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Iraqi Odyssey
Oct 9th, 2015

 

Description:

Switzerland’s Official Submission for the 88th Academy Awards.

Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, this riveting 3D documentary epic from acclaimed expatriate Iraqi filmmaker Samir pays moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by the horrors of colonialism, dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation.

While there are no precise statistics, it is estimated that four to five million Iraqis live outside Iraq today. Award-winning filmmaker Samir was born in Baghdad and has lived in Switzerland since he was child, while the members of his extended family are scattered all over the world — Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Sydney, Los Angeles, Buffalo, London, Paris, Zurich, and Moscow — with only a handful remaining in Iraq. Recounting his family’s stories of departures and uprootings, in Iraqi Odyssey Samir also chronicles how Iraqis’ dreams of building a modern and just society after their nation achieved independence in the 1950s were brutally dashed over the course of half a century.

Loosely organized in three acts, the film begins with Samir’s grandfather and his role in the struggle against British colonialism. The second act traces the successive waves of emigration as his relatives sought safe havens around the globe to escape from the series of coups and counter-coups in the 1960s and 1970s that resulted in the establishment of Saddam Hussein’s three-decade dictatorship over the country. Saddam’s deposition by the 2003 US invasion, and the iconic image of his statue being toppled in Firdos Square, signals the film’s final act, and the last tale of departure.

Weaving together the ironic, wistful, and witty testimonies of Samir’s relatives with rare documents from private and state archives, and Ottoman film footage, Iraqi Odyssey is a riveting epic that creates a genuine people’s history of Iraq, at once humble and majestic.

Shedding a new light on a grossly misrepresented country, Iraqi Odyssey is the veteran director’s most personal, ambitious, and accomplished feature to date.
— Rasha Salti, Toronto International Film Festival


Typecast Releasing & The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII) are proud to announce an academic screening tour of the official theatrical version of Samir’s epic documentary film.

This film provides an ideal setting for discussions relating to the history and future of Iraq and the Middle East in general and sheds a profound light on the origins of the refugee crisis.

Contact Typecast Releasing to book your screening today: info@typecastfilms.com

Contact TAARII to help coordinate speakers or showings for Iraqi refugee communities in your area: http://www.taarii.org/. 


 

Reviews:

“For American audiences Iraqi Odyssey will be a revelation.”
— New York Times

“A personal, insightful and beautifully made film…I was spellbound in front of the screen.”
— Huffington Post

“Iraqi Odyssey is one of the more breathless documentaries in recent memory.”
— Village Voice

“Straddling a telling of his generously-sized family’s history and that of Iraq, Samir’s aptly named film is nothing short of epic.”
— ReOrient Reviews

“An impressive amount of archival material, nicely edited and accompanied by appropriate music tracks, acts as both family album and chronicle of a lost world.”
— Variety

“Iraqi Odyssey takes 3D where it usually doesn’t go. It’s a mesmerizing hi-def film about the history of an impressive people.”
— People’s World

“Iraqi Odyssey is a documentary of one extraordinary Iraqi family whose tale is all the more remarkable because it is so common.”
— Epoch Times

Trailer:

 

 

At Festivals

 

Freiburger Filmforum 2015

Arabische Filmtage Tübingen 2015

Duisburger Filmtage 2015

Silk Road International Film Festival 2015

CIFF Cairo International Film Festival 2015

JIFF Jerusalem International Film Festival 2015

BIFF Bergen International Film Festival 2015

NZIFF New Zealand International Film Festival 2015

EIDF EBF International Documentary Festival South Korea 2015

Black Nights Film Festival Tallinn 2015

Beldocs Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival 2015

Biografilm Festival Bologna 2015

BAFICI Buenos Aires 2015

Arabiske Filmdager Oslo 2015

Vilnius International Film Festival IFF 2015

Beirut Cinema Days – Ayam Beirut al Cinema’iya 2015

Solothurner Filmtage 2015

 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 2015 – Berlinale Panorama, Dokumente

Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage 2014

São Paulo Mostra Cinema: Oriente Médio 2014

ADFF – Abu Dhabi International Film Festival 2014

 Zurich Film Festival – Work-in-Progress Special Screening 2014

Festival do Rio 2014 – World Panorama

TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival 2014




Road to Kurdistan
Nov 12th, 2014
Description:

“Road to Kurdistan allows us to travel along as a culture navigates between boundaries,
forcing us to question where freedom resides—within us or among us.”
— Margaret J. Krauss, Intelligent Travel

This moving documentary takes the viewer on a road trip into the heart of the Kurdish soul. Fo’ad, a talented student musician, travels to Iraq from Iran, looking for new opportunities for his Kurdish band in Suleimaniya. His fellow travelers on this at times dangerous journey are the filmmaker’s aging father and aunt. The Vaziris are keen to explore Suleimaniya’s rich past and pay tribute to one of Kurdistan’s famous women poets: The late Mastoureh Ardalan. On the bus, Fo’ad enchants his fellow travelers with his soulful music and warm voice. As the group’s small bus navigates the many checkpoints and borders, it becomes clear that love of Kurdish culture and music is what brings the travelers together. Road to Kurdistan examines the re-emerging cultural roots between Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan after the fall of Saddam and the opening of the Iran-Iraq border.

