Monday 8th March, 2021

On International Women's Day 2021, meet Walaa, a young Palestinian woman who's determined to follow her dream.

In partnership with the Leeds Palestinian Film Festival.

Young, wilful and headstrong, Walaa has set her sights on becoming one of the few women in the Palestinian Security Forces - a big challenge for a girl who breaks all the rules.

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa has had to grow up fast. To her family's surprise, and disapproval, she applies to the force and gets in, but basic training involves a lot more discipline than Walaa might have imagined. 

Following her from age 15 to 21, What Walaa Wants is a real life coming-of-age story capturing a brilliant young woman navigating formidable obstacles as she learns which rules to break and which rules to follow. 

"Walaa is a force... it is refreshing to see a film that portrays such a proud, resilient, young Palestinian woman. You will remember Walaa." POV Magazine

This screening was followed by a live online Q&A with director Christy Garland, hosted by Palestinian photographer, film-maker and human rights advocate Kholoud Al-Jarma.