Thursday, August 5, 2021

Haider Rashid’s Europa to travel to the Directors’ Fortnight – Production / Funding – Italy/Kuwait/Iraq

14/06/2021 – The Italian-Iraqi director’s feature film which recounts an escape along the so-called “Balkan route” has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival

Haider Rashid’s Europa to travel to the Directors’ Fortnight

Adam Ali in Europa

Directed by Haider Rashid, the Italian feature film Europa will screen in the Directors’ Fortnight parallel section of the 74th Cannes Film Festival (running 6 – 17 July).

Born in Florence in 1985 and raised in the city by an Iraqi father and an Italian mother, the filmmaker’s movie speaks of the difficult journey embarked upon by a young Iraqi man Kamal who is travelling to Europe on foot, across the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. Kamal is captured by the Bulgarian border police while walking along the so-called “Balkan route”, but he manages to escape and takes flight through the lawless underworld of a never-ending forest. It’s a journey in the name of survival which sees Kamal fighting tooth and nail for freedom and for life.

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Starring in the cast of Europa are Adam Ali, Svetlana Yancheva, Pietro Ciciriello, Gassid Mohammed, Mohamed Zouaoui and Erfan Rashid. Written and edited by Haider Rashid and Sonia Giannetto, the film’s photography comes courtesy of Jacopo Maria Caramella, with set design in the hands of Francesco Bacci, costumes entrusted to Alice Rinaldi, sound engineering to Giandomenico Petillo and sound design to Gabriele Fasano, while visual effects are overseen by Daniele Bernabei.

Rashid has previously directed the feature film Tangled Up in Blue (2010), the documentary Silence: All Roads Lead to Music (2011), the full-length movie It’s About to Rain [+see also:
film profile
(2013) and his second doc Street Opera  (2015 – awarded the Nastri d’Argento Special Prize), not to mention his short film The Deep (which scooped the Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013, as well as bagging a nomination for the Italian Golden Globes) and the very first Italian virtual reality documentary No Borders, released in 2016 (winning the Venice Film Festival’s MigrArti Prize, alongside a Nastri d’Argento Special Mention).

Europa is a Radical Plans (Italy) production, made in association with Beyond Dreams (Kuwait) and Fair Play (Italy), and executively produced by ODU Movies and Berta Film, with the backing of the Italian Ministry for Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department, the Tuscan Film Commission’s Sensi Contemporanei per il Cinema programme, the Iraqi Ministry Of Culture’s Baghdad Film Fund, the Arab Fund For Arts And Culture (Afac), the Milano Film Network’s Proxima Award, and the Cairo Film Connection’s Osn Award. International sales are in the hands of French firm MPM Premium, with the film’s Italian cinema release due to take place soon, courtesy of I Wonder Pictures.

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(Translated from Italian)

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