Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short Baghdad Messi has been awarded Best Film at the Arlington International Film Festival. The award comes just one week after the film notched up its 25th award: the Best Film award at the NOFI Film Festival of Los Angeles.
The film is now well on its way to following in the footsteps of Kalifa’s previous short, Land of the Heroes, which travelled to over 150 festivals and won more than 20 international awards.
Baghdad Messi has already become a hit on the festival circuit, with laurels at the Gulf Film Festival, the Brescello Film Festival, the Baghdad Film Festival, Interfilm Berlin, and the Aquila Film Festival, among others.
The short is set in Iraq in 2009, where little Hamoudi and his friends are eagerly awaiting the Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United and the long-awaited clash between Messi and Ronaldo. But then Hamoudi’s television set breaks down.
Hendrik Verthé and Kobe Van Steenberghe of a team productions produced both Land of the Heroes and Baghdad Messi, and were able to ount on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.