Maysoon Pachachi wrote the film in collaboration with Baghdad-based author Irada Al-Jubori.
Iraqi film Our River…Our Sky, directed by veteran documentary filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi, won Best Ensemble Performance at the 2022 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), making it the only Arab film to win at the competition.
The award was presented to the film’s cast and crew on December 4 during a ceremony in London. The ceremony was attended by Pachachi, as well as cast members Darina Al-Joundi, Basim Hajar, Badia Obaid, Meyriam Abbas, and the UK casting agent.
Our River…Our Sky was nominated for two other BIFA awards, including Best Casting (Leila Bertrand) and Best Supporting Performance (Zainab Joda).
Recently, the film screened at the Doha Film Institute and claimed the Debut Film Special Jury Prize at the Meta Film Festival. Prior to that, it had its UK premiere during the 30th edition of the Raindance Film Festival.
After holding its world premiere at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Our River…Our Sky, the film has been screened in the MENA region at Cairo, Slemani, Amman, and at Franco-Arab film festivals.
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.
The film was written by Maysoon Pachachi in collaboration with co-writer Irada Al-Jubori — a Baghdad-based author.
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). World Sales are handled by The Party Film Sales, and MAD Solutions handles the film’s distribution across the Arab world.