This project had received the IWC Filmmaker Award worth $100,000 at the Dubai International Film Festival several years ago.
Iraqi film Our River…Our Sky, directed by Maysoon Pachachi, landed its Arab world premiere at the Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition of the 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.
In the presence of the film’s director Pachachi and co-writer Irada Al-Jubori, the screening was followed by a panel discussion where the audience interacted with the film’s creator.
In parallel with its screening at the festival, the film’s official teaser trailer was released across various social media platforms.
Our River…Our Sky (aka Kulshi Makooin Arabic) is set against a background of sectarian violence in the last week of 2006, between Christmas and the Adha Eid. It tells the stories of ordinary Iraqis trying to live their everyday lives in Baghdad, the capital; despite unpredictable violent events, which put them in peril. Sara, a single mother and novelist, shocked into silence by the surrounding violence, has been unable to write one word of fiction. Shortly before the New Year, following unexpected news, Sara and her neighbours brace themselves for an uncertain future while trying to sustain a fragile sense of hope.
Our River…Our Sky won the $100,000 IWC Filmmaker Award at Dubai International Film Festival. The film was initially presented at the Producers Network in Carthage and later supported by prominent institutions in the Middle East, including Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation and Doha Film Institute. The film was supported in Europe by Eurimages, CNC, Visions Sud Est and British Film Institute, amongst others, and was awarded The Cell Post Production award at Malmo Arab Film Festival Market Forum in 2020.
The cast includes Darina Al Joundi (as Sara), Basim Hajar, Meriam Abbasand renowned Iraqi actor Mahmoud Abo Al Abbas. The production was initially developed by Oxymoron Films (UK) and Linked Productions (Kuwait) and made in co-production with its other main producers Les Contes Modernes (France) and Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion (Germany). MAD Solutions handles the film’s distribution across the Arab world.
Maysoon Pachachi is a London-based filmmaker of Iraqi origin who studied philosophy at University College London and attended London Film School as a student of British director Mike Leigh. She was a documentary and drama film editor and, since 1994, has worked as an independent documentary filmmaker, mostly making films set in the Arab world. Her films include Iranian Journey (2000), Return to the Land of Wonders (2004) and Our Feelings Took the Pictures: Open Shutters Iraq (2008).
Irada Al-Jubori is an Iraqi writer, researcher and women’s rights activist who has received a master’s degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts, and obtained a doctoral degree from the Faculty of Information, at the University of Baghdad. Her doctoral thesis was on the image of women in Iraqi cinema from 1946 to 1994. Before she co-wrote Our River…Our Sky, Al Jabbouri collaborated with Maysoon Pachachi on a project called Open Shutters Iraq.