Opening Credits: Debut Film Goes Global

When Jude Lucienne Elziq, Class of 2022, directed her Capstone film in senior year, the prospect of international exposure never crossed her mind. Now, her debut film Between the Barricades has been screened at 14 film festivals in nine countries.

“I didn't think it would be possible,” Jude Lucienne Elziq says of the film she began writing in her second year at NYU Abu Dhabi. “I wouldn’t have imagined this and I feel extremely grateful,” particularly for her crew members, NYUAD professors, and close friends who encouraged and supported her along the way.

In just under 10-minutes, Between the Barricades tells the story of a young Palestinian girl living under military curfew. The girl dreams of being a famous soccer player but isn’t allowed to go outside due to the surrounding conflict. “The film is near and dear to my heart,” Elziq explains. “It’s a very heavy subject.”

Elziq is Palestinian. She grew up in nine different countries and spent many summers in Palestine where she saw the struggle of children living in instability. . The short film provides an intimate glimpse into what she witnessed there, and the hardships children still face day in and day out.

Major: Film and New Media; Social Research and Public Policy
Home Country: UK, Palestine
Current: Self-employed filmmaker, London, UK

“There are certain things that conflict cannot take away from a child — their hopes and dreams. I wanted to portray that,” says the young filmmaker.

Seeing her work screened for live audiences and rubbing shoulders with revered filmmakers has been a dream come true. “It is an overwhelming experience. It really makes me feel that nothing is impossible,” she says.

There are certain things that conflict cannot take away from a child — their hopes and dreams. I wanted to portray that.

Jude Lucienne Elziq, Class of 2022

Elziq hopes her film will spark ongoing conversations about protecting children’s rights and she wants to continue telling stories that bring awareness to human rights issues.

“One of the biggest blessings of NYUAD for me was the fact that I was able to pursue filmmaking and social research and public policy at the same time because for me they go hand in hand,” she explains. The film program helped her build technical skills in cinema while the social sciences inspired her to explore possible storylines about important global problems.

“All of that together gave me the wonderful experience to be able to make the  film that I always dreamed of making. I hope that this is the first of more opportunities to make films that highlight important issues in the world.” Elziq is currently based in London where she is pursuing a range of freelance opportunities.

A still from the film "Between the Barricades" overlaid with the screening icons from 11 film festivals.