Leila Sansour Bethlehem Article for Haaretz

Leila Sansour Bethlehem Article for Haaretz


Leila Sansour writes about her and her family’s experience of life growing up under Israeli occupation. Reflecting on the past 45 years, she wonders how the future will unfold – not least for the younger generation who have known nothing but life under occupation.

‘As a child growing up in Bethlehem, I was entrusted with burning all the political books in my father’s library whenever there was an Israeli raid. Now my city is surrounded by walls and ring-fenced by more than forty Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land.’


More reading:

In September 2011, as Palestine prepared for its bid for UN recognition, Leila writes about this hugely significant step.

‘The Palestinian UN bid – an uncharted  territory.  Is the risk going to the UN? Or is the greater risk doing it half- heartedly? Read it here.

TPFF Spring Newsletter

Dear colleagues, supporters and friends,

Here’s a quick round-up of TPFF news – dates for your diary, project news, more films and campaigns to watch out for and, most importantly, read to the end to find out how you can get more involved with what we do!


We Are Many

We are delighted to say we are working with director Amir Amirani to help raise funds and provide campaign outreach support for his film We Are Many, which will be released in 2013 to mark the 10th anniversary of the global anti-Iraq invasion marches. ‘We Are Many’ is a film about a single day and its aftermath – an untold chapter in the history of people power. By turns uplifting and chilling, it reveals both the power and potential of ordinary people, as well as the dark underbelly of the war machine.

Imagine This (working title)

As we witness the outcome of unfettered greed in the markets and financial systems, TPFF is leading on the development of a film that will take us on a journey to show how you can combine ethics and commercial success. Some are arguing that the ‘unselfish gene’ is embedded in many areas of human economic activity – we just don’t seem to make much noise about it . Taking an international look at this subject, the first stage research has been completed. Read here for more.

The Road to Bethlehem

Following from a very successful presentation at the Dubai International Film Festival, and as distribution plans for its release for Christmas get underway, we are embarking on the task of fundraising for the film’s outreach campaign to accompany the film’s release. As part of this, there will be a fundraiser held at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre on May 16th, with a screening of Jeremy Hardy vs The Israeli Army, with a Q&A with Jeremy and Leila. If you would like to book for this event or find out more about how you can help, email info@tippingpointfilmfund.com.

More ones to watch…

Just Do It – TPFF is part of the funding community supporting Emily James’s film about environmental activists, due for release this summer.

Our Generation – Sinem Saban & Damien Curtis’s shocking new documentary about present day Australia’s abuse of Aboriginal people’s rights – land, culture and freedoms.

New Dogwoof Release on June 21st – Countdown to Zero

“The horror film to end all horror films.” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness.” – President John F. Kennedy

Nine nations possess nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them. The world is now held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. Written and directed by Academy Award® nominated documentarian Lucy Walker (Waste LandThe Devil’s PlaygroundBlindsight), Countdown to Zero traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs. It makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament and features an array of important international statesmen, including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Pervez Musharraf.

The film’s UK distributor, Dogwoof (The Age of Stupid), have announced Demand Zero Day on Tuesday 21 June. The film will screen simultaneously across the UK and Ireland before venues link up live to London’s BAFTA for a high-profile panel discussion starring Queen Noor of Jordan, Valerie Plame and Tarantino’s producer, Lawrence Bender.  Audiences will also be encouraged to join the discussion and text in their questions. Not screening near you? You can bring the premiere to your community by hosting your very own. Dogwoof’s Ambassadors programme allows individuals to make a big social impact while generating funds for both themselves and the filmmakers. Find out where the Countdown to Zero is playing and bring the movement to your area with Ambassadors.

Watch the trailer here.


TPFF is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition and this Spring, SCC are driving The Big Climate Re-Connection – find out how you can make sure your MP pushes the government to deliver the best possible Climate Act.

We are also members of the wonderful Tax Justice Network – who worked closely with author Nicholas Shaxson to produce a new book, Treasure Islands – the truth about tax havens. Check it out.

Join a revolution – courtesy of The Co-operative! The Co-op Group are encouraging its customers to Join The Revolution as it announces the most radical sustainability programme in UK corporate history that will spearhead its membership drive and help build a more sustainable economy. Get involved!

Britdoc’s excellent Case Study on End of the Line was recently published and aims to illustrate just how and why film matters and makes a tangible impact that is auditable.

