Baghdad Messi’s tally climbs to 50

Baghdad Messi, the short film by Kurdish-Flemish director Sahim Omar Kalifa, has won the prize for Best Short Film at the Irvine International Film Festival in the US. This award marks the 50th international acknowledgment for Baghdad Messi since the filmstarted its awards career in 2013.

Baghdad MessiBaghdad Messi tells the story of10-year-old Hamoudi, who is obsessed with football andworships Lionel Messi, as do all his friends. But on the eve of the long-awaited Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United, Hamoudi’s television set breaks down. Afraid of being shunned by his mates, the boy urges his father to make the dangerous trip to Baghdad to have the TV repaired.

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Published on Monday 26 January 2015

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s shorts keep on scoring

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short film Bad Hunter has won the Jury Prize in the Muhr Short Film Competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (10-17 December). It’s the third international award for Kalifa’s newest film, while his previous short Baghdad Messi continues its awards spree.

Bad HunterThe Jury Prize comes with a sum of 25,000 AED (about $7,000) and is number three in the film’s awards tally. Bad Hunter previously won a Jury Award at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it premiered last summer; and picked up a Silver at Spike Valladolid. In January, the film is confirmed to screen at Australia’s Oscar-qualifying Flickerfest.

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Published on Monday 5 January 2015

Baghdad Messi shortlisted for Oscars

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s award-winning Baghdad Messi has been shortlisted for the upcoming Oscars in the category of Best Live-Action Short. In total, 10 shorts are left in the voting process, with the nominees due to be announced on January 15.

Sahim Omar KalifaOut of 141 qualifying short films, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected 10 live-action shorts, Kalifa’s Baghdad Messi among them. In the next couple of weeks, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will narrow the list down to between three and five nominees, who will be announced on January 15. The Oscar ceremony will be held on February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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Published on Monday 24 November 2014

Awards mount up for Baghdad Messi

Director Sahim Omar Kalifa keeps adding new trophies to the awards count for his critically acclaimed short Baghdad Messi. Last week, the film collected another five, bringing the total of prizes so far to 38 international awards and four special mentions.

Sahim - KingbonnThe most recent awards spree for Baghdad Messi started in April in France, where the film grabbed its 30th award at the Beauvais Film Fest. Soon afterwards, it picked up the Grand Prize and the Youth Jury Prize for Best Film at the Cellu L’Art Short Film Festival in Germany as well as the award for Best Short at the International Short Film Experience in Leiden, in the Netherlands.

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Published on Tuesday 20 May 2014

Messi Nets Number 30

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s critically acclaimed short film Baghdad Messi continues to bring in the awards, with a new win at the Beauvais Film Fest in France. The film was voted winner of the shorts competition by the audience in Beauvais, and has now scored 30 international awards and four honourable mentions since its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013.

Baghdad MessiIn the next couple of months, the film will screen at the Grenzland Filmtage in Germany, the KingBonn New Media Festival in China, the Leiden International Short Film Experience in the Netherlands and the Newport Beach Film Festival in California, USA.

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Published on Wednesday 23 April 2014

Baghdad Messi wins Oscar-qualifier in Bermuda

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short film Baghdad Messi has picked up the Bermuda Shorts Award at the 17th edition of the Bermuda International Film Festival (21-27 March), thus qualifying the film to be submitted for the 87th Academy Awards.

Baghdad MessiSince its release, Baghdad Messi has travelled to over 120 film festivals around the world and has won over 20 awards. But the Oscar-qualifying prize in Bermuda tops the bill because it means the film can now be submitted to the 87th Academy Awards for the long list in the Best Live Action Short Film category.

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Published on Tuesday 1 April 2014

Another win for Baghdad Messi in Oman

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short Baghdad Messi adds yet another award to its already impressive tab, by winning the Golden Dagger for Best Short at the Muscat Film Festival in Oman. With 26 international awards, the film even outruns its successful predecessorLand of the Heroes.

Baghdad MessiSince its release, Baghdad Messi has travelled to over 120 film festivals around the world, reigning in 26 awards and four special mentions so far, while Kalifa’s previous short, the highly successful Land of the Heroes, gathered 24.

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Published on Monday 31 March 2014

New festivals on Messi’s bill

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short Baghdad Messi keeps on travelling the international festival scene with more than 15 new festival selections confirmed, among them Oscar-qualifying fests as Tampere, Bermuda and Cleveland.

Baghdad MessiKalifa’s short about a group of Iraqi children awaiting the Champions League Finale is also set to screen at the Go Short International Short Film Festival in the Netherlands, the Kurdish Film Festival in Sweden, the Arab Film Festival in Berlin as well as the International Encounters of Arab Cinemas in France, amongst others.

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Published on Thursday 27 February 2014

Baghdad Messi heads for 30

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.

Baghdad MessiBaghdad Messi 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.

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Published on Monday 6 January 2014

Kalifa climbs to twenty

Sahim Omar Kalifa’s short film Baghdad Messi keeps on adding new achievements to its tab. Last weekend, the film received no less than three decorations being awarded once at the Interfilm festival in Berlin and twice at the Roshd International Film Festival in Iran. In total, the short film can already look back on 20 international prizes and two special mentions. Furthermore, Kalifa’s first feature project to be, Zagros, received a development grant by seizing the First Prize for Best Film Pitch at the International Film Festival of Arras.

Baghdad MessiAt the 29th edition of Berlin’s Interfilm festival, Baghdad Messi received the First Prize in the category ‘Confrontations – Films Against Violence and Intolerance’. It also scooped double awards in Iran, where it received the Silver Award as well as the Red Cross Award at the Roshd International Film Festival.

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Published on Monday 18 November 2013

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