Arab premiere of “Kolshi Mako” at Cairo International Film Festival


The Iraqi film Kalashi Mako, directed by Maysoon Al-Bachachi, won its first Arab screening in the Horizons of Arab Cinema competition, as part of the activities of the 43rd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (November 26-December 5).

The screening was held in the presence of the film’s director, Maysoon Al-Bachachi, and the writer Irada Al-Jubouri, who co-authored the film. It also witnessed the presence of a large number of audience who interacted with the filmmakers during the discussion that followed the screening.

The film is scheduled to have its second screening on Sunday, November 28 at 9:30 pm at the American University’s Ewart Hall.

In conjunction with its screening at the festival, the official teaser for the film was launched on social media, to view it, you can visit the following link:

The Cairo International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most regular festivals in the Arab world and Africa, and is unique in being the only festival in the Arab and African region registered in Category A in the International Federation of Producers in Paris (FIAPF).

The film had its world premiere at the Sarajevo Film Festival, where it was shown in full, and received wide critical acclaim, as the famous critic Nina E. Roth wrote on the MIME website about the film, “a collective heroism that was represented and written brilliantly”, and about the work of director Maysoon Elbagh. “There is a sense of poeticity in Maysoon’s work,” said Nina, describing the collaboration between producer Talal Al-Muhanna and Maysoon as an “inspiring alliance.”

The events of the film take place in the background of sectarian violence in the last week of 2006, between Christmas and Eid al-Adha.

It tells the stories of the residents of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as they try to live their daily lives despite episodes of severe and unexpected violence that exposes them to danger.

At the heart of the events, the film tells the story of Sarah, a writer and a single mother, who lost her desire to write as a result of the silent violence.

Shortly before the new year begins, in the wake of sudden events, Sarah and her neighbors hole up in an uncertain future as they try to create a faint sense of hope.

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Kalashi Mako won the IWC Award at the Dubai International Film Festival, amounting to 100,000 dollars, and also received various grants in the Arab region, including Sanad, the Arab Fund for Culture and Arts (Aafaq) and the Doha Film Institute. He also won a cash prize of $5,000 from The Cell Group at the Malmö Arab Film Festival, where the film was selected under the post-production financing section.

Kalashi Mako directed by Maysoon Al-Bachachi, co-written by Dr. Erada Al-Jubouri, starring Darina Al-Jundi (in the role of Sarah), Bassem Hajjar, Maryam Abbas, the famous Iraqi actor Mahmoud Abu Al-Abbas, produced by Oxymoron Films (UK) and Linked Productions (Kuwait) and co-produced by Les Contes Modernes (France), Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion (Germany), and MAD Solutions distribute the film in the Arab world.

Maysoon Al-Bachachi is an Iraqi filmmaker residing in London. She studied philosophy at University College London, then filmmaking at the London Film School. She has worked in editing a number of documentaries and feature films for years, and since 1994 she has turned to becoming an independent filmmaker, most of her films centered on the East. Al-Awsat, I directed several films, including An Iranian Journey and Back to the Land of Wonders, Our Feelings Take Pictures, Open Lenses in Iraq, which received a special mention from the Jury of the Architecture Festival in Rotterdam.

Maysoon taught editing and directing in Britain and Palestine, in Gaza, Jerusalem and Birzeit.

In 2004, she founded with her colleague Qassem Obaid the College of Independent Film and Television, which is a free film training center in Baghdad, whose students have so far been able to produce 17 short documentaries, which have participated and shown in many international and local festivals.

Irada Al-Jubouri is a writer and researcher active in women’s rights from Iraq. She obtained her master’s degrees from the University of Baghdad and her doctorate from the College of Media, and her doctorate thesis was on the image of women in Iraqi cinema from 1946-1994.

Prior to her participation in writing the film Kalashi Mako, al-Jubouri collaborated with Maysoon Pachachi on a project entitled Open Lenses in Iraq. This project was embodied in a photo exhibition and a bilingual book, as well as becoming the focus of a documentary film directed by Maysoun Pachachi.

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