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Ibrahim Hassan Sarhan

First Palestinian filmmaker, pivotal in establishing Palestinian cinematic identity.

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Date of Birth:



Jaffa, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Ibrahim Hassan Sarhan holds a significant place in Palestinian history for his pioneering role in the establishment of Palestinian cinema. He is credited with directing the first Palestinian film in 1935, a documentary about King Abdul Aziz Al - Saud of Saudi Arabia's visit to Palestine. His contributions laid the foundation for the development of Palestinian cinema and influenced future filmmakers in the region.

Brief bio

Ibrahim Hassan Sarhan emerged as a key figure in Palestinian cinema with his 1935 documentary, marking the beginning of Palestinian film. This film was a groundbreaking achievement, considering the limited resources and challenging circumstances of the time. Despite the obstacles, Sarhan's passion and dedication led to the creation of a significant cultural legacy in Palestinian cinema.

Major Milestones


  • 1945: Co-founded the Arab Film Company production studio with filmmaker Ahmad Hilmi Al Kilani.

  • 1957: Involved in Jordan’s first feature film, "The Struggle in Jarash."

  • Post-1948 Nakba: Became a refugee, moving to Jordan and later to the Shatila camp in Lebanon.

  • Work as a Tinsmith: In Lebanon, Sarhan worked as a tinsmith, a testament to his resilience and adaptability in challenging circumstances.

Innovative Filmmaking: Demonstrated resourcefulness by creating his own filmmaking tools...See More

Cultural Preservation: Documented significant historical events in Palestine through film...See More

Influence on Future Filmmakers: His work inspired subsequent generations of Palestinian filmmakers.

Date of Last Update: 
December 15, 2023

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