"Solitary prisoners' reliance on fantasy as a technique for survival captured my attention, and largely influenced the story of Mafak. Although acutely suffered symptoms subside post-solitary confinement, many prisoners suffer permanent damage which crystalizes as intolerance to social relations. Some prisoners become so reliant on the prison to organize their daily routine that they lose personal autonomy. Some seek a return to prison. This stagnant ever-waiting hopelessness pervades the Palestinian psyche. The result is an inability to define the self without an occupier, to organize and live life without restrictions. Mafak is set in the specifics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; however, it can serve as a universal narrative of torture, confinement, and the battle with one's own image and reflection."
Bassam Jarbawi began working as a photographer during the second Palestinian Intifada. He completed his B.A. in communication and political science at Macalester College, and earned his M.F.A. in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University in New York. His short film Roos Djaj(Chicken Heads) premiered at New York Film Festival and screened at Sundance Film Festival. Post graduation, Bassam worked in digital distribution in New York and film production in Dubai, and finally moved back to Ramallah, Palestine to found Rimsh Film. There, he produced several shorts and feature documentaries, most recently Raed Andoni's Berlinale winner, Ghost Hunting. Mafak is his first feature film.