Following on from its screening in the official short film selection at Cannes this year, Screen Academy graduate Basil Khalil’s short film Ave Maria will have its UK premiere at Encounters Film Festival 2015 in September. Ave Maria tells the story of 5 Carmelite nuns living in the West Bank wilderness who are disturbed when an Israeli settler family breaks down outside their convent as the Sabbath comes.

In addition to screening at Cannes where it was nominated for the Palme d’Or – Best Short FilmAve Maria was also named the winner of HP’s 2015 Bridging the Borders Award at Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Market in June 2015. The film also received a Special Mention for Best Live Action Short Film at Palm Springs. Additionally Ave Maria was named one of the top 10 independent films from the Middle East by

Basil Khalil was interviewed by film writer Nina E. Rothe of the Huffington Post who called the film “Charming, funny and beautifully made”

Ave Maria is also screening at Molisecinema festival in southern ‪‎Italy‬ in Aug 2015.