Documenting Tantura

Next year marks 70 years since the Nakba, and Hala and Talal want to share this story of Tantura in the 2018 film festival.

We sit down with these two world-class Palestinian filmmakers to learn more about their project and the journey of fundraising for a Palestinian documentary.


What is Tantura? And why is this story important to share with the world?

Tantura is the birth story of the Palestinian refugee in 1948. It tells the story of survivors from a small village on the Mediterranean coast, Tantura, just south of Haifa, including the days before the attack, labor prison camps, and expulsion. This is a part of history that hasn’t been properly documented, and those survivors, the eye-witnesses, are slowly passing away, and with them a vital part of the Palestinian narrative.


How do documentaries usually receive funding? What are the challenges of fundraising for a Palestinian documentary? 

There are a number of funds out there for documentary filmmaking, but they’re very competitive, and while our cause is the most important one to us, the way international funding often-times goes is with the cause du-jour if you will, making it more difficult for us pitching a 70-year-old cause from getting funding. That hasn’t stopped us from applying though.


 You are crowdfunding on Kickstarter, which means that this is an all-or-nothing campaign. What made you decide to take this approach?

We have a fiscal sponsor, which means that donating to Tantura is legally the same thing as donating to any other charity in the US, it’s tax-deductible. Our fiscal sponsor deals exclusively with two platforms, both of which have similar clauses for their fundraising campaigns.

The campaign is 30% of the way there! Where have most of your supporters come from? What type of supporters are you still trying to target?


Yes, we’re very excited that we’ve secure over one third of the funding, but that means we still have quite a task ahead of us. Our generous donors have really come from different geographical locations with donations ranging from $1 to $2,500. They are anxious to get this story told and that’s very heartwarming for us. As for the supporters we’re trying to target, I guess the simple answer is more of the same: people who know that this story is a vital piece of Palestinian history, and who want to help us get that message out there.


Support their campaign here.



Director: Hala Gabriel was born as a Palestinian refugee in Syria to parents that were forced from their homes in Palestine. When she was 6 years old, Hala’s parents managed to immigrate to the United States where she has spent her adult life as a proponent for the Right of Return.


Artistically, Hala attended the California Institute of Arts, majoring in Film and Television Production and in 2004, won the Silver Award at the International Houston Film Festival for her critically acclaimed short documentary entitled The Love Project. Hala works as a freelance producer, production supervisor and production accountant for the major studios in Los Angeles.


Producer: Talal Jabari was until recently a lifelong resident of East Jerusalem. A nonfiction filmmaker, Talal has directed a number of feature documentaries including Enemies in the South (2015), Holy Blood (2013)-a 4-part documentary series, Aggressive Decrees (2012) and the award-winning documentary Full Signal (2010).


Talal has also produced and co-produced a number of feature documentaries including Sony Presents: Europe’s Music Legends (2009)-a series of 13-feature documentary films, Israel from Within (2008)-a 12-part feature documentary series, and Shape of the Future (2005)-a 5-part documentary series. As a videographer, Talal has filmed footage for over 40 documentaries. Talal Jabari is currently based in New York.