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Doha Film Institute highlights four exciting directors from the Iraqi New Wave at Doha Film Experience

Nov 16, 2022

  • ‘Making the Iraqi New Wave’ is a thought-provoking series to accompany the Baghdad: Eye’s Delight exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art.
  • Programme presents a representation of the country’s evolving cinema ecosystem in the face of great challenges

Doha, Qatar; November 14, 2022: With military, political, social, and economic conditions long influencing Iraqi filmmaking, a few directors have stood out for making thought-provoking films presenting unique expressions of common realities in the country. Their journeys, and those of their subjects, are part of the Doha Film Experience’s thought-provoking segment, ‘Making the Iraqi New Wave.’

Screening in tandem with the Baghdad: Eye’s Delight exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium, the Doha Film Institute will screen four films from the Iraqi New Wave from Nov. 27 to 30. Breathtakingly ambitious, they are at once searing in their content, and inspiring in their message of hope.

Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “The contemporary cinematic history of Iraq is an inspiration for filmmakers everywhere in the world struggling to realise their dreams. Our special tribute to Iraqi cinema presents four films from the past two decades produced under different circumstances but equally challenging in their own ways. These films are not just tributes from the directors to their country, but also an important ode to the nation’s people – their frustrations, disappointments, and about finding hope amidst incredibly disturbing circumstances. These films will be a revelation for many visitors to our country as we mark the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar, expanding global understanding of Iraq’s glorious heritage.”

‘Making the Iraqi New Wave’ will redefine Iraqi cinematic history at intersections of the challenges in the filmmaking process and the lived realities of upheaval and change. The four films in the programme are:

Iraq: War, Love, God and Madness (UK, Iraq, The Netherlands/2008) by Mohamed Al-Daradji, is a personal journey through the director’s homeland after 25 years of dictatorship, three wars and three occupations. Finding the once vibrant streets now consumed by unemployment and poverty, he is determined to fulfil his dream of making a film in the country he loves. The film presents a spectrum of the society previously sidelined by images of war and the Iraqi people’s unwavering spirit to survive. The film will be screened on Sunday, Nov. 27, 7.30 PM at MIA-A,

Memories on Stone (Germany, Iraq/2014) by Shawkat Amin Korki is about a fictional director’s attempt to make ‘Anfal’, a story about the genocidal campaign waged by Saddam Hussein on the Kurds of Iraq. A tragicomedy view on filmmaking in a war-affected country, at its core, the film makes a compelling demand that the victims of Saddam’s ethnic cleansing be honoured and that their terrible fate is never forgotten. It will screen on Monday, Nov. 28, 7.30 PM at MIA-A.

Underexposure (Iraq, Germany/2005) by Oday Rasheed is about Hassan, a young Iraqi documentary filmmaker who attempts to adjust his life in a materially, humanly, and ideologically destroyed city. The first feature-length movie shot on location in the city after the war, the film blends reality and fiction to create a lyrical and textured work that captures the dizzying atmosphere of life during the war and fiercely illuminates a part of the world long left in the dim. It will be screened on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7.30 PM at MIA-A.

Our River… Our Sky (UK, France, Germany, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Iraq/2021) by Maysoon Pachachi narrates the story of Sara, a single mother and novelist, shocked into silence at a time of extreme conflict and nightly curfews. In a typically mixed Baghdadi neighbourhood, the stories of Sara and her neighbours unfold and intersect as their lives are torn apart by sectarianism violence. Even as they struggle to resist the fragmentation of their world, there is a renewed sense of defiance and resistance forging fragile hope and belief in a better future. The film will be screened on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7.30PM at MIA-A.

Taking place over four action-packed weeks, the Doha Film Experience is a rich cultural showcase paying tribute to the nation as it hosts the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Celebrating the very best in local and international filmmaking, music and art, the Doha Film Experience will feature an extensive programme of compelling screenings, a captivating multimedia exhibition, Qatar’s largest pop culture event and a series of exciting live concerts.

The Doha Film Experience will take place at key venues across the city including M7’s Sky Theatre, Qatar Foundation’s Oxygen Park and the venues of the D’reesha Performing Arts Festival 2022, the Museum of Islamic Art, Heenat Salma Farm, Sikkat Wadi Msheireb, Vox Cinemas Doha Festival City and Lusail Boulevard. More details of the individual programmes will be announced shortly. For more information and to book your tickets now, visit