TPFF FILM CLUB & Save the Dates…

April 18th, May 16th, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre

TPFF held recent events at the Lexi Cinema – End of Poverty (to mark Fairtrade Fortnight) and Academy Award winner Inside Job. Both played to full houses, followed by great post-film discussions with great panellists – so watch this space for our next Lexi screenings! We are now exploring taking TPFF film club to other London venues as well as other cities around the UK…

Meantime, on April 18th, we are partnering with Jubilee Debt Campaign and Pambazuka News to co-host a film + panel discussion to mark 50 years since the death of DRC’s first independent leader – Patrice Lumumba, assassinated just 10 weeks after his election. The event will ask: 50 years on, what future for the Congo?

7pm, admission free, on a first come first serve basis on the night. Read here for more.

May 16th – join TPFF, Jeremy Hardy and Leila Sansour for a fundraising event for The Road to Bethlehem outreach campaign at Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre. Tickets on sale soon – watch this space. Meantime, if you would like to know more email info@tippingpointfilmfund.com.


TPFF raises funds for projects from various sources – individuals, charities, NGOs. More and more, people are asking us ‘how can we help?’ or ‘how can we get more involved?’ – so here is how! Fundamentally, we need supporters to back the fund and spread the word. The more the fund grows, the more projects we can support. Find out more – or email info@tippingpointfilmfund.com if you would like to talk to one of us at TPFF about how you can get more involved.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Road to Bethlehem selected for Dubai International Film Festival

We are delighted that Leila Sansour’s feature documentary film, The Road to Bethlehem,  has been selected for the prestigious Dubai International Film Festival  2010 (DIFF) and will be screened on 16th December, 6pm and 18th December,  10pm.   Additionally, the film has received an award from the Dubai Entertainment and Media Organization, which is now a co-producer on the film.  Dubai also hosts a market for distributors and sales agents from all over the world

Christmas screenings of 'Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army' – 29 Nov and 5 Dec 2010

Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie’

Christmas is almost upon us and the Holy Town of Bethlehem is anything but still. For almost five years now the Israeli Army has been building an enormous concrete wall around and through the city, carving up neighbourhoods and cutting off local Palestinians from generations-owned land and from food and medical supplies. Leila Sansour has been documenting the expansion of the wall and the impact on Bethlehem’s citizens for her new film The Road to Bethlehem, now in final stages of editing.

This Christmas, to highlight the emergency facing Bethlehem’s community, Tipping Point Film Fund will be showing Leila’s first feature documentary film (also shot in Bethlehem) Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army, in London and in Edinburgh. Both screenings will be followed by a panel discussion and include a short preview clip of The Road to Bethlehem. For screening details see the end of the page.

Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army follows the Radio 4 comedian in 2002 as he travels to Israel and the Occupied Territories to team up with members of the International Solidarity Movement (or ISM), where he engages in non-violent direct action to challenge the occupation.

CHRISTMAS SCREENINGS – London and Edinburgh

SCREENING INFORMATION (London and Edinburgh)

MON 29 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm

The Lexi Cinema, 194 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JU.XBuy tickets online or call 0871 704 2069. Tickets cost £10 but are free to TPFF regular givers and annual donors of more than £60. All tickets include a lovely Christmas mince pie and glass of something special. If you work for an NGO you can purchase two tickets for the price of one by emailing info@tippingpointfilmfund.com from your work  email address.

The post-film discussion will ask the question: As we approach Christmas, and the Israeli ‘separation wall’ continues unabated to encircle the town, what future is there for Bethlehem? The panel, chaired by TPFF, will include Maxim Sansour, brother of the director Leila Sansour. Maxim is a character in her new film, The Road to Bethlehem, supported by TPFF and released next year.

Edinburgh Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ,
Buy tickets online or call 0131 228 2688. Tickets cost £6.90 (£5.20 conc) but are free to TPFF regular givers & annual donors of more than £60.
For details of how to get there.

Filmhouse panel includes: Michael Marten (academic and chair of the Scottish Palestinian Forum), Maureen Jack (vice chair of the Scottish Palestinian Forum and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams), the Rev Clarence Musgrave who has lived and worked in Jerusalem, and Deborah Burton, Co-founder of Tipping Point Film Fund.


Autumnal greetings – September’s newsletter

Autumnal greetings – September’s newsletter

Spotlight News


Welcome to our latest newsletter… the summer is almost over and we’ve packed a whole lot of stuff in. But before we start with our update we’d like to highlight a new and exciting TPFF venture – the launch of our very own film club!


