What Walaa Wants

Buy your tickets here


Walaa, a teenage girl raised in a refugee camp, decides to become one of the few female police officers of the Palestinian security forces. Resignation is not part of her vocabulary, but it is not easy for a girl to break all the rules.

Walaa’s story is marked by survival instinct, overcoming numerous obstacles and learning. An intimate portrait that brings us closer to the life of a girl from the age of 15 to 21 who’s willing to get to the end, and is brave enough to question the establishment and the structures of both her environment and the world in general.


Christy Garland has directed award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary features and fiction shorts. Based in Toronto, she often co-produces with the Nordic countries. Distributed worldwide, Garland’s films deliver strong dramatic development, poignant character transformation and universally- felt themes. The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song (2012, Hot Docs, Sheffield a.o.) garnered rave reviews at its theatrical release, “echoing the work of Bresson and the Dardennes” (Globe & Mail). Her latest film Cheer Up (2016, HotDocs, DOC NYC a.o) was called “a biting portrait of young womanhood” by Vice.



  • Berlinale, Germmany, 2018
  • Hot Docs, Canada, 2018. DSG Special Jury Prize – Best Canadian Documentary
  • Edinburgh Film Festival, Scotland, 2018
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival, USA, 2018. Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award
What Walaa Wants | Edition 2019, Official Section - Panorama

What Walaa Wants

Christy Garland

Canada, Denmark (2018)



Language: arabic


Also available at: