"We are excited about reviving the cinema. We have many programs and ideas and we think that about 300-400 people will come per day. The cinema will not be only for screening films, but will also become a stage for the whole community that can host celebrations, conferences and special activities of different associations and NGOs."
Ishmael Khatib, 30.03.2008
The overall goal of Cinema Jenin is to break the situation of isolation and lack of perspective in Jenin through creating sustainable change and improved living conditions.
The project will use the means of cinema to do so. After the reconstruction of the old movie theater is complete, Jenin will once more have a cultural heart. Since it is the goal to let all people in Jenin benefit from the project, the official ticket price will be 5 Shekel (1 Euro).
The goal to break Jenin’s isolation comprises a multitude of objectives
in three core areas:
Promoting Culture and Social Integration:
Re-establishing a culture of cinema-going Integrating Jenin city and the refugee camp Promoting culture in all its forms and providing a venue for artists Raising awareness for women’s and children’s rights
Fostering Peace and Intercultural Dialogue:
Opening a window to the outside world in times of occupation and siege Providing the means for cultural self expression towards the world Reintegrating Jenin into a regional and international cultural exchange Fostering principles of dialogue, peaceful conflict resolution, co-existence and acceptance of others
Strengthening Education and Economy:
Providing technical education and educational screenings for school classes Creating sustainable jobs for the people of Jenin Increasing the attractiveness of Jenin as a place to visit and do business Setting the seed for a local film industry
Economic sustainability will be reached through income generating activities in several fields. After the opening, there will be revenues from commercials shown in the film screenings and on a huge LED screen (3x4 m) on the cinema’s roof. Not only this advertising space but also its content will be produced and sold by Cinema Jenin. The necessary technical equipment is already being shipped to Jenin and staff trainings by volunteering German experts are being held in order to produce quality results. Other income sources include the Cinema Jenin Guest House which is already operational and an outdoor cafeteria.
The intertwined aspects of personnel and social sustainability are even more important to unfold the project’s full potential. Though having the advantage of rebuilding an old structure rather than implementing something totally alien, Cinema Jenin still needs to be accepted and in the end run by the people of Jenin. In order to make sure that the project is shaped by the needs of the local population Cinema Jenin is consequentially conceived and carried out as a German-Palestinian joint venture. But for the cinema to be truly sustainable on a social level, it needs to reach out to the entire population. This is why the educational activities such as special screenings for schools, film workshops and technical trainings will increase the number of people benefitting from the project.