This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.

Trailer:

Rental Information:

This film is available from AFD for public screenings and television broadcast. For information regarding rental rates and formats, please contact info@arabfilm.com  for institutional/non-theatrical screenings, or info@arabfilm.com for theatrical, festival, television, or other bookings.

About the Filmmaker:

Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri is an award-winning independent filmmaker and educator, born and raised in Tehran, Iran. she received her BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Ct., and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. Currently she is completing her doctoral studies at Temple University. She works for Link Television series Bridge to Iran and on documentary programs that promote understanding of Iran, including Cinema Encounters in Tehran and Conversations in Tehran. She has worked for Deep Dish TV on a 12-part series about the war in Iraq, which was broadcast on PBS and has been shown world-wide in museums, art houses and universities. It was included in the 2005 Whitney Museum Biennial.
Her personal documentaries are about Iran and her relationship to the country she left as a young person, the upheavals of revolution, the Iran-Iraq war and years of difficult history with the US. Her work has shown widely in museums, art houses, universities and on television. They include Road to Kurdistan, 2011, Women Like Us, 2002; A Place Called Home, 1998; Far From Iran, 1990; Journal from Tehran, 1987. Her work is distributed by Women Make Movies and Arab Films.




Part of a Journey to the Heart of Arab Culture
with Three New Films by Nacer Khemir

Language: André Miquel: An Encounter with the Arabic Language

Imagination: Scheherazade: Words Against Death

Faith: Looking for Muhyiddin


Description:

“One listens to the stories and does not want them ever to end!”
— Martial Knaebel

The collected work known as “One Thousand and One Nights” survived for centuries through generations of Arab storytellers, and is now recognized as an integral part of world literature. In this filmed performance, storyteller/filmmaker Nacer Khemir sits on chair in the middle of a dimly lit stage and deploys the magic of words to take us on a journey of the imagination. This simple set-up may not seem like much, but it offers the listener an extraordinarily colorful experience and brilliantly emphasizes the oral nature of the work. As we listen to the expertly told stories, we are equally charmed by their intricacies and entranced by their interconnectedness. Even though Khemir illustrates some of the stories with beautifully filmed sequences, the audience’s ability to listen is paramount here. Sheherazade used words to avoid impending death, Khemir uses the art of storytelling to breathe a new life into this ancient masterwork.

Trailer:

This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.

Rental Information:

This film is available from AFD for public screenings and television broadcast. For information regarding rental rates and formats, please contact info@arabfilm.com  for institutional/non-theatrical screenings, or info@arabfilm.com for theatrical, festival, television, or other bookings.

About the Filmmaker:

Through cinema, painting, sculpture, calligraphy, writing and storytelling, Nacer Khemir has thrown bridges between shores, North and South, East and West. Since he directed “The Story of the Land of God,” for the French channel (Antenne 2) in 1975, he has written, directed, and produced a number of feature films and documentaries. In 1984, he won the top award at the Film Festival of the Three Continents, in Nantes, France for his first feature film “The Wanderers of the Desert.” He then won the “Tanit D’or” at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, and the Golden Palm leaf at the Valencia Film Festival, and the Critic’s award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, his film “The Dove’s Lost Necklace” won the Special Jury Award at the Locarno Festival, the top award at the Belfort Film Festival in France as well the Jury’s Special Award at the Festival of French-Speaking Films in St-Martin. In 1991, he directed “In Search of the Arabian Nights” for the French channel (FR3). In 2005, he cowrote and directed “Bab Aziz, The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul” which won the Golden Dagger at the Muscat Film Festival and the Henry Langlois Prize. In 2007, Nacer Khemir was featured in Swiss director’s Bruno Moll film “Journey To Tunis” about the travels of Paul Klee in Tunisia in 1914 and its influence on his painting. In 2008 Khemir directed “The Alphabet of My Mother” a digital short film which was produced by the JeonJu International Film Festival and premiered at the Locarno and Melbourne film festivals. In 2010 he produced and directed the documentary “André Mique: An Encounter with the Arabic Language.” In 2011 he co-produced and directed “Sheherazade, Words Against Death.” In 2012 he produced and directed “Looking for Muhyiddin” an epic spiritual odyssey about the life and philosophy of the Muslim mystic Ibn Arabi. “Looking for Muhyiddin” won Barzaj Prize in Spain. In 2013 he produced and directed “Yasmina and the 60 Names of Love” and he has just finished production on “Where to Start?”. Nacer Khemir’s films consistently interrogate the myths of the past in order to question and illuminate the future.



