Habibi, a story of forbidden love, is a fiction feature set in Gaza. Two students in the West Bank are forced to return home to Gaza, where their love defies tradition. To reach his lover, Qays grafittis poetry across town. Habibi is a modern re-telling of the famous ancient Sufi parable Majnun Layla. The full Arabic title is Habibi Rasak Kharban, which translates as “darling, something’s wrong with your head.”
Habibi is the first feature film by writer, director, and producer Susan Youssef.
She is number 25 on the '100 Most Powerful Arab Women' list by Arabian Business and has been named one of “25 New Faces” to watch for by Filmmaker Magazine. Her five shorts have screened at venues such as Sundance Film Festival and Museum of Modern Art (NY), and have been acquired for distribution by Video Data Bank, Third World Newsreel, and Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Habibi won Best Film, FIPRESCI Prize, Best Actress, and Best Editor at the
Dubai International Film Festival in the Arab Muhr Competition. Additionally, it received the Camera Novo, the highest prize at the Cinema Novo Festival, Brugge. Habibi is also the recipient of the Grand Prize in the Emerging Narrative program at IFP’s Independent Film Week and is supported by Co-Producer Dubai Entertainment and Media Organization, Zain, Cinereach, Austin Film Society, Princess Grace Foundation - USA, Fonds BKVB, Rooftop Films, Institute of International Education, Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Funding Exchange, A.M. Qattan Foundation, Idioms Film, Panasonic, fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies, Richard Linklater, and many other generous donors.
Since Habibi, Susan has made Source for the Tate Modern exhibition of Little Sun. She now makes her next feature Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf. The recipient of a Development Grant from the Doha Film Institute and support from the Emerging Visions program of Lincoln Center and IFP, Marjoun is an extension of Susan's short film which originally screened at Sundance Film Festival. For more information on Marjoun, write firstname.lastname@example.org.