Canadian Documentary About Young Woman Trying to Join the Palestinian Security Forces Screens Across CanadaWritten by National Film Board of Canada
Over the course of the film Walaa shines as an eloquent and brave young woman, determined to fight for her ideals. It is incredible to watch her grow and evolve, which the film conveys beautifully in contemplative close-ups ....it is refreshing to see a film that portrays such a proud, resilient, young Palestinian woman. You will remember Walaa.
- Amy Siegel, POV
Hailed as one of the best feature films of 2018 by Canada’s Top Ten, Toronto filmmaker Christy Garland’s acclaimed National Film Board of Canada co-production "What Walaa Wants" (Murmur Media/ Final Cut for Real/NFB) is touring major cities across Canada in 2019.
Raised in [the Balata] refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in an Israeli prison, Walaa is determined to become one of the few policewomen in the Palestinian Security Forces—not easy for a girl who breaks all the rules. Following Walaa from the age of 15 to 21, Toronto filmmaker Christy Garland uses an intimate POV (point of view) to tell the compelling story of this defiant young girl, who navigates formidable obstacles and disproves the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
Along with its Canada’s Top Ten honours, "What Walaa Wants" received the DGC Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary at its Canadian premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Film festival appearances for "What Walaa Wants" also included a world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, opening night film at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and a spot in the Best of Fests program at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam).
More recently, the film won the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award at New York City’s Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, the Hilal Best Feature Award at the Doha Film Institute’s Ajyal Film Festival, and the Artistic Merit Award from Women in Film and Television Vancouver.
"What Walaa Wants" is produced by Matt Code and Christy Garland (Murmur Media; Canada), Anne Köhncke (Final Cut for Real; Denmark) and Justine Pimlott (NFB Ontario Studio; Canada). The NFB executive producer is Anita Lee.
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