The Wanted 18


How did we help:
  • Development
  • Production
  • Outreach
  • Good Pitch

Directors Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan
Completed 2015



Humorous and thought-provoking, The Wanted 18 shows the power of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation during the First Intifada. The film tells the story of 18 dairy cows being brought to the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, as part of a self-sufficiency movement, which were then declared a threat to the security of the state of Israel. A poignant film about nation-building by the people not the politicians.

The Wanted 18 tells the unique story of eighteen cows that became a symbol of creative resistance and self-sufficiency for a Palestinian town – and the Israeli authorities’ astonishing military operation launched in response. In 1988, the residents of the Palestinian town of Beit Sahour decided to resist the Israeli occupation by producing their own milk locally in order to provide their community with an alternative to replace Israeli goods. After buying 18 cows, residents of Beit Sahour painstakingly taught themselves dairy farming and began distributing milk. Their farm soon became a local landmark of nonviolent organizing – until the Israeli authorities stepped in, declaring the cows a “threat to national security.” With warmth and humor, the film explores the fate of the community’s bid for dignity and autonomy, as well as the Israeli military’s surreal mission to hunt down the cows.

Outreach work supported

The grant from the Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund will be used to support the public launch of The Wanted 18's impact campaign in the United States over the summer of 2015, including the film's high profile premiere, theatrical release and all the programming and press outreach that will accompany it.