World Premiere set for film “Naila and the Uprising”

World Premiere set for film “Naila and the Uprising”
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World Premiere set for film “Naila and the Uprising”

A Story of the Hidden Role Women Played in the Nonviolent Movement of the First Intifada receives World Premiere at DOC NYC. Film Screens at DOC NYC and IDFA in Lead-up to 30th Anniversary of First Intifada; Subjects Naila Ayesh & Zahira Kamal in New York for Premiere

Just Vision is proud to announce the world premiere of NAILA AND THE UPRISING at the eighth annual DOC NYC festival (November 9-16) on Sunday, November 12 at the SVA Theatre, 209 East 23rd Street.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Julia Bacha (Budrus, My Neighbourhood) and produced by award-winning Just Vision, NAILA AND THE UPRISING tells the remarkable story of Naila Ayesh, who played a key role in the First Intifada, the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history. When the uprising broke out in the late 1980s, Naila was living in Gaza. Faced with a choice between love, family and freedom, she embraced all three, joining a clandestine network of Palestinian women in a movement that forced the world and Israel to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. The film focuses on the power of women’s leadership in building a united front in the struggle for self-determination, equality and freedom in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It inventively combines animation with archival footage to explore this hidden history.

Naila and the Uprising, courtesy of the producers

Naila and the Uprising, courtesy of the producers

NAILA AND THE UPRISING premieres in the month leading up to the 30th anniversary of the start of the First Intifada on December 9, 1987 and, following its DOC NYC screening, will launch internationally at IDFA in Amsterdam (November 15-26). Other festivals will be announced in the weeks to come.

Film subjects Naila Ayesh and Zahira Kamal, director Julia Bacha, producer Rula Salameh and executive producer Suhad Babaa will be present for Q&As after the DOC NYC screening on Sunday, November 12 at 4:15pm (more on DOC NYC:

DOC NYC Press Screening:
Fri., November 3 – 10:00 am
IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave. (at W. 3rd St.)
(runtime: 75 minutes)

Julia Bacha said the film was a long-anticipated Just Vision production: “The First Intifada is an iconic moment in Palestinian history, when women took the helm of leadership positions at the grassroots and guided a civil resistance effort that was highly strategic, effective and creative and, in many ways, is an example of what civil resistance can achieve in the face of overwhelming repression. It’s a story that the media at the time missed—a trend that continues today as communities organize across the region for equality, freedom and justice—and we’re thrilled to finally bring it to light.”

As part of a newly announced deal with Fork Films and THIRTEEN/WNET, NAILA AND THE UPRISING will be included in the four-part Women, War & Peace II series, which is slated to have its exclusive US broadcast premiere on PBS in 2018, as well as broad international distribution. This is the second installment of the Women War & Peace series, which highlights how women in contemporary conflict zones risk their lives and lift their communities in pursuit of freedom and justice. The first installment of the series in 2011—which included groundbreaking films like Pray the Devil Back to Hell—exceeded the expectations of PBS and the series producers.


Film subject Naila Ayesh was an activist and student organizer in the years leading up to the First Intifada and became a leading figure in the uprising. She later became General Director of the Gaza-based Women’s Affairs Center, a non-profit devoted to advancing women’s leadership and participation in political and public life. Available in NY from Nov. 7-16.

Film subject Zahira Kamal has been at the vanguard of the women’s movement and national liberation movement in Palestine since the 1970s. Today, she serves as the General Secretary of the Palestinian Democratic Union Party – FIDA, the only female leader of a major political party in Palestine. Available in NY from Nov. 7-16.

Director Julia Bacha is a Peabody award-winning filmmaker (Budrus), Guggenheim Fellow and the Creative Director at Just Vision, an organization that uses film and multimedia storytelling to foster constructive conversations on some of the most divisive issues of our times. Based in New York.

Executive Producer Suhad Babaa is a Washington, DC-based media strategist and human rights advocate who has spoken internationally about the power of women’s leadership and grassroots organizing. She is also the Executive Director of Just Vision. Available in NY from Nov. 7-16.

Producer Rula Salameh is a journalist and media producer. She is also Just Vision’s Education & Outreach Manager in Palestine. Available in NY from Nov. 7-16.
About Just Vision:
Just Vision generates awareness and support for Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity and equality for everyone in the region. They tell their under-documented stories through their award-winning films, their Hebrew-language news site, Local Call, and creative educational tools that undermine stereotypes, inspire commitment and galvanize action. Just Vision’s documentaries include Budrus, which won eighteen major international awards including the PUMA Creative Impact Award of 2012, and My Neighborhood, which won a 2013 Peabody Award. The team also worked as Impact Producers for The Wanted 18. Just Vision is comprised of a team of Palestinian, Israeli and North American journalists, filmmakers and human rights advocates.

Film’s website (w. press kit & images):
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

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Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

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