At the closing ceremony of its 10th edition, the Muscat International Film Festival, held in the Sultanate of Oman, has announced that the Iraqi film The Journey by director Mohamed Al Daradji won the Jury Award and Best Actress Award to Zahraa Ghandour.
Set in Baghdad in 2006. As Sara stands on the cusp of committing an unthinkable act, an unforeseen and awkward encounter gives her the opportunity to witness the potential consequences of her destructive action. But is this a second chance or an admission of guilt?
Most recently, The Journey was released in Iraqi theaters, and won the Special Jury Award at the Sharm El-Sheikh Film Festival. The film landed its Arab world premiere at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) within the Muhr Feature competition. The film also competed in the official competitions of the BFI London Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival. The Journey made its U.S premiere at the Miami Film Festival.
Directed by Mohamed Al Daradji, who co-wrote the film with Isabelle Stead, The Journey stars Zahraa Ghandour and Ameer Jbara. The film is produced by Human Film, Iraqi Independent Film Center (IIFC), in cooperation with Lionceau Films, Iraq Al-Rafidain and Iraqi Media Network. The Journey received grants from the Doha Film Institute, AFAC - The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, World Cinema Fund(WCF), the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'image Animée (CNC) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Institut Français, Netherlands Film Fund, SANAD Development Fund (Abu Dhabi Film Festival) and Screen Yorkshire. The film is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions.
MAD Solutions took part in the Muscat Film Festival with six films from all over the Arab world. The films are Foreign Body by director Raja Amari (Tunisia), Heaven Sent by director Wissam Charaf (Lebanon), 17
by director Widad Shafakoj (Jordan), Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc by director Iman Kamel (Egypt), and the short film 300 KM by director Mohammed Alholayyil (Saudi Arabia), in addition to The Journey (Iraq).
Since its inception in 1998, the Muscat Festival has proved to be more than just a celebratory, cultural and artistic event and an entertaining forum in which civilizations come together, involving multilingual activities.