Farah Nabulsi is a Palestinian British Oscar nominated and BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and human rights advocate.
She is the daughter of Palestinians who were fortunate enough to make a home in 1970's Britain — unlike the millions who continue to remain stateless in refugee camps.
Born, raised and educated in London, Farah began her career as an institutional equity stockbroker. She ended up with a CFA designation at JP Morgan Chase before moving on to build a children-focused business that she ran for 10 years.
In 2015, she started working in the film industry.
She founded a production company through which she writes, produces and directs fiction films, exploring topics that matter to her and she created a digital resource to deconstruct the Israeli military occupation of Palestine in a way never done before.
Farah writes, directs and produces fiction films inspired by socially relevant themes.
Her latest short film The Present, which is Oscar award-nominated and BAFTA award-winning, sheds light on how Palestinians are deprived of the basic right to freedom of movement. Starring renowned actor Saleh Bakri, it won the Audience Award for Best Film at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2020 (World premiere), the Jury Award for Best Live Action Short at the Cleveland International Film Festival (North American premiere), and has since gone on to win over 40 Audience and Jury Awards at numerous International film festivals as well as being licensed to Canal+ (France), Pacific Voice (Japan), Telefonica (Spain) and Netflix Worldwide.
In her words: "The arts play a crucial role in changing the world and I believe film precedes them all. It gives voice to the silenced, thereby helping build the empathy and understanding needed to effect change."
Her films have been officially selected to international film festivals around the world and her novel approach has been endorsed by the likes of Noam Chomsky, Hanan Ashrawi, John Pilger, Ken Loach and others.
Farah has been invited to serve as a jury member at numerous festivals and as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?
A haunting, abstract and experimental narrative of a woman in the streets of Gaza surrounded by the devastation after the bombs have stopped. She has been helping others, but revelations show it is she who now needs help.
Roger Waters Musician, Composer, Co-Founder of Pink Floyd
The film, Nightmare of Gaza, is poetic and powerful.
Gideon Levy Award-Winning Israeli Journalist & Author
Gaza is unfortunately not a nightmare. Gaza is a horrifying reality. Farah Nabulsi’s short film, Nightmare of Gaza, presents that reality in an artistic way and reminds all of us of the ongoing tragedy. Nobody can remain indifferent to the voices and images in this film. Nobody should remain indifferent to the fate of Gaza.
Sara Roy Jewish-American political economist and scholar
In this stunning and compelling film, Farah Nabulsi captures Gaza’s agony but also her soul. Gaza pleads, “Those who did this are so distant from what they did.” Yet, Nabulsi removes any distance between Gaza and those who insist on silencing her, arguing that Gaza will not be abandoned to indifference and indignity or denied her essential humanity. This beautifully rendered film demands that we maintain a living connection with Gaza's people, experiencing with them their suffering and also their promise. In so doing, said Edward Said, we “unearth the forgotten,” allowing us to embrace nearness over detachment and thereby reclaim our own humanity.
Alice Walker Multi-Award-Winning Novelist & Poet (The Color Purple)
It is, finally, the artist, who gives us back our sight, our soul, and so we see and feel what has happened in a place. Thank you, Farah Nabulsi.
A mother coping with her young son being taken away by a military system. Her helplessness to prevent the cruel and inhumane treatment she knows he is experiencing is more than any mother can bear.
John Pilger Multi-Award Winning Film Director & Journalist
Farah Nabulsi's extraordinary film is a landmark work. It touched me deeply and made me angry all over again about the horror of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people. It points a finger straight at the rest of us, whose governments support Israel, and demand that we speak up now, and never stop until Palestinians are free.
Ken Loach Multi-Award Winning Film Director
This is a brilliant film and demands to be seen. The story it tells is irrefutable, entirely justified – the evidence is there for all who are not blinded by prejudice. Television companies should be fighting each other to show this. If you care about nothing else, care about Palestinian children. You don't know what's going on? Then watch this film and I dare you to turn your back.
