Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in.  But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.

Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

Selections & Awards

  • Official Selection – Generation 14+ ProgramBerlin International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany (2018)
  • Shortlisted Nominee – Glashütte Prize and Amnesty Film AwardBerlin International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany (2018)
  • Official Selection, TIFF CANADA’S TOP 10, Toronto, Canada (2018)
  • Nominated – Best Feature Length DocumentaryCanadian Screen Awards, Toronto, Canada (2019)
  • Nominated – Best Cinematography in a DocumentaryCanadian Screen Awards, Toronto, Canada (2019)
  • Nominated – Best Editing in a Feature DocumentaryCanadian Screen Awards, Toronto, Canada (2019)
  • Nominated – Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary DGC Awards, Toronto, Canada (2018)
  • Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, Canada (2018)
  • WIFTV Award for Artistic Merit Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada (2018)
  • Hilal Best Feature Award Ajyal Film Festival – Doha Film Institute, Qatar (2018)
  • Margaret Mead Filmmaker AwardMargaret Mead Film Festival, AMNH, New York, USA (2018)
  • Best Documentary FeatureForest City Film Festival, London, Ontario, Canada (2018)
  • Opening Film – Official SelectionRIDM – Montreal International Documentary Festival, Montreal, Canada (2018)
  • Official Selection, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia (2018)
  • Official Selection, Best of Fests ProgrammeIDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2018)
  • Official Selection, Göteborg Film Festival, Göteborg, Sweden (2018)
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