New film club starts with ‘Life and Debt’
The TPFF Film Club – which we’re launching at The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise on 20 Sept – will be a regular event where TPFF supporters, relevant NGO networks and the general public can get together to watch a specifically chosen feature-documentary (usually related to the news agenda and campaigning) and enjoy a lively panel discussion or Q&A with guest speakers. The event will be free to TPFF regular givers and one-off annual donors of £60 or more. To find out more about our first screening – Stephanie Black’s award-winning documentary Life and Debt – and panel discussion ‘when will rich countries own up to their responsibility in keeping developing nations poor in order to grow their own wealth?’ visit our website or watch the trailer. The panel includes the broadcaster and academic, Dr Robert Beckford; the Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, Nick Dearden and Dr Patricia Daley, lecturer in Human Geography at Oxford University.


TPFF summer round-up
Over the summer we teamed up with Dogwoof and the solar-powered Groovy Movie Picture House and held screenings at Glastonbury, Lounge on the Farm and The Wickham Festival. We screened Great African Scandal for UNITE trade union, and in association with the brilliant Lexi Cinema, we hosted a sold-out screening and panel discussion of Oliver Stone’s ‘South of the Border’. We also had a great time at the 25,000 strong Greenbelt Arts Festival where we hosted four screenings and Q&As over three days – to find out more about the films and speakers, including a video-message from Jeremy Hardy, visit our website.


Ones to watch!

No Impact Man – September
No Impact Man (guilty New York liberal, Colin Beavan, decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for a year) will be hitting cinemas around the country from 3rd September. Watch the trailer at www.noimpactdoc.com or to find a screening near you go to Dogwoof.


Budrus – September
Budrusthemovie follows a Palestinian leader who manages to unite Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success appears to elude him until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.  Another Dogwoof film released 24 September.


Collapse – October
Collapse is an astonishing portrait of radical thinker Michael Ruppert – exploring his apocalyptic vision of the future, spanning the crises in economics, energy, environment and more.


Project news


The Road to Bethlehem
We are delighted to have secured the grant support of the charitable arm of McCabe Travel – a company specialising in pilgrimages to the Holy Land.  McCabe’s support will enable the post-production costs of ‘The Road to Bethlehem’ to be met. McCabe Travel will also be an outreach partner on the film in 2011 and we very much look forward to our collaboration highlighting the need for visitors to go to Palestine to witness as well as appreciate all that its people have to share.


‘The Road to Bethlehem’ is in final stages of editing and we are now turning our attention to raising funds for the international outreach campaign to accompany the film on its release in 2011. Find out about our latest fund-raising initiative and how you can help us to raise money by hosting your own screenings!   Watch the latest clip from Leila Sansour to find out why this is important, and if you need any more encouragement find out what Jeremy Hardy had to say at the Greenbelt Arts Festival.


TPFF is part of the effort to raise production funding for ‘Cashback’ a film by Marc and Nick Francis. The film will tell the story of how money is drained out of developing countries by a network of bankers, accountants, and lawyers into secret, off-shore Western bank accounts, undermining the lives of millions of people.  If you would like to know more or donate to the film’s funding, contact us at info@tippingpointfilmfund.com. In the meantime, Marc and Nick’s latest film ‘When China Met Africa’ was screened as part of the BBC’s Storyville strand in July – you can find out more here! To find out more about Tax Justice visit The Tax Justice Network, Christian Aid or Action Aid.


Save the date – Tipping Point screenings


Monday 20th September, TPFF Film Club at The Lexi Cinema (Kensal Rise, London), screening of ‘Life and Debt’ followed by panel discussion. To find out more about the film and the panel discussion ‘when will rich countries own up to their responsibility in keeping developing nations poor in order to grow their own wealth?’ click here, or to buy your ticket go to The Lexi Cinema. Tickets are free to TPFF regular givers!


Tuesday 26th October, Inn on the Green (Ladbroke Grove, London)
A screening of ‘Inside the Revolution: a journey into the heart of Venezuela’. This 2009 film will be followed by Q&A with the director Pablo Navarrete. Please check our website in the next few weeks for more details.


‘…a rare film about Venezuela, a country in extraordinary transition. Watch this film because it is honest and fair and respectful of those who want to be told the truth about an epic attempt, flaws and all, to claim back the humanity of ordinary people.” – John Pilger (Journalist, author and documentary filmmaker).


Monday 29 November, TPFF Film Club, The Lexi Cinema (Kensal Rise, London)
Programme tbc.  Admission free to TPFF regular givers!


