Annemarie Jacir was born in Bethlehem, Palestine but spent a majority of her childhood in Saudi Arabia before moving to America at sixteen. Annemarie majored in Politics and Literature at the Claremont colleges and received her masters in Film. Annemarie is now an accomplished producer and writer. She has been working in independent cinema since 1988 and she believes that her art should not be separate from politics or ignore societal issues that necessitate the art. She has made numerous films, including Until When, The Satellite Shooters, Two Hundred Years of American Ideology, Post Oslo History, and A Few Crumbs for the Birds. She directed the first Palestinian short film, like twenty impossibles, which was the first Arab short film to ever be an official selection of the Cannes International Film Festival. This film went on to win 15 awards at festivals around the world. Annemarie Jacir is also a recipient of the Zaki Gordan Award for Excellence in Screenwriting and was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. In 2004, she was named one of the "25 new faces of independent filmmaking" by Filmmaker Magazine. In 2007, Jacir shot the first feature film by a Palestinian woman director, Salt of this Sea, the story of an American woman whose parents were Palestinian refugees, making her first visit to her family's homeland. The film, released in 2008, is Palestine's submission to the 81st Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.. Her 2012 film When I Saw You won the NETPAC Critics Award for Best Asian Film at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival and was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.
Emily Jacir was also born in Bethlehem, Palestine and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She went to high school in Rome, attended undergraduate and graduate school in the United States and has had artist’s residencies in Colorado, Paris, New York, and Linz. Emily, a political artist like her sister, connects Palestinian life under occupation, Palestinian experiences collectively, and her own life in exile within her work. Emily works in a variety of media and has exhibited her work all around the world. Since 1999, Emily has been active in building Ramallah’s art scene and has worked with various organizations including the Oattan Foundation, al-Ma’mal Foundation and the Sakakini Cultural Center. She has been involved in creating numerous projects and events such as Birzeit's Virtual Art Gallery. She also founded and curated the first International Video Festival in Ramallah in 2002. She curated a selection of shorts; Palestinian Revolution Cinema (1968 – 1982) which went on tour in 2007. She works as a full-time professor at the vanguard International Academy of Art in Palestine since it opened its doors in 2006 and she also served on its Academic Board from 2006 through 2012. Emily Jacir led the first year of the Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program in Beirut (2011-2012) and created the curriculum and programming after serving on the founding year of the Curricular Committee from 2010 to 2011.
From 2001-2003, Emily assembled “Where We Come From,” an exhibition compiled of responses from Palestinians answering: “If I could do anything for you, anywhere in Palestine, what would it be?” Emily has received many awards and recognitions throughout her artistic journey including, the ‘Leone d’Oro a un artista under 40,’ Prince Claus Award, Hugo Boss Prize, and was the Visual Arts winner of the 2011 Alpert Award in the Arts.
The Jacir sisters have contributed greatly to the artistic community within Palestine and around the world. Their pieces are testaments to the resilience of Palestinians and the creations they share with the world have evolved from a place of hope, that even as daughters of refugees, they will one day return to stay in their homeland. The women of EAS treasure and celebrate the inspiration, empowerment, and truth behind their art. We are in awe of their endless dedication to their homeland and their determination to share the beauty and suffering of Palestinians with the world.