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‘The 1001 Faces of Palmyra’ selected for the 2021 Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival

The documentary ‘The 1001 Faces of Palmyra’ has been selected for the 2021 Arkhaios Film Festival. The film is about the oasis city of Palmyra and takes as one of its points of departure the research conducted in the Palmyra Portrait Project.

‘The 1001 Faces of Palmyra’ covers Palmyra’s long urban history – all the way up to the destructions by ISIS in 2015 and 2016 during the Syrian civil war. The film follows the Palmyra Portrait Project and project director Rubina Raja as they search for funerary portraits around the world to recount the story of the ancient city in a way that has never been done before: through the faces of the city’s inhabitants.

Funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, the Palmyra Portrait Project has researched and collected data about the funerary portraits since 2012. The documentary, which premiered earlier this year, is directed by Meyar AL-Roumi and produced by Un film á la patte and ARTE France.

Part of the Official Selection of the Arkhaios 2021

‘The 1001 Faces of Palmyra’ has been very well received in the media after its premiere, and in March 2021, it was featured at the 12th edition of the NYON International Festival of Archaeological Films. At the 2021 Arkhaios Film Festival, the documentary is one out of 14 films to be screened as part of the Official Selection between 11-17 October.

Working with such a professional documentary team – from the outline of the narrative to the filming and editing process has been a pleasure. The documentary manages to stringently focus on the Palmyra Portrait Project’s research of the city’s funerary limestone sculpture, and I am grateful to see this research being disseminated world-wide. The interest in our work truly underlines the importance of basic research within the humanities,” says Rubina Raja.

The Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival

The Arkhaios Film Festival focusses on historical knowledge of our cultural heritage as an important basis for the development of our culture. The annual event showcases the discovery of past cultures gained from ethnological or archaeological research documented through documentary films in order to make the knowledge of past civilizations better available to people from different backgrounds.

The 2021 Arkhaios Film Festival is the 9th annual Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival. Showcasing 25 film over 7 days from 11 to 17 October, this year’s virtual festival will be free and open to the public. Read more here.


Read more about the documentary ‘The 1001 Faces of Palmyra here and here.

Find more information about the Palmyra Portrait Project here.