Lyna Saleh is the youngest cinematic director -17 years old- and her film A Ball and a Coloring Box was well-regarded by the audience once screened in Arab festivals.

She is a high school student and an actress at Ashtar Theatre; she is also a scenarist and short story writer.

Her artistic life began at school when she joined the school theatre when she was only 10. She, then, performed the character of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice, one of the great works of Shakespeare. She was also nominated by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture to represent Palestine in the jury of Jufouni Children's Film Festival.

Lyana had performed in more than 10 plays at school, and she considers theatre as her world and life. She commented on her play Once upon Chairs, which was the first educational play tackling sexual harassment to participate in. She added that "The script was based on observations and stories that we or others have experienced. "It is true that we, as a group, haven't been subject to this amount of harassment, but this phenomenon does exist", she added.

Lyana said in a previous interview "Having participated in a number of plays, I have become aware of the way actors think and the method that must be followed to extract the energies inside them. This encouraged me to get involved in this field. My experience in acting facilitated the way of dealing with the film crew who are from my generation."

A Ball and a Coloring Box
The story of the first feature film for Lyana, A Ball and a Coloring Box, is about the dream. It was produced by Al Ma'mal Institute in Jerusalem after administering a competition in which many Palestinian innovators in literature, cinematography and other arts participated. The film talks about three children with different dreams. The main character in the film dreams of playing football. In order to fulfill his dream, he had to clean the garbage in an adjacent land next to his house and turn it into a football pitch.

The second female child dreamed of having a coloring box to take out her energy as a creative little artist as well as having green wide spaces where she can hang her colorful drawings. However, she had to give up her drawing dream for some time after she got fed up with using coal; her only tool in drawing. She got fed up with the black color which engulfed her life. Consequently, she stopped using coal.

The third child was more realistic than his peers, he enjoys playing with his kite, but he has to give up his dream after realizing that the Palestinian space is filled with Israeli killing planes and so no room for the kite he likes. The mission of the first child ‘Lo'ai' is to make his dream come true, and to return the beauty of the dreams to his friends' minds.

Lyana says "It is an attempt to indulge the viewer in the film. So the loss of Lo'ai is not the responsibility of the occupation alone. I tried to keep the children away from the captivity to the event. Thus, precedence was not to the event as many Palestinian films; rather, it was for the children "here the human".

The crew of the executing company, Smart Frame, helped Lyana who prepared the script in a professional way after several readings and consultations. According to Lyana, the tips and the remarks of the company crew had a major role in having the film presented in this way. Also, assistance was provided by the artist, Iman Oun, in selecting and training the actors.

Lyana looks forward to study cinema directing after she completes high school next summer. She hopes to get a scholarship to study at any European country, and promises those who liked her first film to see a better film next time.

Source : Aljazeera