The Syrian director’s acclaimed sophomore feature is the latest film to receive distribution support from the IDFA Bertha Fund. The 30k grant will see the film have targeted screenings in Denmark, Sweden, and Palestine, touring as a double bill with Farah’s debut feature, A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy.
After completing a successful festival run that led to awards at this year’s DOK Leipzig, Dokufest, and CPH:DOX, Farah’s film is gearing up for an innovative distribution that takes the documentary’s own dramaturgy as a starting point. Our Memory Belongs to Us brings three Syrian citizen journalists to a theater in Paris to watch, together on stage, life-size projections of the war that changed their lives. Farah films the entire encounter as, ten years after these brutal events took place, the men reflect on their personal journeys and revive their collective memory.
Set for distribution in Denmark, Sweden, and Palestine, speakers—such as Farah and producer Signe Byrge Sørensen, the film’s protagonists, and local Syrian community-members—will accompany the screenings to help contextualize the films and stimulate debate. In the first two territories, the aim is to connect Syrians in exile with local communities in Europe, while in Palestine, the screenings will aim to open discussions about experiences of war, collective memory in times of struggle, and storytelling while under oppression.
Salaam Film & Dialogue, in collaboration with Final Cut for Real, will oversee distribution in Denmark, with a focus on cultural institutions and libraries all over the country. In Sweden, Doc Lounge is handling distribution in collaboration with Arabic-language news platform Aktarr across the network of Doc Lounge Clubs. Finally, Filmlab Palestine will oversee distribution in Palestine, with a focus on screenings in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Haifa, Gaza, Jerusalem, Hebron, Golan Heights, and Nablus.
The IDFA Bertha Fund Europe selection committee included Liselot Verbrugge (CEO, Deckert Distribution), Maëlle Guenegues (Festivals and Acquisitions, CAT&Docs), and Isabel Arrate Fernandez (Executive Director, IDFA Bertha Fund).