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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

One Day in Gaza | Close Up

Finalist in Vertical Video


In November 2023, we embarked on the making of “One Day in Gaza”. At the time, Israel was intensifying its bombardment of the Gaza strip, particularly in the north, where many civilians were trapped and unable to flee. Filming was extremely dangerous and we made the creative choice of asking people to film whatever they could over the course of one day, on any device that still worked. The compilation of people’s moments, interwoven into a 9-minute film, provides a snapshot of just one of the 137 days of war when even the most mundane of tasks like showering or preparing a meal has become impossibly hard.


Strategy and Execution

The execution of our film required persistence and adaptability as sourcing clips from a place under relentless bombardment, where people don’t have access to basics like fuel, food, water or reliable internet, was not an easy task. To navigate the challenges of operating in Gaza, we hired two young women who were key to the execution of the project: a Palestinian activist living in London, and a journalist based in Gaza. Both helped us find participants from different walks of life and provided guidance with filming and sending footage from Gaza.

After gathering a large volume of clips, we faced challenges in the edit as we had to weave hundreds of clips into a cohesive narrative. We experimented with a dozen cuts and eventually settled on the dusk till dawn storyline. The outcome is a 9-minute film offering insight into what life looks like when life itself is at stake.



The short film did exceptionally well on social platforms. On Instagram alone, It raked 12.5 millions views making it Close Up’s most successful documentary. With hundreds of comments and shares, the video went viral proving audiences are hungry for character-driven stories that go beyond the news headlines. It also serves as a testament to online audiences' willingness to engage with longer content when the storytelling is compelling. We believe the film was successful in part because of its vertical orientation which fostered intimacy with the narrative and resonated strongly with global audiences. 

With the vast majority of infrastructure destroyed or damaged and unreliable internet connectivity, sourcing hundreds of video clips from different people in Gaza was challenging, but the result is a raw film about love, survival, heartbreak, and death. The short documentary is a time capsule of what it means to be alive in Gaza during the deadliest conflict in the 21st century.



Video for One Day in Gaza | Close Up

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Al Jazeera Digital