Filmmaking in Iraq

Kasim Abid, Maysoon Pachachi and Fady Hadid with Kristine Samuelson

Monday, March 17, 2008 | 7:30 – 9:30pm | Carriage House Theater, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga | Free and Open to All

Fifth of Five-Part Series with Montalvo Arts Center

We join three Iraqi artists to discuss the challenges of filmmaking in present-day Iraq.  Maysoon Pachachi and Kasim Abid, who set up the Independent Film & Television College in Baghdad in 2004, will show and discuss clips from their students’ films.  This will be followed by a screening and discussion of producer Fady Hadid’s Hometown Baghdad, a documentary web series that follows the lives of young Iraqis struggling to survive during the war.

Prior to the Aurora Forum, from 6:00-7:00, Kasim Abid will show clips from his film, After the Fall, a documentary that tells the story of his large, multiethnic family in the years after the fall of Saddam.

IRAQ: REFRAME is an innovative series of visual, performing, and media arts at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga through April 2008.  The Aurora Forum is pleased to join with the Montalvo Arts Center to present five public conversations with scholars, artists, and journalists whose engaged knowledge of past and present conflicts in the Mesopotamian cradle of civilization will reframe our understanding of current circumstances.


Kasim Abid is an Iraqi filmmaker who worked for three years as head of Camera and Location Production for ANN (Arab News Network) in London. His films include the award-winning Naji Al Ali: Artist With Vision, and Life After The Fall, a new documentary about his family's experiences in Baghdad in the years since the American invasion. He has also taught television training courses in Palestine and Iraqi Kurdistan. He earned a diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and an MA from the Moscow Film Institute.


Maysoon Pachachi is a filmmaker and film editor of Iraqi origin who has taught filmmaking courses in Britain and Palestine. She has directed several award-winning documentaries, including Iranian Journey, Bitter Water, and Return To The Land Of Wonders.  She is finishing Open Shutters Iraq, a documentary about Iraqi women and girls who learn photography in order to tell their own stories. Pachachi holds degrees from University College London and the London Film School and is a founding member of Act Together: Women's Action for Iraq.


Fady Hadid is a member of the Najeen Group, an Iraqi artists' initiative that supports and produces theater, art and films.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Engineering from the University of Baghdad. He is currently working on a number of film and television productions while studying filmmaking at the University of Southern California.


Kristine Samuelson is a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford where she is department chair and serves as the director of the Film and Media Studies Program.  She has also been an independent film producer for more than twenty-five years.

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