journey-through-iranian-cinema-news

“Mark Cousins is incapable of writing anything
about cinema history without making it fascinating.”

—Sean Connery

In 2011, Irish author, filmmaker, and former director of Edinburgh Film Festival, Mark Cousins, ended his cinematic odyssey with the release of the 15 hour long compilation documentary: The Story of Film. For this epic project, Mark traveled the world to learn more about the films of renowned directors such as Youssef Chahine, John Ford, Abbas Kiarostami and Ritwik Ghatak and to experience firsthand the settings of their master works. While in Iran, Mark made two tribute documentaries on Iranian cinema: On the Road with Kiarostami and Cinema Iran.

In A Journey Through Iranian Cinema With Mark Cousins, Iranian filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht catches up with Mark during the English tour of The Story of Film. Mark explores the impact of the films of Forough Farrokhzad, Abbas Kiarostami and the Makhmalbaf(s) have had on his life as filmmaker and film lover, as he reminisces about the two trips he made from Scotland to Iran in his campervan. Mark also offers fascinating insights on modern Iran: A country whose rich culture and vast history are often overshadowed by the day-to-day fluctuations in modern-day politics.

More info:
http://typecastfilms.com/shop/journey-through-iranian-cinema/

DVD: $225.00 — DVD with DSL $425.00

This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.



War, Love, God, & Madness and Budrus will be screening at the 2011 Movies that Matter Festival at The Hague!

War, Love, God, & Madness makes its Dutch premiere!

While visiting Iraq in 2007 for the premiere of his first feature film, Ahlaam, director Mohamed Al-Daradji summons the courage to look back over the turbulent past three years of his life and the making of his film in a volatile war zone.

Undaunted by ever present dangers and heartbreaking chaos, Mohamed returned to his home in Baghdad in 2004. The Iraq he had once known had vanished, replaced by the gritty aftermath of 35 years of dictatorship, three wars, and the wake of occupation. Finding the once vibrant streets consumed by unemployment, poverty, and madness, he strives to fulfill his dream of making a film in the country he loves.

Determined not to succumb to physical and emotional strife, Mohamed’s camera rolls on as the world begins to unravel around him. A spectrum of society previously sidelined by images of war is introduced to the audience: a young child sings for Saddam; a father grieves for his hanged son; a young actor thinks back on his time in prison; a troubled friend becomes lost in madness.

War, Love, God, & Madness shows the huge risks filmmakers in ‘liberated’ Iraq face. There is hardly any equipment, safety cannot be guaranteed on the set and crew members, including the director himself, are arrested and tortured.

Al-Daradji’s movie Son of Babylon will also be screened at the festival. This road movie is part of the Iraq’s Missing Campaign, an initiative from The Iraq’s Missing Persons Organisation, that was founded by the filmmakers to support the families of missing persons in Iraq: www.iraqsmissing.org

Budrus at The Hague

When the residents of Budrus learn that the Israeli army plans to build the Separation Barrier through their town, cutting them off from neighboring Palestinian villages and uprooting their precious olive groves, they decide to organize. Under the leadership of Ayed Morrar, Palestinian men of all political factions come together to wage an unarmed struggle to preserve their lands. Victory seems unlikely until Ayed’s 15-year-old daughter steps in to organize a female contingent that brings the women of Budrus to the front lines in a tense stand-off with the military.

As word of the nonviolent protest spreads, Israeli citizens, international activists and Palestinians from other villages join the people of Budrus to demand that the Barrier be moved. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement that is still gaining ground today.

Ayed Morrar is one of the ten human rights defenders featuring in the A Matter of ACT main programme and will attend the festival.

About the Festival

The Movies that Matter Festival is the Netherlands’ main platform for engaged cinema, with dozens of documentaries and movies of inspired film makers being screened every year. Films that stir the debate about human rights, human dignity and situations where these are at stake. The Movies that Matter Festival will present over seventy human rights films and documentaries from all over the world. Many films will be screened for the first and only time in the Netherlands. All films are English spoken or subtitled.

