Directed by Tone Andersen

Every week, Palestinian children are arrested in the West Bank by the Israeli army. Some of them are as young as 12 years old, and the most common accusation is stone-throwing.

The film starts when the prison sentence ends. In the area of Hebron, Mohammed Jamil (15), Hamze (17) and Mahran (20) have returned home after months and years in prison. They are hailed as heroes at their big homecoming party, but getting back into the routine of everyday life is much more difficult than they imagined. Soldiers, military raids and demonstrations mark the environment. They also have trouble with their own families, friends and school authorities. In a weekly counseling group, 12 boys meet to share their stories as they try to come to terms with their common traumas. Despite the fear and confusion, they also have dreams for the future. Mahran’s first step is to get out of the house and regain trust in people around him. Hamze wants to be the first of his brothers to get a high school diploma. Mohammed Jamil promises to stay away from trouble if he can get his own car. When the Boys Return is a story about young boys’ strength and courage growing up in an environment marked by conflict.


  • WTBR_director2_opt Tone Andersen is a Norwegian filmmaker and cinematographer. She has studied film at Lillehammer College and received a Bachelor’s degree in Film & Video at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, UK. From 2002-2006 she was based in the occupied West Bank, where she worked with independent documentary films and  TV news. Tone Andersen has shot many international documentary projects and was the cinematographer on the award-winning A Stone’s Throw Away (2003) and USA vs Al-Arian (2007). When the Boys Return  is her directorial debut for long TV documentary.
  • Копия-IMG_7437 Anita Rehoff Larsen from Skedsmokorset was educated in film and television production at the University of Sunderland in England. Anita has both directed and produced her own short documentaries that have been shown at film festivals in Scandinavia, Europe and Asia. Anita began as a producer at Sant og Usant in 2010, working on several international projects both in development and in production. Contact Anita   tone_opt Tone Grøttjord from Arendal started Sant og Usant in 2006, and has since worked as a documentary producer. She has produced six documentaries, among them Knut Sigve from Folkestad, which one the Gullruten prize. She is currently working on several large international projects, both in development and in production. Grøttjord has a masters in documentary film from the National Film and Television School in London. Contact Tone
  • jesper-osmund Jesper Osmund (Danish film editor) edited his first feature film in 1991 after years of working as an assistant editor. He then continued editing several feature films, short films, mini series and houndreds of commercials until the mid 90ies, where he started to focus more upon documentaries. Today he has edited more than 75 documentaries, many of them internationally awarded. The later years he has focused mainly on internationally co-produced feature length documentaries. He also works as narrative consultant and holds seminars and workshops ex. for EDN, IDF and IDFAcademy. Among his films you find: «Harbour of Hope» (2011) World Premiere at Thessaloniki IDF, «Big Boys Gone Bananas!» (2011) selected for IDFA 2011 and Sundance 2012. The controversial «BANANAS!*» (2009) shown at more than 100 festivals. The award winning films «Long Distance Love» (2009), «Imagen Final/Final Image» (2008), «Girls» (2007), «The Well» (2006) and «Rolling Like A Stone» (2005).
  • Lyddesign-Svenn-Jakobsen_foto-Alen-Gujic Svenn Jakobsen graduated Tonemester from the Danish Film School, and has over 20 years’ experience as a sound designer. His work has won several awards, and he was appointed Associate Professor of Cinematic Sound at the Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer in 2010. Alongside comprehensive productions for TV shows, documentaries, children’s films and feature films, he has worked as a teacher and lecturer in sound design for film and TV since 2000. He has tailored lectures for all levels, from middle school to high school, college to university.

Director:  Tone Andersen Screenplay: Tone Andersen Director of Photography: Tone Andersen Editor: Jesper Osmund Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen og Tone Grøttjord for Sant & Usant AS Co-producer: Al-Jazeera UK Release date: Fall,  2012 Financers: Norwegian Film Institute, The European media programme, Fritt Ord, Fond for lyd og bilde, NRK, ERT, LICHTPUNT, AL-JAZEERA UK.

When the boys return wins the Children’s Jury Awards in Greece

16olympia_festival-213x300 When the boys return wins the Children’s Jury Award at the 16th edition of the Olympia International Film festival for Children and Young people in Greece. The film also received special mention in the Kids and Docs Jury Award. The 16th edition of the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People was held in Pyrgos, Amaliada, Lechaina, Gastouni and other cities of Ilia Prefecture from November 30 to December 13, 2013.  The Olympia Festival presents films by professional filmmakers, dealing with childhood and adolescence. All the films focus on childhood and youth and are consistent with the principles of UNICEF and UNESCO about cinema for children and young people. The Olympia Festival, honouring those principles, is an equal member of CIFEJ (Centre International du Film pour l’ Enfance et la Jeunesse) and ECFA (European Children’ s Film Associaton).



  • Director Tone Andersen
  • coproducers Al-Jazeera UK
  • Technical Specs 60 min | Colour | DCP 1:1, 78| Stereo 5 1
  • financiers Norwegian Film Institute, The European media programme, Fritt Ord, Fond for lyd og bilde, NRK, ERT, LICHTPUNT, AL-JAZEERA UK.
  • Release date 2013
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