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CROSSING BOUNDARIES wins at Jerusalem Film Festival

Tuesday, July 17--------CROSSING BOUNDARIES, a documentary film by Bilal Yusef, was selected as the winning film in the Other Israel Competition at the 24th Annual Jerusalem Film Festival which closed this past weekend. The film also received the Best Documentary Award, as well as the Wim Van Leer "In The Spirit of Freedom" Award presented at the gala awards ceremony in the Israeli capital. 

CROSSING BOUNDARIES presents a sensitive look at two Arab women in Israel, Aisha Sidawee and Umima Abu Ras, joining “Ta’ayush”, a feminist movement, and documents them through a period filled with tension and conflicts, both personal and social ones, in a world of oppression. In winning the competition’s top spot, Crossing Boundaries will be a highlight presentation at the First Annual Other Israel Film Festival, which will take place in New York City, November 8-15, 2007. Mr. Yusef will also receive a cash prize of $1,000, and will attend the Festival in New York as a special guest.

The Festival will highlight films from the seldom seen Arab population of Israel, the 20 percent of Israel’s population that is Arab. Muslim, Bedouin, Christian, Druze, and Circassians from different ethnic, religious, cultural and social backgrounds, known collectively as Arab Citizens of Israel.  Through a week-long festival of award-winning films, guest filmmakers, panel discussions, special gala events & receptions, photography exhibits, musical performances and much more, the Festival will illuminate the lives of the Arab Citizens of Israel who are rarely seen outside the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Festival will take place at various locations in New York, including the Jewish Community Center, Symphony Space, Cinema Village and other venues around the city. The Festival will screen 18-20 narrative features, documentaries and short films.  In addition, there will be panel discussions, post screening question & answer sessions and other numerous opportunities to meet with and learn from the filmmakers and participants. For more information on the Other Israel Film Festival, visit the web site at

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor


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