Arren Umari. (Role: sister of Raeda)
One of the best actresses in Palestine. Now, she’s a
full time actress. Finished two features after the Olive Harvest:
1. “Ticket to Jerusalem”. 2. “Private”.
She is extremely versatile and susabtable to challenges. Always
delivers professional performances.
Major actress in the Palestinian theater arena with Muhammad
Bacri, (see below, who plays the father of Raeda) are the
two professional actors who have a name as experienced and
successful actors in theater.
Taher Najeeb. (Role: Raeda’s secret lover.
Works for the the Settlement Watch office in the Palestinian
Taher is the best actor I worked with so far. He is so open
to the director. Fully trusts him/her. He depends so much on
the director, especially when he starts the scene. Afterward
he’s on his own. Still, he communicates with the director
in a very subtle and professional way. He celebrates the environment
of the movie set. He is the perfect actor for directors. He
loves cinema and theater. He used to come to the set even when
he got no shooting days, to help behind the camera. Now, he
does a one-man show and tries to break to theater in France
and the US. He’s natural born actor as well a director
to be. He has so much to offer!
Samieh Kazmoz. (Role: mother of Raeda)
Her first role in cinema. She was so eager to act. And take
Met her at a screening of my film the Mountain and told me if
I ever need an actress in the future she’ll be ready and
available. So, I casted her. Like many other actors who meet
me usually after the screening and wanted to act. I take their
contact and I keep them abreast for later.
Raeda Adon. (Role, young woman in love)
The Olive Harvest was her first gig. She came to meet me after
the recommendation of Taher (who plays her lover in the film).
He convinced me that she’d be the best actress playing
opposite him. Later, I knew he has his eye on her and wanted
First question I asked her if she would kiss on the film and
she looked at me like I came from the moon. I explained to her
where I come from with my ideas and we had the best bond during
the production afterward. As an actress she is amazing. She
can do anything, but to go deeper than the usual it’s
hard for her since she has no experience then. Now, she is one
of the most serious and sought after actresses in Palestine
and Israel. She always arrived on time, left late and never
complained. She hardly ate anything. Mostly fruits and little
things I never saw it exists as food! She loved strawberries
and fruits. And I supplied. Very warm and loving. Loves the
camera and the world of movie sets.
She’s a talented painter too.
Muhamda Bacri. (Role: father of Raeda)
One of the leading Palestinian actors. Versatile, complex and
unique. Takes cinema and theater as his expression. Very political
and controversial. Supportive of new young directors and actors.
If we have a film industry, he’ll get an Oscar.
He drove me crazy since he got no script, still we worked greatly.
He’s a celebrity but acts with such modesty and warmth
that you won’t believe you’re in front of a legend.
He is also a great documentary filmmaker.
Mazen Saade. (Role: political prisoner. Brother
Met him in a party late night. He was dancing in a way that
I like it a lot. He got a face so interesting that I thought
he’d be a hero on my next film. So, I asked him if he
likes to act. He said he never stood in front of a camera before.
But if I have the confidence that he can perform, then he will
To make him take me seriously, I asked him to sign a contact
in front of friends that he’d not act with anyone till
I cast him in my next project. After one year, I casted him.
He was the most challenging to work with. He is fixable and
focused. But he doesn’t have the tools that someone loves
acting got, like Taher and Raeda.
He was in prison for 6 years. We talked about that and we used
it a lot in his body language, reflections, behavior and dialogue.
We worked it out slowly and overall he was great. But he was
very surprised. He donated his car to the set too.
Very familiar with literature and Arab art. After the film,
he took workshops on directing and writing for film.
He’s a filmmaker now.