Archive for the ‘Renovation of the Cinema’ Category

Heart of Jenin on German TV, on june 21

Monday, June 20th, 2011

In November 2005, Ismael Khatib’s 12-year-old son, Ahmed, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier at the Jenin refugee camp. After the doctors at the hospital declared Ahmed dead, his Palestinian father decided to donate his son’s organs to six Israeli children, saving their lives. The news of Ismael’s decision went around the world. The Israeli director, Leon Geller, and the German documentary filmmaker, Marcus Vetter, tell the story in the film The Heart of Jenin, which has already won many awards, including the Cinema for Peace Award.

Heart of Jenin will be screened on German TV (ARD) on june 21 at 10.45 pm.

A vision becomes reality: Opening of Cinema Jenin on August 5th

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010


“I’ve seen endless movies here when I was young. Palestine needs more projects like this.
This cinema is a real catalyst for more to come.”

(Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation/Palestine)

Berlin/Jenin – After two years of restoration works, the international cultural project Cinema Jenin opens its doors with a three-day festival this summer: the first international and Arabic films will hit the brandnew screen between August 5th and 7th, embedded in the opening festivities with Palestinian guests of honour and lots of music. The opening film will be “Heart of Jenin”. Besides, Cinema Jenin will show the BBC documentary „Deep Blue“, the Egyptian film „Hassan & Marcus“ starring Omar Sharif – a clear statement against violence and extremism. „Trio Joubran” from Nazareth/Paris bring an atmospheric, avant-garde oud concert on the cinema stage. In the „Freedom Theatre“, youths from Jenin’s refugee camp are already intensely working on a play to be performed during the opening. Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, has already confirmed his attendance for the opening festivities.

A press conference in the cinema is scheduled for August 5th, 1:00 p.m. Visitors and journalists can purchase a festival pass for all three opening days, and sleep at a hotel or with the help of Cinema Jenin find private accomodation in Jenin. Registration and further information will be provided on our website within the next few days.

Cinema Jenin is more than a building of hopes …

…3-D CINEMA, carbon neutral, SUBTITLING STUDIO, synchronization, THE BEGINNING OF A FILM SCHOOL, education & employability, CINEMA LIBRARY, film production, DEVELOPMENT OF EQUALS, guest house, CAFÉ, public space, EMPLOYMENT, short films, PEACE MESSAGE, solar energy, OPEN AIR, stage, WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT….
And it is: YOUR HELP

More information:

Press release April 2010 – Prime Minister Platzeck in Jenin

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

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(From left to right: Marcus Vetter, the director of ‘Heart of Jenin’ with Matthias Platzeck, Brandenburg’s state prime minister.)

„The cinema is the highlight of my visit here. It is impossible to describe in words how beautiful it is“, says Matthias Platzeck, Prime Minister of the Federal State of Brandenburg, on his visit of „Cinema Jenin“

Jenin– The Prime Minister of the Federal State of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck, has visited the project „Cinema Jenin“ in the West Bank today, and was thrilled. „This cinema is more than a regular cinema. It will further peace in this region a good deal“, said Platzeck. He was visibly moved by a 20-minute film trailer, which was shown for the first time to an audience of some 100 Palestinian guests and 20 businessmen from Brandenburg in the same movie theatre that had screened its last film more than 20 years before. The trailer shows the origins of the project „Cinema Jenin“. The film itself will have its worldwide theatrical release in 2011.
Matthias Platzeck took the time for long conversations with Jenin’s governor Qadora Muosa as well as with Marcus Vetter, director and founder of the „Cinema Jenin“ project. „It always takes some crazy people to get something like this off the ground“, he said about the cinema in the West Bank, which will be groundbreaking as a symbol of peace in the region.

Accompanied by businessmen from Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck inaugurated a solar collector (sponsored by the Bosch Group and B5 Solar) for the cinema roof, which will guarantee an ecological and cost-saving energy supply for the cinema’s future. Brandenburg’s main promotional bank ILB has funded the transport of the solar collector with 12.000 Euros. The Prime Minister concluded his visit announcing that he, as well as Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, will sponsor one of the newly restored cinema seats.

Background: „Welcome to Cinema Jenin!“

The work on “Cinema Jenin” began in 2008: The old cinema is planned to become a comprehensive cultural centre in the middle of Jenin. The opening for all Palestinian visitors is scheduled for the first week of August. A large festival with international guests and a selected programme will presumably take place in April 2011. Fakhri Hamad (Jenin), Marcus Vetter (Tübingen, Germany), and Ismail Khatib (Jenin) are the initiators of the project. Fakhri Hamad is also the manager of “Cinema Jenin”.

Update: work progress in the Cinema

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

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It´s been a while since I wrote my last blog entry. Meanwhile a lot has happened, we had ups and downs, the usual stuff when you work on such a project. Internal and external problems, a shortage of financial resources, producing a short stop of construction, and so on…

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“Cinema Jenin – a somewhat different View”

Friday, February 5th, 2010

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New cinema pictures January 2010

Monday, February 1st, 2010


Here are some pictures of the cinema from my last visit in jenin in January 2010. A report from our architect Johannes is coming soon….

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Spend donations as local as possible

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

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At the very beginning of the project we decided to spend as much of the donations we received and are still receiving here in Jenin. One aspect of this decision concerns the contractors, the other the products we choose to use.
For example the cinema-chair. The original chairs from the sixties, covered with pigeon feces, in large parts damaged and to narrow in width, were not usable anymore. Nevertheless the chair-legs were made of beautifully designed cast iron. So instead of importing a modern chair from abroad, spending the budget for example in Turkey, we decided to restore the existing chairs, upholster them, and at the same time enlarging the width so that they meet todays demands of comfort. It´s obvious that such a route requires more time and energy from our side to ensure quality, but our aim to support the very local economy was always a good guide when we had to make such decisions.

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final stretch on shell construction

Friday, November 20th, 2009

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Since I have left to Berlin at the end of the summer, I have been back to Jenin twice, once in October and once now, at end of November, to supervise the construction works.
The visit in October was most effective. Within a week, the stage was enlarged by a steel/wood construction. It was amazing how fast the ironworks and the wooden decking was ready. Here in Jenin, I found the most incredible metal-works company owned by the Jalbuni family, who supported the project from the very beginning by generous donations. With their help, we are also restoring the old cast-iron cinema chairs. Their excellent equipment makes it possible to do almost anything.

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The cinema is growing – like a tree in the rain….

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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After incredible, never ending thunderstorms (and a serious cold snap) the trees started to flourish as rapidly as our stage in the cinema – it’s just amazing – have a look!

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“Coming soon” banner on the roof – starting a “local campain”

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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Dear friends of Project Cinema Jenin,

some month ago the habitants of Jenin did not really know what these strange foreigners from Europe are doing in their city. Slowly the people realized and understood from personal talks with the team, the volunteers and the local helping hands that we plan to renovate and re-open the cinema next year. So we decided to start a campain in the city to make sure that everybody gets to know about it. In the first step we now have our flyer in Arabic language. Furthermore we announced the re-opening of the cinema, as you can see, on a big banner in Arabic language on the roof of the cinema. Later there will be a LED-screen for commercials produced by the youngsters of the Cinema Jenin Filmschool and Cinema Jenin Production, featuring the movies wich will be show next in the cinema. There are many more ideas regarding this screen.

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