At the Duhok International Film Festival (9-16 September), Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Land of the Heroes grabbed the second spot on the podium when the short film was awarded silver in the fest’s Best Short Film competition.
Director Sahim Omar Kalifa was especially pleased with the recent award – the film's sixteenth – as he was born in the province of Duhak, Iraq, where the festival is held. The jury praised the short for the depth and detail of the story and its link to society and history.
In the 17-minute film, three kids are killing time. While their mother and aunt are polishing artillery, the children want to watch cartoons on TV, but all they see on the small screen is Saddam Hussein’s victory propaganda. Hendrik Verthé and Kobe Van Steenberghe produced Land of the Heroes for a team productions (Injury Time). International sales are handled by Berlin-based Magnet.
The short was made possible by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), through its VAF Wildcard program, and the Sint-Lukas Film School, among others.