Iraqi Homeland Wins DocAlliance Award

CopyPaste of press release from DocAlliance and when I have the hours (close to 6 hours is the two-part documentary) there will be a review of the film on this site:

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) by Abbas Fahdel has won the Doc Alliance Selection Award organised by an alliance of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Director Fahdel received the award last weekend at the Locarno film festival.

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) by Abbas Fahdel has won the Doc Alliance Selection Award. The winning film is composed of two parts – the first was shot before the US army’s invasion of Iraq while the second part captures the post-war events – providing an essential report on the turning point in the country’s development. Instead of shorthand news features on the events in Iraq, it brings an impressive portrayal of life in the country. Director Fahdel received the award at the Locarno film festival.

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) by Abbas Fahdel shows the impact of war events on Iraqi citizens. Divided into two parts, the film takes a look at the life of Iraqi people before and after the invasion of US troops. “Homeland is a masterfully shot and composed family chronicle that gives us an idea of the difficult life under dictatorship and occupation of a family that seeks nothing else than normality,” said the jury in its statement.

“The norms and values in my country have been turned upside down,” said Abbas Fahdel, who is currently living in French exile, describing his feelings about his homeland. “What would have become of me, if I had stayed in Iraq? These were the questions I asked myself with a bit of a frantic and insatiable curiosity,” he added. His film first emerged victorious in the international competition at the Swiss Visions du Réel festival, and has now also managed to scoop the Doc Alliance Selection Award. Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) was chosen by the jury from among 7 nominees portraying, for example, life on Borneo, in Ukraine or in Serbia, as well as the tumultuous events in Egypt in 2011. “Although we watched 3,700 films over the year, this exceptional documentary immediately grabbed our attention for the 2015 edition. This is a work of reference to understand the history and current affairs in the Middle East. This is more than a beautiful film, it is an essential film. It had to be made and it must be seen,” said the director of Visions du Réel, Luciano Barisone, commenting on the winning film.

Read the full interview with director Abbas Fahdel, the author of the winning film.

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3872