And later this week….


Good Pitch UK 2010
Friday 10th September (London)
Observer Passes now on sale! The Good Pitch brings together documentary filmmakers with NGOs, foundations, philanthropies, brands and media around leading social issues – to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society.  Find out more at Good Pitch UK.


Well, that’s all from us folks and very much hope to see some of you on the 20th!


With best wishes,


from Debs, Emma, Jen and us all at Tipping Point Film Fund


PS –   Find out more about joining our network of regular givers – 360
What TPFF did at Greenbelt on August bank holiday weekend

What TPFF did at Greenbelt on August bank holiday weekend

We’re back from the Greenbelt Arts Festival in Cheltenham and it was full-on as ever, but very rewarding. Greenbelt is a great audience, packed with all kinds of people who really care about political issues, social change and campaigning and who want make big change happen – just like we do!


We screened four films, each followed by a live panel debate or Q&A! In case you missed any of them we’ve written a little round-up below. We’ve also posted some photos and a great clip from Jeremy Hardy – talking about Tipping Point Film Fund and The Road to Bethlehem. We’ve got loads of content still to upload – so watch this space!
Thanks to Dogwoof and Good With Film for The Vanishing of the Bees, Burma VJ and The Yes Men Fix the World.


The Vanishing of the Bees, Saturday 28 August

We had a full house for The Vanishing of the Bees followed by a great talk from Phil Chandler – author of The Barefoot Bee Keeper. Phil describes his book as ‘a challenge to the status quo [and a read] to stimulate both actual and potential beekeepers to think for themselves and ask questions’.  He talked with first hand knowledge – and with deep passion and energy – of how and why the phenomena of bees and ‘colony collapse disorder’ is directly linked to the way our food is produced (chemical overload, monoculture, agri-business lobbying). Visit Phil’s site www.biobees.com to learn more, or to take action visit The Co-operative’s Plan Bee.


Burma VJ, Sunday 29 August

After the film, Zoya Phan – a 28 year old ethnic Karen refugee –  spoke about her own experiences as a teenager fleeing the regime. She now lives in London and works for human rights organisation, The Burma Campaign UK. In an incredibly moving presentation, Zoya spoke about the extent of human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime – including the assassination of her father and assassination attempts on her own life; the need for the international community to keep pressure on Burma as well as its trading partners; the need for a Global Arms embargo as well as for the UN to agree to implement a commission to investigate Crimes against humanity in Burma.


To find out more visit The Burma Campaign UK,  buy a copy of Zoya’s autobiography Little Daughter or visit the The Phan Foundation – set up in memory of Zoya’s mother and father, the Phan Foundation works to alleviate poverty, promote education and preserve the culture of the oppressed ethnic Karen people.


Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army, Monday 30 August

Jeremy Hardy turned up on Monday morning to a very warm welcome from the Greenbelt crowd. In fact the venue was so full that even Jeremy himself had to queue to get in! After the screening of Leila Sansour’s first film ‘Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army’, the Radio 4 comedian spent more than an hour in a lively post-film discussion, updating the audience about the individuals in the film (International Solidarity Movement) and the issues affecting the West Bank and Bethlehem in particular. We’ll be posting clips of the discussion here on our website but in the mean time, see what Jeremy had to say about Tipping Point Film Fund and Leila’s new film ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.


The Yes Men Fix the World, Friday 30 August

Finally on Monday afternoon we showed The Yes Men Fix the World and after the film,  Deborah Burton, co-founder of Tipping Point Film Fund hosted a five-person panel which explored the role of non-violent direct action in campaigning. Joined by speakers from Christian Aid and Tearfund, Trident Plougshares, World Development Movement and Radical Middle Way, the panel discussed various means to both engage supporters and media on the big issues of our time – from postcards and emails to blockades and peaceful direct action protest. Watch this space for clips from the debate…

McCabe Educational Trust supports The Road to Bethlehem

We are delighted to have secured the grant support of the charitable arm of  McCabe Travel – a company specialising in pilgrimages to the Holy Land.  McCabe’s support will enable the post-production costs of The Road to Bethlehem to be met.

McCabe Travel will also be an outreach partner on the film in 2011 and we very much look forward to our collaboration highlighting the need for visitors to go to Palestine to both witness as well as appreciate all that its people have to share.

If you’d like to donate to The Road to Bethlehem outreach campaign, click here and mark your donation ‘The Road to Bethlehem’. If you’d like to find out more contact us or email info@tippingpointfilmfund.com