Najwa Najjar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writer/ Director Najwa Najjar received her BA in Political Science and Economics,
MA in Film/Video Production (US). She has worked in both documentary and
fiction since 2000. Her critically acclaimed debut was the feature film
Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009). Her second award-winning feature film
Eyes of a Thief (2014) won Best Director and Best Actor awards, among many
others, and was the Palestinian nomination for the 2015 Oscars Best
Foreign Film and the Golden Globe Awards.
Previous work includes several award-winning films also shown worldwide (Berlin,
Cannes, Locarno, Hamptons,): Yasmine Tughani (2006), Naim and
Wadee’a (2000), Quintessence of Oblivion(2001), Blue Gold (2004), A
Boy Called Mohamad (2002), and They Came from the East which opened
the 2004 European Academy Awards. Najjar produced a collection of short films
by international filmmakers Gaza Winter (2009). She is currently in
preproduction on her third feature film, a road trip: Son of a Very Important
Man to be shot throughout Palestine.
A speaker on numerous panels on cinema and a Jury member of several
International Film Festivals, she recently gave a Director’s Masterclass at Galway
Film Festival 2016. Najjar has reviewed books, and her articles on Palestinian
cinema have been published. She has been a reader for the Rawi Sundance Lab
for Arab scriptwriters and has been an advisor for the Rawi Sundance
Scriptwriter’s Lab for the past two years.

FILMOGRAPHY

2016

SON OF A VERY IMPORTANT MAN
(Writer/Director)
(In PreProduction)
**Special Jury Award Cairo Film Connection 2015
Participated in Rome Int’l FF Co-production Cinema 2016
Participated in Dubai Int’l Film Connection 2016
Shortlisted Rotterdam Cinemart 2017

2014

THE EYES OF A THIEF
Writer/Director
(Completed PALESTINIAN/ALGERIAN/ICELANDIC/FRENCH
COPRODUCTION)
**Palestine Nomination for Best Foreign Film Oscars 2015
and Golden Globes 2015
**Winner Best Director Kolkotta Int’l Film Festival 2014
**Winner Best Actor Cairo Int’l Film Festival 2014
**Certificate of Appreciation Malak Ermileh Malmo IFF 2015
**Audience Award Best Feature Film Boston FF 2015
Sundance Scriptwriting Lab 2011
Sundance Duke Grant Recipient Jan 2011
Winner Dubai Film Connection Dec 2011
Winner Jordan Film Fund Dec 2011
Participant Rome International Film Festival New Cinema
Network
HANI KORT Winner Best Producer with invite to the
Producer’s Network Cannes Film Festival 2013

2009

GAZA WINTER
Producer
The collection comprises work by the following directors: Islam al
Burbar (Gaza), Tareq Elayyan (Gaza), Dima Hamdan (UK), Fahad
Jabali (Iceland), Pilar Tavora (Spain), Salim Abu Jabal (Golan
Heights), George Azar (Palestine/Jordan), Ismail Habbash
(Ramallah), Mathieu Cauville (France), Khmais Hmaid (Tunis), Raed
al Helou (Ramallah), and Omar Hamilton (UK).
2009 POMEGRANATES AND MYRRH
Writer/Director PALESTINIAN/FRENCH/GERMAN/
JORDANIAN COPRODUCTION (Arabic/English/Hebrew with subtitles)
Screened in over 70 int’l festivals
Script Winner Screenplay Development Fund Amiens
Cinema in Motion San Sebastian Film Festival (4 awards)
Winner Best Arab Film Audience Award Doha Tribeca FF
Winner Amal Arab European Film Festival Spain Grand Prix
Winner Best Actress and Best Cinematographer Muscat
International Film Festival
Youssef Chahine grand Prix de cinema at Festival
International de Cinéma d’Auteur de Rabat
Special Mention for best actress Festival International de
Cinéma d’Auteur de Rabat

2006

YASMINE’S SONG
Writer/Director
Competition Clermont-Ferrand Short Film
Festival 2006 official selection 56th Berlinale
Cannes Short Film Corner
Locarno International Film Festival
(over 50 international film festivals)
winner: Grand Prix FICA/Portugal
Herodotus Peace Award Bodrum International Film Festival
Special Mention Locarno International Film Festival
Best Musical Score SoleLuna film Festival Palermo Italy
Journalist Award Short Film Festival Morocco

2004

THEY CAME FROM THE EAST
Three-minute piece opened the European Film Academy awards
in Barcelona 2004
2004 BLUE GOLD
Commission by European
Commission (Arabic/English/Hebrew with subtitles

