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The Judge

dir. Erika Cohn / Palestine, USA / 2017 / 81 min.

Section: Reinventing Tomorrow


Director: Erika Cohn

Cinematography: Amber Fares

Editing: Sara Maamouri, Ken Schneider

Sound:  Omar Fadel

Music: Omar Fadel

Producers: Erika Cohn, Jennifer Jordan, Sara Maamouri, Amber Fares, Mark Lipson

Production: Three Judges, Idle Wild Films., and Independent Television Service (ITVS)  

World sales: r*co films

Language: Arabic


When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. He laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts.  “The Judge” offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud - her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, “The Judge” presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine - custody of children, divorce, abuse - while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari’a. 




Toronto International Film Festival, IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, DOC NYC, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, ONE WORLD International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, DOCVILLE - Documentary Film Festival Leuven, Tromsø International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival (Golden Gate Award), International Women’s Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, WATCH DOCS International Film Festival, Peabody Award for “Excellence in Broadcast Journalism”



Erika Cohn is an Emmy award winning director/producer who “Variety” recognized as one of 2017’s top ten documentary filmmakers. She co-directed/produced “In Football We Trust”, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade’s Win from Within series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. Erika is also an avid photographer and served as a U.S. Ambassadorial Film Scholar to Israel/Palestine.


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