This event will take place in person at ISAW. Registration is required.
ISAW is pleased to host a screening of the groundbreaking documentary "Iraq's Invisible Beauty" written and directed by Jurgen Buedts and Sahim Omar Kalifa. The screening will be preceded by a pre-recorded conversation between the director Jurgen Buedts and the Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal, Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Filmed over a period of 5 years, this cinematographic masterpiece is an emotional testimony of Iraq's most valuable archivist and an ode to a legendary photographer who witnessed the disruption of one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
Latif al-Ani, born in Baghdad in 1932 is known as the 'father of Iraqi photography. His work forms a unique visual archive of Iraq during its heydays from the 1950s to 1970s. It is a profound insight into the country, mostly unknown to Westerners and even Iraqi people themselves. When Saddam took power, Al-Ani stopped photographing. In 2015, he received the prestigious Prince Claus Award, awarded annually by the Dutch Royal Family. This recognition has given Al Ani new confidence and a desire to reconnect with his work and country and travel the world as he did freely so many years ago. Now, many years after the last invasion, he travels with his photographs, telling stories and showing the unknown Iraq of those days.
Sahim Omar Kalifa is a Belgian-Kurdish filmmaker based in Belgium. In 2001, he came to Belgium, and in 2008 he got his Master's degree in filmmaking at Sint-Lukas Film School, Brussels. Kalifa has won 96 international awards between his short films. Baghdad Messi was shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards, and 'Bad Hunter' was shortlisted for the 88th Academy Awards. Sahim was chosen in Istanbul as the Best Kurdish film director and later that year became a voting member for the Academy Awards.
Jurgen Buedts is a writer, director, producer. With his company Las Belgas, established in 2013 they are able to attract international talent and create award winning projects worldwide. Projects he produced, co-produced, wrote or directed include high end films but also artistic low budget arthouse projects, both fiction and documentary. His work is seen on big and small screens and his network includes high end filmmakers, broadcasters, producers or networks worldwide.
Produced by Las Belgas, Co-produced by Faites un vœu, Sumerian Dream Production Company, Arte France, Al Jazeera Network, AVROTROS, CANVAS, and The Knowledge Network Canada.
With the support of B-F-Comté, CNC COSIP , Grand Est, Proc. ANG, IMS, Bertha Foundation, Field of Vision, Belgian tax shelter. In cooperation with Creative Europe, Flanders film fund, and screen Flanders.
This event is given in conjunction with ISAW's exhibition Through the Lens: Latif AL Ani’s Visions of Ancient Iraq. This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue were made possible by generous support from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust and the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional funding was provided by Joyce F. Menschel and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Tucker.
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