Naila and the Uprising was made by Just Vision, a team of filmmakers, storytellers, journalists and human rights advocates. It was directed by filmmaker and Just Vision’s Creative Director, Julia Bacha, and executive produced by Suhad Babaa, Executive Director of Just Vision. It was produced by Rula Salameh, a journalist and Just Vision’s Director of Education and Outreach in Palestinian society, together with Rebekah Wingert-Jabi who also edited the film with Flavia de Souza. Co-Producers include Ronit Avni (Founder of Just Vision), Jen Marlowe (Just Vision’s Communications Associate), Fadi Abu Shammalah, Suad Amiry, Anya Rous, Jessica Devaney and Nava Mizrahi. For more information about the filmmakers, please visit this link.
The filmmakers have a personal relationship to the region, and many of Just Vision’s staff and the team behind Naila and the Uprising have either grown up or lived in the Middle East for a substantial period of time. We are all committed to promoting nonviolent efforts to resolve the conflict, end the occupation and build a future that is rights-respecting, equal and free for all.
In 2013, our team began extensive research into the events that took place during the First Intifada and interviewed dozens of Palestinian and Israeli organizers, journalists, and lawyers who were active during that time.
The first phase of research included interviews with Palestinian leaders who were exiled at the time for their involvement with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and members of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), which was comprised of local leaders. We also interviewed Israeli journalists and editors who covered the uprising and hired an independent Israeli journalist to conduct an analysis of Israeli media coverage to understand how the story was reported to the Israeli public. Finally, we interviewed historians who chronicled the First Intifada and the negotiations that followed.
When we first embarked on the project, we didn’t know that women would emerge as the central protagonists. Our research soon revealed that a clandestine network of women, working through formal and informal networks, were fundamental to the sustenance and achievements of the Intifada. The research also showed that the unarmed nature of the First Intifada was largely missed in Israeli and international media coverage from the period. The more we learned, the more evident it became that this was the story we needed to tell. Our production team then interviewed over two dozen Palestinian women as well as several Israeli activists, journalists and human rights attorneys who were active during the uprising.
Because much of the story of the First Intifada hadn’t been told, one of the greatest challenges was finding footage, particularly from the grassroots perspective. With a team of Palestinian, Israeli and American archival researchers, we reviewed hundreds of hours of footage and countless pages of archival materials. The vast majority of mainstream coverage of the Intifada did not capture the story of daily popular resistance efforts nor the role of women’s leadership in the movement. However, we were fortunate to find some archival news footage from outlets whose reporting from the field more accurately reflected what was taking place on the ground.
We were also delighted to draw from a Finnish documentary about Naila’s life by Iikka Vehkalahti called Amal, Inam, Naila which became a central source of footage in illustrating the story captured in Naila and the Uprising.
Naila and the Uprising has received outstanding media coverage in the American, Israeli, Palestinian and international press. The New York Times called Naila and the Uprising, “an invitation into the world of real heroic people who persevere when all hope is lost,” and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said the film delivers “a really important message, especially right now.” The Jerusalem Post wrote that Naila and the Uprising is “a film that advocates non-violent resistance, and the price paid for trying to realize it,” and editor-in-chief of Rai Al-Yom, Abdel Bari Atwan said the film captures “true stories of real people who challenged and confronted the occupation with their sheer will and determination.” The film has been featured multiple times in top print, TV and radio outlets including: The Washington Post, Ha’aretz, Ma’an, Channel 2 News in Israel, The Jerusalem Post, Amanpour & Company, Galatz, CNN, PBS, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Yedioth Ahronoth, NPR and more. To see a full list of press coverage in English, please visit: www.justvision.org/press/nailaandtheuprising.
Naila and the Uprising premiered in November 2017 at DOC NYC, followed by its international premiere at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) and its Middle East premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Naila and the Uprising has since screened at dozens of festivals internationally, played for tens of thousands of audience members and won Audience and Jury Prizes around the globe. In March 2019, Naila and the Uprising aired nationally on the US’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as part of the acclaimed Women, War and Peace II series, in partnership with Fork Films and WNET/ THIRTEEN.
Naila and the Uprising premiered in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in December 2017 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the First Intifada and in Israel in October 2018 to coincide with the online broadcast of the film on Local Call, the Hebrew-language news outlet Just Vision co-founded and co-published with 972 Advancement of Citizen Journalism.
To date, Naila and the Uprising has screened nearly 200 times, in more than 75 cities and villages across the globe, for more than 25,000 individuals. Some highlights include:
The film is entirely subtitled, and it includes violence and language that may be challenging for some. Adults are strongly recommended to preview the film before bringing children or teenagers under the age of fourteen to see it.
Naila and the Uprising is available in English, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Turkish, Spanish and French. If you would like to help make Naila and the Uprising available in another language, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naila and the Uprising has been screened at dozens of campuses and communities across the US, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the US and Canada, check to see if your organization or university library already owns an institutional copy of the film. If not, you can purchase an Educational/Institutional copy through our online store here. Educational DVDs includes both the 76-minute feature version and the 54-minute broadcast version of the film. For groups with limited budgets, discounts on the full institutional rate and one-time screening fees may be available. Contact email@example.com for more information.
We encourage you to include a facilitated discussion or conversation after the film to ensure that the screening is constructive and accessible to as broad an audience as possible. The Naila and the Uprising Discussion Guide and resources page is a helpful reference when planning the discussion portion of the event. To invite a Just Vision speaker to lead a discussion following the screening, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Naila and the Uprising Institutional/Educational film copy is not permitted for use if one is charging admission for the screening. For more information about paid admission screenings, please contact email@example.com.
To organize a screening outside of the US, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For film festivals and theatrical events, please contact email@example.com.
DCP, Apple ProRes, DVD and BluRay. For community and educational screenings we can also provide an MPEG (H.264) through digital download. We cannot guarantee that your preferred format will be available due to high demand. We recommend booking as early as possible.
Naila and the Uprising is 76 minutes in total running time. The broadcast version, which was broadcast as part of PBS’s Women, War & Peace II, runs at 54 minutes.