Reservations and ticket sales starts on March 10th.



amrad_poster_news

American Radical North American Theatrical Screening Dates:

* February 11-17, 2010 . New York, NY at Anthology Film Archives
* March 8-11, 2010 . Seattle, WA at Northwest Film Forum
* March 12-18, 2010 . Los Angeles, CA at Laemmle Theatres
* March 23-30, 2010 . New Orleans, LA at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
* March 28, 2010 . San Francisco, CA at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
* April 15-16, 2010 . Columbus, OH at Wexner Center for the Arts
* April 23-29, 2010 . Montreal, QC at Cinema du Parc
* April 24, 2010 . Chicago, IL at Chicago Palestine Film Festival
* May 23-26, 2010 . Vancouver, BC at Pacific Cinematheque
* June 3, 2010 . San Francisco, CA at Roxie Theater

Typecast Releasing is pleased to announce that American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein, the new feature-length documentary film from directors David Ridgen (Mississippi Cold Case) and Nicolas Rossier (Aristide and the Endless Revolution), enjoyed a successful premiere and week-long run in NYC at Anthology Film Archives in February—with Norman Finkelstein and the directors in attendance at opening weekend screenings for Q&A. American Radical next went on to play in Seattle, WA at the Northwest Film Forum and then had its Los Angeles theatrical premiere at Laemmle Theatres’ Music Hall 3 cinemas in Beverly Hills, with opening night events on Friday, March 12 sponsored by the Levantine Cultural Center. The film had a successful two-week theatrical run in Montreal, QC at Cinema du Parc and will next be showing at Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, BC from May 23-26 after which it will be screened at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco on June 3, with a panel discussion following both screenings there.

A devoted son of Holocaust survivors and ardent critic of Israeli foreign policy, the polarizing American political scientist and author Norman Finkelstein has been called a lunatic and self-hating Jew by some, and an inspirational revolutionary by others. Exploring the deeply complex issues at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, American Radical is the insightful and enraging documentary that follows Finkelstein around the world as he attempts to negotiate a voice among his impassioned critics and supporters. Uncompromising even in the face of his recent denial of tenure at DePaul University, Finkelstein is revealed as a complex and supremely lonely figure whose self-destructive nature often undermines his academic credibility. A guaranteed argument starter, this potent documentary plunges viewers into the psychological and intellectual underpinnings of a vitriolic personality.

“For us, Finkelstein is the consummate documentary subject: a complex firebrand, principled to the point of self-ruin, at the apex of several of the world’s largest conflicts. A man who has never been asked to appear on mainstream American television, but who regularly appears – always creating controversy – in the international media. At once anti-hero, clown, and merciless scholar, Finkelstein creates as many storms as he enters. And to what end? When radicals collide, does it create understanding? Some would argue that it sometimes does. Others would claim that Finkelstein’s principled but too often bitter advocacy does much to discredit the cause of a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Audiences can decide for themselves.” —directors David Ridgen & Nicolas Rossier

VIEW TRAILER:

REVIEWS:

“‘American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein’ is a cautiously respectful documentary portrait of a political firebrand who presents himself as a beacon of moral truth in the murk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” —Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Surprisingly entertaining…a compelling portrait of a difficult man.” —Mark Cohen, The Jewish Daily Forward

“With impressive restraint, the fascinatingly thorny ‘American Radical’ is less interested in the validity of Finkelstein’s ideas—seriously mounted, if inflammatory—and more in the topsy-turvy life of today’s professional academic. Amazingly, that choice doesn’t result in a boring movie.” —Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

“‘American Radical’…presents a more balanced portrait of Finkelstein, who, when his passion doesn’t carry him off on a wave of anger, is shown to be thoughtful, intelligent and deeply melancholy.” —George Robinson, The Jewish Week

“A blood-boiling, very good documentary.” —Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magaine

“(Norman Finkelstein’s) conclusions can be debated, his methods can be deplored, but as (‘American Radical’ directors) Ridgen and Rossier take pains to point out, a man so rigorously committed to putting an end to oppression ought not be so easily dismissed, even if coming to grips with such a challenging figure may be finally as difficult as getting to the bottom of the Arab-Israeli conflict itself.” —Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine

“A guaranteed argument starter…an engaging portrait of an academic whose work is both fueled and undermined by his vitriolic personality.” Chicago Reader

“A fascinating, well-rounded portrait of Finkelstein that simultaneously informs, inspires and infuriates…the filmmakers ride a delicate line, assembling a warts-and-all portrait that shows why Finkelstein is deeply respected and equally reviled.” Mark Achbar, director of ‘The Corporation’ and ‘Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media’