Haifa Street was selected as one of the most important African, Middle Eastern and Arab projects at the Venice International Film Festival (Final Cut).
Marking the sixth award in its cabinet of achievements, Mohanad Hayal’s narrative feature Haifa Street received the Best Film award at the Busan International Film Festival (October 3-12).
The film has received five awards including; the Laser Film Award and HAKKA Distribution award at Takmil workshop of the Carthage Film Festival (JCC), Lab Award from the Asia Pacific Academy, Market Award at the Tribeca International Film Festival and the Cinescape award, presented by Front Row, at Dubai International Film Festival. Furthermore, the film won a post-production grant from Doha Film Institute.
Set in Baghdad in 2006, Haifa Street is a dangerous place to be. When Ahmed is dropped off there by taxi on his way to his beloved Suad’s house to ask for her hand in marriage, he gets shot by Salam, a young sniper who lives on the rooftop. Suad desperately tries to save Ahmed, but Salam prevents anyone from approaching him under the threat of gunfire. When her daughter Nadia elicits the help of their cunning neighbor Dalal, all hell breaks loose under the ominous presence of the American occupation.
Directed by Mohanad Hayal,and co-written with Hala Alsalman, Haifa Street stars Asad Abdulmajeed, Yumna Marwan, Iman Abdulhassan and Ali Thamer, and produced by Sumerian Dream Productions. Wide Management handles the world distribution, while MAD Solutions handles its distribution and marketing across the Arab world.
Mohanad Hayal was born in southern Iraq in the city of Nasiriyah in 1985. He graduated from the Cinema Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad. He participated in many advanced cinema workshops in a number of countries around the world. He spent ten years working as an assistant director in many Arab feature films. He also worked as a production manager for a number of short and feature films. Mohanad currently lives in Baghdad and heads the Film Production department at the Iraqi Ministry of Culture.
His film Happy Birthday was selected for the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival and received the Rising Star Award at the 2013 Rhode International Film Festival in America.