Dr Hanan Ashrawi Palestinian Legislator, Spokeswoman, Academic
I'm deeply touched and moved beyond words! The familiarity of recurrent pain only makes it all that more intolerable. Farah's film made me sob with all other mothers, grandmothers, children, human beings who are overwhelmed by the casualness of such horrific injustice and persistence of such willful cruelty. Her revelation of the simple Palestinian story is so personal, so human, so stark that its intensity becomes unbearable. The aesthetic of immersion left me breathless and silent.
Noam Chomsky Jewish-American Author & Institute Professor (Emeritus) of MIT University
American law bars aid to military forces that engage in systematic rights abuses. This heartbreaking film, and the brutal reality of which it is a tiny sample, tell us loud and clear that the law should be enforced and military aid to Israel should end as long as the criminal occupation is maintained.
Sarah Leah Whitson Director of Human Rights Watch, MENA
Today They Took My Son covers a very important topic and an area that Human Rights Watch has spent a great deal of time documenting, so it’s great to see the issue taken up in a way that people can relate to on a personal level. The imagery is great, in particular contrasting the real photographs of detained kids with the fictionalized narrative in the film, and the flashbacks between the documentary footage and the narrative recreated is also effective.
For decades, a gross injustice has been perpetuated against an entire people. Through consumption of news media, we think we understand what they are going through. But we have no idea.
Dr Hanan Ashrawi Palestinian Legislator, Spokeswoman, Academic
I heard and I watched and I’m deeply moved—touched to the core. The word, the image, the idea, and the emotion are all so compelling and genuine.
Jonathan Cook Award Winning Journalist
Very powerful and a great way to give people a sense that there is so much more they don’t know.
Noam Chomsky Jewish-American Author & Institute Professor (Emeritus) of MIT
The evocative and sensitive imagery of Oceans of Injustice vividly reminds us of the endless suffering endured by Palestinians and their courage and endurance in rising from despair.
Farah is an engaging and relatable speaker. She brings a down-to-earth artists perspective into the discourse that leaves audiences enlightened, energised and inspired.
In addition to the following topics, she can tailor her talks according to each event and each audience:
Speaking engagements have included:
Andre Morgan - the man who brought his friend Bruce Lee to the West! Speaks fluent Chinese (3 dialects!) Producer of Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, Academy Award Winning Million Dollar Baby & more. A lovely guy who loved The Present! ☺️🙏🏾
02 May 2021
Woke up this morning to CIA Director (2013-2017) John Brennan’s opinion piece in the New York Times re The Present.
28 Apr 2021
An Oscar night to remember like never in nearly 100 years & will never be like this again! Such gratitude for how far The Present has reached with a BAFTA Win and an Oscar nomination. So beautiful to share it with these two souls, Saleh Bakri & Ossama Bawardi. Onwards & Upwards!!! 😁💪🏼🎥🙌 @theacademy @thepresent_shortfilm
26 Apr 2021
A gorgeous delicious dinner and the meeting of Kaouther Ben Hania, the other Arab & female Oscar nominee for Best International Feature: The Man Who Sold His Skin. ☺️🙏🏾
25 Apr 2021
Thanks to the amazing & hilarious @matthewhoffman.tv the visionary & generous @marissamontgomery & super cool @springplace for a gorgeous screening & Q&A event for hosting us for The Present.
