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The Present

Spring Grants 2019

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
Production Company
Philistine Films

About the Director

Farah Nabulsi is an Academy Award Nominated and BAFTA Award Winning Palestinian British filmmaker. She started working in the film industry as a writer and producer of short fiction films. These include ‘Today They Took My Son’, endorsed by British Director Ken Loach and screened at the United Nations. ‘The Present’, her directorial debut, which she also co-wrote and produced, premiered at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2020 and won the coveted Audience Award for Best International Film. It went on to win over 40 International Film Festival Jury and Audience Awards, a BAFTA Award and an Oscar Nomination. ‘The Present’ was licensed internationally, including with Canal+ and Netflix Worldwide. Farah has been invited to serve as a jury member at a number of film festivals and as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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

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