Scene from the film What Walaa Wants
Scene from the film What Walaa Wants
Scene from the film What Walaa Wants
Scene from the film What Walaa Wants
Scene from the film What Walaa Wants
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What Walaa Wants

  • Canada
  • Denmark
Audio Tracks 

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.

Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.


  • Original title
    What Walaa Wants
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Christy Garland
  • Editing
    ichael Aaglund, Graeme Ring
  • Music
    Tom Third
  • Sound
    Peter Schultz
  • Duration
    89 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Canada
    • Denmark
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany (2018)
    • Canadian Screen Awards, Toronto, Canada (2019)
    • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, Canada (2018)
    • RIDM – Montreal International Documentary Festival, Montreal, Canada (2018)
    • Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia (2018)
    • IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
    • Göteborg Film Festival, Göteborg, Sweden (2018)
  • Awards
    • Special Jury Prize - Hot Docs
    • WIFTV Award for Artistic Merit - Vancouver International Film Festival
    • Hilal Best Feature Award - Ajyal Film Festival – Doha Film Institute, Qatar (2018)
    • Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award
    • Best Documentary Feature - Forest City Film Festival, London, Ontario, Canada is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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