Annemarie Jacir is an independent filmmaker and screenwriter living in Jordan. Named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema, two of her films have premiered as Official Selections at the Cannes Film Festival, one as an Academy Award qualifier, and one in Venice. Her first feature film, Salt of this Sea, was Palestine’s Official Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film and was also noted as the first feature film directed by a Palestinian woman. Salt of this Sea won the prestigious FIPRESCI Critic’s Prize, as well as Best Film in Milan, Best Film in Traverse City and the Special Jury Prizes at both the Osians Asian & Arab Film Festival and Oran Festival of Arab Cinema. The film has won numerous other awards including Best Screenplay (Dubai), the Randa Chahal Prize (Carthage International Film Festival), Cinema in Motion Awards (San Sebastian), Sopadin Grand Prize Best Screenplay nomination and Audience Awards at Houston Palestine Film Festival, Chicago Palestine Film Festival, and Cairo Refugee Festival. The film was released theatrically in cinemas in Europe, Asia, and the USA.
Jacir lived in Saudi Arabia until the age of sixteen, moving between Bethlehem and Riyadh. She then received her formal education in the United States. She began working in the theater; first in set design and then writing and directing plays. Her career in cinema began as an assistant on various sets, and learning to edit. She first worked in the film industry in Los Angeles and then as an editor and camerawoman before attending Columbia University in New York to obtain a MFA degree in Film. After years of shuttling back and forth between projects, Annemarie eventually returned to the Arab world moving to Palestine.
Jacir co-founded Philistine Films, an independent production company, focusing on productions related to the Arab world and has been involved in numerous productions. Jacir also shot and produced the documentary Until When, an in-depth portrait of the lives of several families living in the Deheisha refugee camp as well as several other films. She collaborated with Algerian-French filmmaker Nassim Amouache on A Few Crumbs for the Birds, a documentary sketch of the lives of a handful of men and women eking out a living in the Jordanian town of Ruwayshed (Official Selection Venice International Film Festival, Best film Montpellier, Press prize Clermont Ferrand).
Her short film, like twenty impossibles (2003), the first Palestinian short film to be selected in Competition as an official selection of the Cannes International Film Festival (Cinefondation), went on to be a Student Academy Awards Finalist, and has won more than 15 awards at International festivals including Best Film at the Palm Springs Short Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Institute Du Monde Arabe Biennale, Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival, and IFP/New York. like twenty impossibles, named one of the ten best films of 2003 by Gavin Smith of Film Comment Magazine, is a fiction film which wryly questions artistic responsibility as a Palestinian film crew navigates various obstacles of military occupation.
She is co-founder and chief curator of the groundbreaking Dreams of a Nation cinema project dedicated to the promotion of Palestinian cinema. In 2003, she organized and curated the largest traveling film festival in Palestine, which included the screening of archival Palestinian films from Revolution Cinema, screening for the first time on Palestinian soil. She has taught at Columbia University, Bethlehem University, and Birzeit University and in refugee camps in Palestine, Lebanon and currently in Jordan. Jacir is a board member of Alwan for the Arts, a cultural organization devoted to North African and Middle Eastern art. She has served as a jury member to the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (Cph:dox) , the Alexandria Film Festival, the Damascus International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Osians Festival, as well as Cinecolor Award, Argentina. She is a founding member of the Palestinian Filmmakers’ Collective, based in Palestine.
Annemarie teaches screenwriting and works as an editor as well as film curator, actively promoting independent cinema. In 2011, renown Chinese director Zhang Yimou selected her to be his first protégée as part of the Rolex Arts Initiative. "When I Saw You" is her second feature film. She lives in Amman.
When I Saw You (2012, 93 min)
Salt of this Sea (2008, 104 min, Color 35mm)
(World Premiere, Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection, Un Certain Regard, 2008, Palestine’s Official Oscar Entry, Foreign Language Film, 2008, First Prize – Best Film, Sguardi Altrove Film Festival Italy, 2008, Randa Chahal Award, Carthage International Film Festival, 2008, FIPRESCI Critics Award, Osians Arab & Asian Film Festival, 2008, Best First Film, Traverse City Film Festival, 2009, Special Jury Prize Oran International Festival of Arab Cinema, 2009, Audience Choice Award, New Orleans Int. Human Rights Film Festival, 2010, Best Screenplay Dubai International Film Festival, 2008, Jury Prize, Osians Arab & Asian Film Festival, 2008, Sopadin Finalist, Grand Prix du Meilleur Scenariste 2007, Audience Choice Award, Chicago Pali Film Festival 2009, Audience Choice Award, Houston Pali Film Festival, 2009, Winner of Gan Foundation Award 2007, Recipient of Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media 2007, Amiens Screenplay Development Pre-selection 2004, Berlinale Co-Production Market Selection 2005, Sundance Screenwriters Lab Selection 2005, Hubert Bals Development Award 2005, London BFI Film Festival, Official Selection, Pusan International Film Festival, Official Selection,Tribeca Film Festival, Official Selection)
like twenty impossibles (2003, 17 min, Color, 35mm)
(World Premiere, Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection, Cinefondation, 2003, Recipient of Jerome Foundation Media Arts Grant, 2003, Best Films of the Year list, 2003 - Film Comment Magazine, National Finalist - Academy of Motion Picture Arts, Student Academy Awards, Best Short Screenplay - Nantucket Film Festival, Best Short Film - Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, Best Short Film (Emerging Narrative) - IFP/New York, Silver Plaque - Chicago International Film Festival, Best Short Film - Institute Du Monde Arabe Biannual, Best Screenwriting – Lenola Film Festival, Italy, Best Short Film Second Prize – Lenola Film Festival, Italy, Audience Choice Award - Polo Ralph Lauren Columbia University Festival, Special Jury Prize - Ramallah International Film Festival, Audience Choice Award – San Diego Women Film Festival 2006, Luis Trenker Award for Best Short Film – 4Film Festival, Borderlands, 2006, Locarno Film Festival, Official Selection, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Official Selection, Telluride Film Festival, Official Selection, New York Film Festival, Official Selection)
Sound of the Street (2006, 3 min, Color, DV)
An Explanation : (and then burn the ashes) (2005, 6 min, Color, 16mm)
A Few Crumbs for the Birds (2005, 26 min, Color, DV)
Until When (2004, 76 min, Color, DV)
Palestine is Waiting (2001, 10 min, Video)
The Satellite Shooters (2001, 16 min, Color, 16mm)
Two Hundred Years of American Ideology (2000, 12 min, Color, Video)
A Revolutionary Tale (2000, 9 min, Color, Video)
A Post-Oslo History (1998, 8 min, Color, Video)
Interview (1994, 4 min. Color, Video)