24 Apr 2021
#Repost @aeworld_mag Presenting the May cover of a&e starring award-winning Arab Film Director Farah Nabulsi. The Palestinian Director has been inspiring the world with her honest and real short film “The Present” which is nominated for an Academy Award and already earned a host of recognitions including Best Short Film at the 2021 BAFTAS. we were proud and inspired to be able to talk exclusively with Farah during an incredible time and wish her the best of luck for the upcoming Oscars. Farah wears @bulgari and @giorgioarmani. Stay tuned to read her interview in the upcoming issue of a&e. ____________________ #farahnabulsi #thepresent #film #oscars #bafta #academyawards #arabwomen #womenempowerment #successfulwomen #inspiringstories
19 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021
14 Apr 2021
OMG 🙀!!! The Present wins a BAFTA!!! 😸🎥🙌. Thank you @bafta . Thank you Saleh Bakri, Maryam Kanj, Benoit Chamaillard, Ossama Bawardi, Hind Shoufani, Mohannad Malas, Nael Kanj, Raja Dubayah (RIP), Mariam Kamel Basha, Ashraf Dowani, Fuad Hindieh, Noor Hodaly, Christine Hodaly, Adam Benobaid, Fairouze Nastas, May Odeh, Annemarie Jacir, Ibrahim Zahr, Wissam Aljafari, Faisal Barghouthi, Motaz Ayyad, Saleh Tamim, Luay Awwad, Amir Alheyfawi, Malak Abu Gharbia, Doraid Liddawi, Hassan Abu Ali, Ala’a Hanani, Karam Elayyan, Abdallah Sada, Kostas Varympopiotis, Yiannis Zaharoyiannis, Artemis Kamara, Reem Talhami, Razy Mukarker, Areen Khoury, Nurin Kaoud, Yazan Fares, Nisreen Yassin, Wafaa Al Azzeh, Sofie Jadalla, Sama Wakeem, Salah Abu Nemeh, Saed Al Qaisy, Majd Eid, Abed Alrhman, and EVERYONE who worked on this film with me or supported me on the way🙏🏽🙏🏽 Thank you @philistinefilms @dohafilm @clermontfilmfest where we had our World Premiere and @clefilmfest where we had our North America Premiere and @londonflairpr Catherine Lynn Scott & Team. #thepresentshortfilm #baftawinner #oscarnominee #shortfilm
10 Apr 2021
Thanks for having me on! Interview with Mehdi Hassan aired on MSNBC last night. You can now find interview on YouTube under: Film on Israeli Occupation Nominated for an Oscar - The Mehdi Hassan Show.
09 Apr 2021
When Ossama Bawardi, fellow Oscar nominated Producer on The Present showed up to set at 6am wearing a matching hooded jumper to mine (complete coincidence!), we should have known wonderful things were to come! We’ve had our ups and downs @ossamabawardi and will continue to with our next project, but huge thanks & love for the journey so far. 🙏🏾🤍🎥 #thepresentshortfilm
04 Apr 2021
🙌 Thanks Hollywood Reporter! #thepresentshortfilm #bestliveactionshortfilm #oscars #eebaftas #baftas #academyawards
02 Apr 2021
NETFLIX Worldwide (except France & Japan) Nuff said! 🙌 #thepresentshortfilm #thepresentfilm
25 Mar 2021
The Present is now available on Vimeo-on-Demand (but not in MENA or France). ☺️✌🏾
24 Mar 2021
The specific Israeli checkpoint I based The Present on. But this one is even in the heart of a Palestinian city. There are over 100 Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and over another 100 “flying” checkpoints that can appear anytime anywhere. #thepresenttime #thepresentshortfilm #palestine #freedom #equality
20 Mar 2021
