Open Bethlehem follows Palestinian director Leila Sansour’s extraordinary journey to the legendary city of Bethlehem, the place where she grew up. Armed with a camera and a family car that keeps breaking down, she sets out to create an intimate chronicle of a historical town in peril. Ten years on, with 700 hours of footage, the result is nothing like she had expected. This film is an emotional journey of one woman in a struggle to save her hometown. It takes viewers deep into the world of Bethlehem and paints a portrait of the city as it has never been seen before.


The Baroness Warsi Foundation is an independent global grant-making Foundation. Their goal is encourage debate and identify innovative solutions that help create inclusive communities. The Foundation collaborates with partners from across the world in three programme areas: improving social mobility, promoting freedom of religion or belief and increasing gender equality.


Leila Sansour

Leila Sansour is an acclaimed filmmaker with an unconventional portfolio. She is the founder and CEO of Open Bethlehem, an organisation that exists to advocate and proactively promote support for a free and flourishing Bethlehem city within a vibrant and sovereign Palestine, through the use of digital multimedia strategies alongside targeted audience outreach programs. Leila is a well known speaker on Middle East issues.

Aftab Malik

Aftab Malik is the former Scholar-in-Residence at the Lebanese Muslim Association, Sydney, and a former Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Ethnicity and Culture (University of Birmingham). He is currently a designated Global Expert on Muslim affairs for the UN Alliance of Civilizations and serves as an advisory board member for the British Council’s “Our Shared Future” project based in Washington D.C., which aims to improve the public conversation about Muslims and intercultural relations in the US and Europe.