2002

A BOY CALLED … MOHAMMED
Writer/Director
(Arabic with English
subtitles)Winner: Films for Peace and Justice

2001 JAWHAR AL SILWAN

(QUINTESSENCE OF OBLIVION)
Writer/Director/Producer/ Camera
Arabic (English
subtitles) Beta SP Winner: ART Desert Rain Film Festival,
Italy (6/2001)
2000 NAIM & WADEE’A
Writer/Director/Producer
Arabic (English and French
subtitles) Beta SP
Winner: Films of Conflict and Resolution at the
Hamptons International Film Festival 2000
Movimiento de Documentalistas, Argentina (9/2002)
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2018 Guest Filmmaker Film Independent Series“ Film
Arabi”
2017 Jury Member Antalya Int’l Film festival
Jury Member El Gouna Film Festival
2016 Director’s Masterclass by Najwa Najjar
Galway Film Festival 2016
Panellist MAFF Development Panel Cannes Film
Festival 2016

official selection 56th Berlinale
Cannes Short Film Corner
Locarno International Film Festival
(over 50 international film festivals)
winner: Grand Prix FICA/Portugal
Herodotus Peace Award Bodrum International Film Festival
Special Mention Locarno International Film Festival
Best Musical Score SoleLuna film Festival Palermo Italy
Journalist Award Short Film Festival Morocco

2004

THEY CAME FROM THE EAST
The three-minute piece opened the European Film Academy awards
in Barcelona 2004

2004

BLUE GOLD
Commission by European
Commission (Arabic/English/Hebrew with subtitles)

2002

A BOY CALLED … MOHAMMED
Writer/Director
(Arabic with English
subtitles)Winner: Films for Peace and Justice

2001

JAWHAR AL SILWAN (QUINTESSENCE OF OBLIVION)
Writer/Director/Producer/ Camera
Arabic (English
subtitles) Beta SP Winner: ART Desert Rain Film Festival,
Italy (6/2001)

2000

NAIM & WADEE’A
Writer/Director/Producer
Arabic (English and French
subtitles) Beta SP
Winner: Films of Conflict and Resolution at the
Hamptons International Film Festival 2000
Movimiento de Documentalistas, Argentina (9/2002)

RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2018 Guest Filmmaker Film Independent Series“Film
Arabi”
2017 Jury Member Antalya Int’l Film festival
Jury Member El Gouna Film Festival
2016 Director’s Masterclass by Najwa Najjar
Galway Film Festival 2016
Panellist MAFF Development Panel Cannes Film
Festival 2016
Panellist 4th Annual Women on the Front Lines
conference Beirut, Lebanon
2015 Advisor RAWI Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab
2013/14 Advisor RAWI Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab
2012 Jury Mawred Development Film Fund
2011 Panellist Euromed Audiovisual III Programme
Regional Cinema Needs
Panellist Royal Film Commission post Scriptwriter
Lab experience
2010 Panel Palestinian Cinema Festival on Wheels Adana,
Turkey
Jury Cairo International Film Festival
Jury One Minute films.Doha Film Festival with
Robert DeNiro and Mira Nair and Master of
Ceremony for Awards Closing Night Doha Film
Festival with Robert DeNiro
2009 Jury Locarno International Film Festival
Panellist Palestinian Cinema under Conflict Mons
Festival D’Amour
2008 Reader for RAWI Sundance Lab in Jordan
2007 Organizer Held seminar for Palestinian Filmmakers
by UK producer Robin Gutch from “Idea, to Script
to Screen.”
2006 56th Berlinale Talent Campus panelist: Filming in
Difficult Locations
2006 One of founders for Palestinian Collective
2005 Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab Amman Jordan
2004 World Bank/Silverdocs Film Festival panelist:
Small Format, Big Stories
2004 Mark Travis Masterclasses Directing/ Intimacy/
Conflict
2002/3 MEDEA training (3) in scriptwriting/financing/
marketing for Feature Films – each training course 6
days
2002 Speaker at Berkley University, San Francisco –
Women Filmmakers in the Arab World (4 female
filmmakers were chosen from the Arab World to
present and screen their work)
2001 Course: Directing Actors at the National School
for Film and TV, UK
2000 United Nations Development Programme
TOKTEN to research and film for a documentary on
the water conditions in the occupied Palestinian
territories.
2000 Exhibition at the Witte de With Museum in
Rotterdam
(part of the From/To Exhibition by Farid Armaly)
Presented Pomegranates and Myrrh presently in
script form, into three 1.5m x .5m storyboards
including pictures of talent and locations throughout
Palestine.