They came in the morning
Director/Producer of 'They came in the morning', Leila Sansour is the founder and CEO of Open Bethlehem, an organisation that works to bring international commitment to the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict using Bethlehem as a focal point of engagement and a gateway into the situation.
Leila holds a masters degree in philosophy and began her career in television, working as a producer and commissioning editor for MBC and then moved to produce 15 episodes of Aljazeera’s leading documentary series 'Encounter in Exile'.
She is best know in the UK for her feature-length documentary, 'Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army' 2003 which received four- and five-star reviews in national press before its release across cinemas in the UK and its tour in the US as part of Amnesty International's Roaming Film Festival.
Her new feature film, ''Operation Bethlehem'', aims to work in tandem with the campaign Open Bethlehem which will be re-launched later this year. It tells Leila's personal story of returning to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. She had left the city as a teenager thinking Bethlehem too small and provincial. But her life and the film took an expected turn when her cousin and last relative in town, persuaded her to stay to start a campaign to save the city. Leila's plan to stay a year stretched to seven, and the journey changed her life.
The film also charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East.
'They came in the morning' , is a stand alone film that was born from some of the footage shot over 5 critical years in the life of Bethlehem during the making of "Operation Bethlehem".