Oscars baby!!! Thank you to everyone who has worked on this film with me! 🎧 ✌🏾🎥 🇵🇸 Thank you Saleh Bakri, Maryam Kanj, Benoit Chamaillard, Ossama Bawardi, Hind Shoufani, Nael Kanj, Raja Dubayah (RIP), Mariam Kamel Basha, Ashraf Dowani, Fuad Hindieh, Noor Hodaly, Christine Hodaly, Adam Benobaid, Fairouze Nastas, May Odeh, Annemarie Jacir, Ibrahim Zahr, Wissam Aljafari, Faisal Barghouthi, Motaz Ayyad, Saleh Tamim, Luay Awwad, Amir Alheyfawi, Malak Abu Gharbia, Doraid Liddawi, Hassan Abu Ali, Ala’a Hanani, Karam Elayyan, Abdallah Sada, Kostas Varympopiotis, Yiannis Zaharoyiannis, Artemis Kamara, Reem Talhami, Razy Mukarker, Areen Khoury, Nurin Kaoud, Yazan Fares, Nisreen Yassin, Wafaa Al Azzeh, Sofie Jadalla, Sama Wakeem, Salah Abu Nemeh, Saed Al Qaisy, Majd Eid, Philistine Films, Doha Film Insitute, Abed Alrhman, and EVERYONE who worked on this film with me. 🙏🏽🙏🏽 #thepresentshortfilm
15 Mar 2021
OSCAR NOMINATION!!!!! 🙌🎉😹 Literally standing on tables! Will I ever come down from this high?! #oscars #bestliveactionshortfilm #thepresentshortfilm #theacademyawards
15 Mar 2021
We have gotten off to a great day! Jury Award for Best International Short Film at the Miami Film Festival, Florida, USA 🙌🎥😸🙏🏾 @miamifilm THANK YOU! And Everyone who worked on this film with me. 🎉🎉🎉
15 Mar 2021
You can watch Today They Took My Son on www.todaytheytookmyson.com or www.nativeliberty.org or a number of other online platforms for free ✌🏾No child and no parent should have to go through this.
12 Mar 2021
BAFTA nominated 🤯😹✌🏾. Just an incredible landmark for The Present. I’m overjoyed with every leap this short film makes and thankful to all the amazing people who worked with me on the way🙏🏾 . Thank you Benoit Chamaillard, Ossama Bawardi, Saleh Bakri, Maryam Kanj, Nael Kanj, Hind Shoufani, Raja Dubayah (RIP), Mariam Kamel Basha, Ashraf Dowani, Fuad Hindieh, Noor Hodaly, Christine Hodaly, Adam Benobaid, Fairouze Nastas, May Odeh, Annemarie Jacir, Ibrahim Zahr, Wissam Aljafari, Faisal Barghouthi, Motaz Ayyad, Saleh Tamim, Luay Awwad, Amir Alheyfawi, Malak Abu Gharbia, Doraid Liddawi, Hassan Abu Ali, Ala’a Hanani, Karam Elayyan, Abdallah Sada, Kostas Varympopiotis, Yiannis Zaharoyiannis, Artemis Kamara, Reem Talhami, Razy Mukarker, Areen Khoury, Nurin Kaoud, Yazan Fares, Nisreen Yassin, Wafaa Al Azzeh, Sofie Jadalla, Sama Wakeem, Salah Abu Nemeh, Saed Al Qaisy, Majd Eid, Philistine Films, Doha Film Insitute, Abed Alrhman, and EVERYONE who worked on this film with me. 🙏🏽🙏🏽 #eebaftas #baftas #thepresentshortfilm
11 Mar 2021
The moment I found out The Present has been nominated for a BAFTA!
09 Mar 2021
Set! 🎥. . #thepresentshortfilm #bestliveactionshortfilm #foryourconsideration
09 Mar 2021
Resistance Street Art in Naples, Italy 🤍🙏🏾🇮🇹. This piece by @jorit painted in collaboration with @tukios_art and @calaveras_art in Naples, Italy, is meant to commemorate the Nakba and bring attention to the ongoing struggles of the Palestinian people. 📸 by @lagentedinapoli #Repost via @iara_lee & @culturesofresistance #nakba #palestine #freepalestine #gaza #resistanceart
08 Mar 2021
“In this great future, You can’t forget your past... So dry your tears I say..” Came across this video today, from 2 years ago in March BC (Before Corona 😭) when we attended a gorgeous small wedding in Thailand - even with a cracked wrist! (Yes! I love to sing!) I don’t think we realize how lucky we are to have photos & videos where we can revisit moments in the past whenever we want to and in some way re-feel an emotion, or re-live a moment in time. A way that lends a touch of life and something visual and vivid back into the shadows of our memories. #sundaymusings 🙏🏾
07 Mar 2021
05 Mar 2021