Palestinian Director Annemarie Jacir to Adapt Novel ‘Mornings in Jenin’ For TV

Prominent Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir (“Wajib”) is developing a TV series based on bestelling novel “Mornings in Jenin” by Palestinian-American author Susan Abulhawa.

Abulhawa’s debut novel “Jenin” is the multigenerational story of a Palestinian family forced out of their village into the Jenin refugee camp. Published in 2010, it’s been translated into 30 languages.

The book follows the Abulheja family — Yehya and Basima and their two sons — who are forced to leave their homestead in Palestine by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948 and follows them through half a century of trials and tribulations in five countries.

Jacir, who earlier this year served on the Berlin Film Festival jury, was born in Bethlehem, raised in Saudi Arabia, and attended university stateside. Her feature film debut, “Salt of This Sea,” about an American woman who travels from Brooklyn to the West Bank and Israel to reclaim her heritage — and also her Palestinian grandfather’s house lost to the 1948 war — was the first film directed by a Palestinian woman director and Palestine’s international Oscar candidate in 2008. She is a co‐founder of Philistine Films.

Jacir’s subsequent feature films are Palestinian refugee drama “When I Saw You,” set in a refugee camp in Jordan in 1967 — and seen from a child’s point of view — and “Wajib,” a drama with comedic overtones involving father-and-son dynamics in a Palestinian family living in the city of Nazareth, in Israel.

The “Mornings in Jenin” TV series, which would mark Jacir’s first foray into longform TV, is being developed with funding from the Doha Film Institute (DFI), which on Monday announced the 39 projects receiving its spring grants, 16 of which are directed by women.

More information about the latest round of DFI grants is available on the Doha Film Institute website.

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