PyraMovies first feature film ‘Son of Babylon’ selected to screen at the Berlin International Film Festival
PyraMovies co-production ‘Son of Babylon’, directed by Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji, has been officially selected to screen at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival to be held from February 11-21, 2010.
‘Son of Babylon’ is the only film to be selected to screen in both the Panorama section and the Generation section of the Festival. Son of Babylon is presented in a "Cross-Section" screening in the festival's Generation section, the Berlinale section dedicated to children and youths. "Cross-Section" screenings are a special out-of-competition screening open for the young audiences under 18 and all other interested Berlinale-goers.
The Panorama section features films from countries all over the world including Spain, Brazil, China, Japan, India, the UK and France.
The film begins in Northern Iraq in 2003, three weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Ahmed a 12-year-old Kurdish boy begrudgingly follows in the shadow of his grandmother who on hearing the news that prisoners of war have been found alive in the South, is determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed’s father, who never returned from the Gulf War in 1991.
From the mountains of the North to the sands of Babylon, they hitch rides with strangers and cross paths with fellow pilgrims on all too similar journeys. Struggling to understand his grandmother’s search, Ahmed follows in the forgotten footsteps of a father he never knew, leading the boy to the coming of age.
PyraMovies, the film development and funding arm of Pyramedia, joined forces with production companies Human Film (UK + NL), and Iraq Al-Rafidain (Iraq) in co-producing the 90 minute feature film earlier this year. Nashwa Al Ruwaini, CEO of Pyramedia, is also an Executive Producer of Al-Daradji’s film.
“There are so many stories and films in the Arab world, hidden underneath the surface, waiting to be discovered in countries such as Iraq and Palestine and I believe it should be the aim of every Arab production company to uncover and present those stories to the international market. This is an important step for Iraqi cinema as it proves to the world that Iraq has talent on par with filmmakers from all over the world. Screening at such a prestigious and important film festival such as Berlin is our opportunity to highlight to the world Iraq’s struggles on the silver screen,” said Nashwa Al Ruwaini.
Such developments with Son of Babylon are an important step for PyraMovies, which was launched earlier this year to develop and fund feature films, and comes as the first in a series of high-profile films that are slated to come out of this new venture in Pyramedia. ‘Changing Sands, The Story of Abu Dhabi Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ a feature-documentary is also a project in the process of post-production under PyraMovies and is scheduled for completion later this year.
‘Son of Babylon’ is a co-production between a number of countries including Iraq, UAE, Palestine, UK, France and Holland, with support from organizations including the Sundance Institute, UK Film Council and CNC France. The film’s world sales agent are Roissy Film (FR) and it’s Arab world distributor is Sunnyland ART (Egypt).
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