of her father or will her courage help them triumph in the face of barriers colluding to destroy their day?


Farah Nabulsi
Farah Nabulsi, Hind Shoufdani
Ossama Bawardi

About the Director

Farah Nabulsi is a Palestinian filmmaker and first-time director. She left the corporate world in 2015 to start working in the Palestinian film industry as a writer and producer of short fiction films, exploring Palestine related topics that matter to her. This includes 'Today They Took My Son', endorsed by renowned Director Ken Loach, screened at the United Nations and officially selected to top international film festivals. She co-wrote 'The Present' in 2018 and with a deep desire to pursue the art of film directing, she is currently in pre-production and fundraising to make this film a reality.

Production Company Profile

Founded in 1997, Philistine Films is an independent production company based in Jordan and Palestine. The company is known for its interest in challenging, thought-provoking and original films from directors with distinctive visions, and has established itself at the forefront of independent cinema in the region, producing films for both big and small screens. Philistine Films was created to support new voices and to offer a platform for the emerging independent Arab film scene. The company’s goal is to focus on the development and co-production of independent feature and documentary films, and to find unconventional stories and fresh narratives. We hope to challenge the creative, financial and practical obstacles that confront filmmakers working outside the mainstream. Philistine’s productions have been selected for the Festival de Cannes twice, screened in the Berlin, Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals and the Tribeca Film Festival, among more than 300 other festivals. Philistine-produced films have won numerous awards, and one was a finalist for an Academy Award.

Awards and Festival History


"Shortshorts FF & Asia 2020


"Int'l Audience Prize, Clermont-Ferrrand IFF 2020
Best Live Action Short Award, Cleveland IFF 2020
Audience Award for Best Short Narrative, Brooklyn FF 2020
Special Jury Award Bridging the Borders and Audience Pick, Palm Springs Int’l Short FF 2020


  • Main Contact

    Ossama Bawardi

    Philistine Films

  • Production Company

    Philistine Films

    Philistine Films

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