Youth Media Shorts :: Showcase 2006-2008

A selection of video shorts produced by youth in digital storytelling workshops conducted from 2006-2008 by Voices Beyond Walls, in collaboration with youth centers in Palestinian refugee camps. Nearly 60 video shorts were produced by youth (aged 10-16 years) from 7-8 refugee camps in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Jordan over the past 3 years.

Watch these selected video shorts online. The Arabic-language shorts are subtitled in English (3-15 mins in duration) and are also available on DVD in high-resolution. Contact us to request a copy of the shorts on DVD for screening at festivals or other venues.

Youth Media Showcase: Selected Video Shorts from 2006-2008
2008: Showcasing 6 projects from 16 video shorts produced in 4 youth centers

Intensive Care Unit
(4:31 min)
A cinematic interpretation of a poem by the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The tragic heartfelt poem was brought to life by the voices of youth in the Shu’fat refugee camp in this short film, merely 2 weeks after Darwish’s passing away.


Place to Play
(10:44 min)
This dramatic film is based on the real lives of children living in the Aida refugee camp, where conditions are often oppressive. It expresses the basic yearning of youth to have a safe place to play soccer in the absence of parks and sports facilities in their camp.


Street Lesson (11:58 min)

When a young student in Shufat Refugee Camp is expelled from school for misconduct, life teaches him a hard lesson about the value of education for his future. A comical yet touching film acted in the most part by 10-12 year olds living in the camp.


Al-Hakawati: The Storyteller (8:08 min)
In this comical film, a young camera crew making their first film is searching for the Al-Hakawati (a storyteller) in the Balata refugee camp. While the filmmakers seek to capture folk tales their subjects only talk of loss and exile, until a storyteller magically appears.


Dreams of Return
(7:32 min)
Through the eyes of an old man living in the Shufat refugee camp and his dreams of growing up as a young boy in his displaced village, the film discusses Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homeland. 

Arab Comedy (13:48 min)

Palestinian youth in Ramallah play characters on Satellite TV stations from all over the Arab world in a light humorous portrayal of the culture and politics of the day. The film depicts a vignette of hilarious scenes – a cross between reality TV and everyday comedy shows. 
2007: Showcasing 6 projects from 22 video shorts produced in 4 youth centers

Hope of Freedom (8:30 min)
Children from Aida Camp reenact a Palestinian grandmother’s story of the Nakba (expulsion from the land in 1948). Combining drama, archival photos, and interviews to interweave past and present, the film shares Palestinian oral history as an important legacy that cannot be forgotten.


Mother of Palestine (5:39 min)
Three brothers try to entice their mother to vote for their own political party in upcoming Palestinian elections. The film humorously explores recent sectarian divisions fragmenting Palestinian society, and a mother’s insistence on Palestinian unity.


Victory (7:36 min)
Palestinian youth playing in a basketball team reflect on their own lives as they struggle for victory. The youth remember experiences with checkpoints, military incursions, and the separation wall, but resolve to work together to win the game for Palestine.


The Necklace (7:42 min)
Teenagers living in Aida refugee camp reenact the arrest of their 15-year old friend, being held without trial in an Israeli prison. The film highlights the issue of Palestinian child prisoners in Israeli jails but emphasizes that friendship extends beyond all borders and barriers.

Theater of Stones (5:55 min)
A school boy recounts his life in the Jenin refugee camp interspersed with footage of an actual Israeli military incursion there. The film juxtaposes the reality of life under occupation with theater, leaving the viewer to decouple the act of resistance from performance.

Return our Happiness (8:47 min)
The film tells a story of a birthday party set against the tensions and restrictions of everyday life in occupied territory. Although the friends try to celebrate like children anywhere, their party is inevitably disrupted by circumstances beyond their control.
2006: Showcasing 6 projects from 19 video shorts produced in 3 youth centers

Nablus Tragedy (6:50 min)
Two young girls from the Balata refugee camp take the audience through a tour of the historical city of Nablus and its ancient sites. Through poignant song and photomontage they mourn the past grandeur of their city, destroyed by war and neglect over the years.


Before Sunset (3:42 min)
The film is a touching story revealed through a conversation between a Palestinian girl and her disabled brother. The film, based on a true story, shows how children’s hopes and dreams continue despite tragic loss due to the Occupation.


Flowers in Zababde (7:16 min)
The film explores both tranquil beauty of life in Zababde and the constant threat to the lives of children as a result of dangerously hidden landmines. The “flowers” refers to both the children and the unusual flowers that survive amidst the scenic hillsides in Zababde.


Memories of Nakba (3:28 min)
Using original drawings and archival photographs, this short film is an imaginative exploration of the story of the Nakba (Palestinian exile in 1948) from a child’s point of view. This story highlights themes of loss and separation during the Nakba with simple and touching imagery.

Exiled in Palestine (3:03 min)
Narrated with an original poem written by youth, the film explores the illegal imprisonment of a Palestinian boy, Bilal, who was held by the Israeli authorities for six years without charge. After Bilal is released, he struggles to understand his life and that of friends no longer around.

Wishing to be a Bird (1:42 min)
The short film describes a young girl’s experience of catching a bird with her friends- and coming to identify with the bird. Using a combination of drawings, still photographs, and narrative, the film uses the symbol of the bird to express the dream of being free to see a world full of both happiness and sadness.
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