The Red Carpet Festival showcases films focusing on human rights issues and aims to provide Palestinians, many of them unemployed, with a rare opportunity to explore their dreams, or at least practice a little escapism.
True to its name, the festival’s organisers have laid out a 100-metre (yard) long red carpet. But there are no celebrities, it’s for the thousands of ordinary Gazans turning out to watch the films.
“The children and poor people are walking on the carpet,” organiser Saad al-Saworki told AFP proudly at Friday’s opening night.
“They are far more important than the carpet.”
The festival, which is in its third year, coincides with the Cannes Film Festival and aims to show that there is an alternative to the catwalks and glamour of its French counterpart, Saworki said.
The maiden event was organised by Palestinian director Khalil al-Muzain in 2015 in the rubble of homes destroyed by the Israeli army in the most recent of the three wars that have devastated Gaza since 2008.