Open Bethlehem at the Royal Geographical Society with Melvyn Bragg

open bethlehem RGS

Leila Sansour’s film Open Bethlehem was previewed to a sell-out audience of 720 at London’s Royal Geographical Society. It was an incredible evening – MPs and activists; academics and media all joined with many leading Palestinian figures and hundreds of members of the general public in giving the film and Leila, a standing ovation.

Key to the film and the outreach is the message that – to keep Bethlehem truly ‘open’ – we need people to visit the town, to see for the themselves – and to use independent travel companies to do this. So, we were delighted to welcome more than a dozen independent tour operators to be represented, including McCabe Pilgrimages, who part funded the film.

Melvyn Bragg interviewed Leila after the film and this was followed by a Q&A with the audience . Amongst other things, Leila was keen to share the plans for the campaign of the same name – Open Bethlehem – which has the Bethlehem passport at its heart.
It was the most energising start possible to the film’s release in the UK, later this year.

For more information about the passport:

Here is the brochure of the event [pdf].

And the first UK Bethehem Passport Ambassador’s Seminar is scheduled for 8th November 2014, at Amos Trust, St Clement’s Eastcheap, 1 St Clements Court, Clements Lane, London EC4N 7HB. Clink this link to contact Open Bethlehem Campaign for more information, or:  phone +44(0)20 372 5349 or email

Here are some of the tweets during the event: