Palestine Cinema Days is an annual event organized by Filmlab: Palestine every October. It aims at placing Palestine on the map of the International film industry and movie landscape, in addition to promoting local and international films across several venues in different cities within Palestine.
Filmlab: Palestine launched the first edition of Palestine Cinema Days (previously called Days of Cinema) 2014, which has been an annual tradition since then. The festival activities are dedicated to a unique program of renowned international film screenings for adults and children, along with panel discussions, professional film workshops, specialized programs for children, and networking opportunities.
In 2016, Filmlab: Palestine created the Sunbird Awards, a competition for short films, feature-length documentary films, and short film projects with a strong reference to Palestine.
Each year, the two Sunbird Award competitions showcase short narrative and feature-length documentary films. The films have to be made by Palestinian directors or producers or refer to Palestine thematically. One year later, the Sunbird Production Award was added to fill the gap of support in production, post-production, and distribution in Palestine in cooperation with MAD solution and Aarhus Film workshop. The applications are selected each year by a three-member international jury in the respective categories.
The eponym and model for the prize is a bird known in Palestine, the sunbird. Despite its size of only 8-12cm its will to survive is unbreakable. The award stands for this inspiring story, presenting an aspiring film scene, designed by artist Khaled Jarrar.
Creating a platform for professional networking and boosting the Palestinian film industry was the aim to establish the Palestine Film Meetings (PFM) in 2017. It turned to become the festival’s industry platform, held in parallel to Palestine Cinema Days.
Through the years, Palestine Cinema Days succeeded in becoming a focal point for the international film scene, increasing the interest in cooperation with Palestinian filmmakers and support to develop the local film industry.
Being the only international film festival held in Palestine and organized by a local institute, Palestine Cinema Days Film Festival has grown to be a milestone in the Palestinian cinema culture. Each year the festival has the largest, most diverse audience attending a cultural event in the country. Over the years, the festival became the platform where local and international productions are portrayed. Palestine Cinema Days is the festival that has put Palestine on the world cinema culture map.