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Najwa Najjar

Up Next: Middle Eastern Filmmakers

Palestinian helmer Najjar finally progressed this year from a career making shorts and docs to finishing work on her feature debut “Pomegranates and Myrrh.” Najjar assembled a powerhouse cast of Arab thesps for her first offering, including Ali Suliman (“Paradise Now”) and Hiam Abbas (“The Visitor”). And while the pic, about a Palestinian dancer’s search for freedom after her husband’s imprisonment, deals with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, don’t expect any sermonizing from Najjar. “I wanted to make a love story,” she says. “The film is still a way to resist, but it doesn’t only have to be by picking up a stone and throwing it.”

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