Iraqi films in spotlight at Gulf Film Festival

Taha Karimi’s “I Am A White Mercenary” Ten films from Iraq will debut to the world at the Gulf Film Festival in April 10th in Dubai offering an in-depth look at the country and its people.

In all, the Festival will screen at least 15 films from the strife-torn nation, including two international premieres and two UAE premieres. 

Moreover, five short films from Iraq will be competing for awards at GFF2012 including Rezgar Hussein’s “Bicycle”, a simple story of a poor boy’s aspiration to have a bicycle. 

Taha Karimi’s “I Am A White Mercenary” tells the story of Saeid Jaf, a mercenary commander of the Iraqi Baath Party standing trialfor being part of the Al-Anfal campaign –where more than 180,000 Kurds were killed – in the new Iraqi court.

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The film, which aims to present a new perspective of the incidents, is competing in the Festival’s official Gulf competition. 

Ja’far Abd al-Hamid’s feature film “Mesocafe”, also in competition, explores the life of an Iraqi underground blogger who travels to London to campaign against UN sanctions on his country and highlight their consequences on the nation.

 Five films by Iraqistudents have been shortlisted for the Festival’s Gulfstudent competition. Three of them – Khaled AlBayati’s “My Age is 31”; Saddam Hashim’s “That in My Head” and Melak Abd AliMnahi’s “Cassette” are making their world premiere at GFF. Hashim Al Efari’s “Smile Again” is making its international premiere; and “O” by Yaser Hameed makes its UAE premiere.

The Festival previously announced its in-competition selection of “Red Heart”, Halkawt Mustafa’s love story that delves into the challenges young women face in contemporary Kurdish society.

Three additionalIraqifeature films – Atia and Mohammed Daradji’s “In My Mother’s Arms”; Sarmad AlZoubidy’s “One-Eyed Charlatan” – willscreen in the Festival’s out of competition Lights programme.

GFF 2012 will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand FestivalCinemas at Dubai

FestivalCity on April 10-16.

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