The Sunbird Award was first launched by Filmlab: Palestine in 2016. During the festival Palestine Cinema Days each year in October, the two Sunbird Award competitions showcase short narrative and feature-length documentary films. The films have to be made by Palestinian directors or producers, or refer to Palestine thematically. The Sunbird Production Award, established in 2017, supports the shoot, post-production, and distribution of one Palestinian short film project, in cooperation with Aarhus Filmworkshop and MAD Solutions. Three international juries will decide on the winners in each category.
The name of the award refers to the Palestine Sunbird, a small bird of 8-12cm height. This bird is able to cope with overcrowded urban concrete buildings, in addition to the crawling desert. It has been forced to live in a different environment that the one it was used to live in - an environment that has green forests.
The Sunbird Award was designed by the Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar.