The short film by British Palestinian director Farah Nabulsi won the Best Short Film Award at the British Academy of Film and Television for the year 2021.
The two-day event began in London around Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic. The final night of the awards ceremony will take place on Sunday.
Nabulsi’s first director, The Present, tells the story of Youssef, played by Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, who travels with his daughter to buy an anniversary gift for his wife in the occupied West Bank.
“Amazing!” Nabulsi shouted in her acceptance speech.
“Whoever has seen the present … will know why I dedicate this award to the long-awaited Palestinian people with freedom and equality …” he said.
Then Nabulsi tweeted: “I absolutely loved it!!! BAFTA!!!”
The Oscar-nominated film Nabulsi is co-written by Palestinian-American poet and director Hind Choufani.
Totally amazed!!! BAFTA!!! ? https://t.co/NJL4NnWD4i
– Farah Nabulsi (@farah_nabulsi) April 10, 2021
“I am excited for all the Palestinian artists who I hope will be excited and encouraged to continue creating their wonderful work,” Chofani, who edited the film, told Al Jazeera.
“I know that everything in our Palestinian heritage actually depends on the great effort, talent and leadership of so many generations before us.”
The short film is now streaming on Netflix.
Prominent Palestinians responded with glee on social media, praising the film for its depiction of daily life in the occupied West Bank and calling the award “well deserved”.
Congratulations Farah! well deserved. We are very proud of you. Palestine celebrates with you,” former PLO member, academic and activist Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter.
Congratulations Farah! well deserved. We are very proud of you. Palestine celebrates with you. We love you. . https://t.co/OoM66ZMX5w
– Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) April 11, 2021
The head of the Palestinian mission in the United Kingdom and the former head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in the United States, Husam Zomlot, said the short film “embodies the pain of a nation”.
“We have been victims of repression and cover-up,” he said on Twitter.
our end Tweet embed. My wife and three children are among his fans. The present embodies the pain of a nation that has lasted for a very long time. We have been victims of both oppression and cover-up. Thank you 🇵🇸✊ https://t.co/AIh9AlTN3p
– Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) April 11, 2021
“Dreadful and well-deserved news,” Lebanese journalist Zahra Hankir said on Twitter.
The film was nominated along with four other short films, including Eyelash, Lizard, Lucky Break, and Miss Curvy.
At the Academy Awards, which will be held on April 25, The Present will compete alongside Shorts, The Letter Room, Two Faraway Strangers, White Eye, and Feeling Through.
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