Muayad Alayan is a Palestinian film director and cinematographer based in Jerusalem. After completing his studies in San Francisco and being part of its grassroots filmmaking culture, Alayan retuned to Palestine with the goal of making organic cinema by and about Palestinians as a community; a cinema made through the participation of people coming together to tell stories, against all odds and with means that creatively defy limitations.
At the age of 22, Alayan tested his vision with his first narrative short, Lesh Sabreen?, which was made with the participation of youth and young adults in his home village and focused on their experiences and concerns as youth living in Jerusalem and under occupation. The film was premiered in competition at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France in 2009 and went on to compete at several other prestigious festivals such as Aspen Shortsfest, Cinemed, Palm Springs Shortfest and Dubai Film Festival, in addition to over 60 other festivals in 25 countries worldwide. The film was distributed widely on DVD and television and won the youth jury prize for Best International Film at the Cork Film Festival in Ireland as well as two honorary mentions at La Cittadella Del Corto in Italy and Al-Ismailia Short Film Festival in Egypt.
Alayan co-founded Palcine Productions, a collective of filmmakers and audiovisual artists based in Jerusalem and Bethlehem to facilitate collaboration on film and media projects as well as to promote film as an art form among youth. In addition, Alayan acted as a film and cinematography instructor at several academic institutions and organizations in Palestine. He also lent his eye as a cinematographer to several independent filmmakers, as well as local and international film and television productions and art institutions. This includes Aljazeera Documentary Channel (Qatar), Studio k Productions (France), HotSpot Films (UAE), Qatar TV, iFilms Media Productions (Egypt), Shashat Organization (Palestine), the Palestinian Museum and Collage Productions (Palestine), to name a few.
Alayan's production philosophy for his own films continues to revolve around bringing together a community of filmmakers and non-filmmakers to make films that address community concerns and reflect its hopes and dreams. His documentary film, Sacred Stones (2012, co-directed with Laila Higazi), brought attention to the environmental and health risks posed by the Palestinian stone mining industry. It won Al-Jazeera Channel’s Best Medium Length Film Award at the Al-Jazeera Documentary Film Festival as well as the Best Foreign Film award at the Tierra Di Tutti Film Festival in Italy. His second short narrative film, Mute (2010), brought attention to domestic violence and its vulnerable victims. It won an honorary mention at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico as well as the Children’s Rights Award at Lola Kenya Film Festival.
Love, Theft and Other Entanglements is Alayan’s first feature-length narrative film.