“The spirit of Palestine will be in every theatre in Toronto.” With these words, Rafeef Ziadah introduced “Salt of This Sea,” first offering in the first ever Toronto Palestine Film Festival. With more than 800 in attendance, the opening was a smash success. Through eight days of screenings, more than 4,000 people attended 36 films. As well as a cultural success, politically the film festival was testament to the growing support for Palestine solidarity in the city of Toronto.
The timing of the event was not accidental. 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the Nakba – the catastrophe of ethnic cleansing which expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land, as part of the creation of the state of Israel. Palestine House Education and Cultural Centre conceived of the festival as a way of both marking this anniversary, and helping to put the issue of Palestine on the map in Toronto.
© 2008 Paul Kellogg