The Palestine Festival of Literature opens today. The first event is set for Ramallah this evening, but one participant won’t be there: Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker Sara Ishaq.
Ishaq was set to appear in Bethelem on Wednesday, at Bethlehem University’s Furno Hall, alongside Leila Abdelrazaq, Malika Booker, Nathalie Handal, and Dirk Wanrooij.
She went to the Allenby Bridge with other PalFest participants. But, after a reported ten hours of waiting, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker was banned from Palestine for four years. She wrote on Facebook:
One month ago my 5-year ban to enter Palestine finally ended. I attempted to return on Wednesday to attend the Palestine Literature Festival where I was due to speak and present my film. After 10 hours of waiting, scrutiny and hostile interrogations by#Israeli border control (Allenby Bridge), I was denied access to #Palestine and banned for another 5 years (and forced to wait in a bus for 3 hours without my passport until the border closed at 1am).
Ishaq’s debut short feature was Marie My Girl (2012), and her debut documentary was the celebrated Karama Has No Walls (2012), which was nominated for the BAFTA Scotland New Talents, One World Media awards, and for a Best Documentary (Short Subject) Oscar. In 2013, Ishaq also completed her first feature film, The Mulberry House.
More on PalFest:
Follow the fest at palfest.org
More on Ishaq:
Ahram Online: Oscar-Nominated Scottish Yemeni Filmmaker Sara Ishaq’s Search for Identity (2015)
Qantara: Yemen Was Like a Garden That Was Full of Weeds (2015)