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The Teacher

Spring Grants 2021 - Production Stage

Farah Nabulsi / Feature Narrative / Palestine, United Kingdom, Qatar / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Drama, Social Issues


Basem El-Saleh, a Palestinian school teacher, pieces his life together after the loss of his son. Basem habitually looks out for his son’s childhood friends, two fatherless brothers, Adam and Yacoub. Lisa, a recent volunteer at the school, begins to add new light to Basem’s life when she also starts to take an interest in the boys. A proof-of-life video of a captured Israeli soldier is presented by Israeli intelligence to the soldier’s American parents, Simon and Rachel Cohen. Simon knocks heads with Director Liberman, in charge of finding his son, as an exchange offer for over a thousand Palestinian prisoners reveals competing objectives. When Yacoub is killed by a settler, Basem and Lisa take an even deeper interest in Adam’s wellbeing, but when Adam discovers that Basem is involved in keeping the whereabouts of the abducted soldier a mystery, he becomes emboldened to seek revenge on the settler. He turns to Basem for help, which Basem refuses. A desperate Simon decides to take matters into his own hands. Adam looks to find his own means of enacting the justice he deserves, and Lisa starts to unravel Basem’s hidden life. Basem is forced to strike an impossible balance between his own motives, his growing love for Lisa and the sacrifice required to save Adam.


Farah Nabulsi
Farah Nabulsi
Ossama Bawardi, Farah Nabulsi. Sawsan Asfari
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.


  • Main Contact

    Ossama Bawardi

    Philistine Films

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