Baghdad, 07 March 2019 – The United Nations in Iraq commended Iraqi filmmakers, directors, actors, musicians and artists for the production of twenty-four short films covering human rights issues in Iraq, as part of the 3 By 3 Film Festival held in Baghdad 3 to 5 March 2019.
The films were screened during the three-day festival, with each film illustrating the impact of discrimination against minorities, violence against women, conflict atrocities, access to education or other human rights concerns in a three-minute film produced entirely in Iraq.
The Festival, organized by the Baghdad Foundation for Cinema and Arts at Art City, with support from UN Human Rights Iraq, is named “3 By 3” as it runs for three days and only shows three-minute films. The Festival had two separate categories: Short films about minorities and human rights made by Iraqis; and all other short films, including foreign ones. Out of a total of nearly 900 films entered, twenty-four human rights films qualified for entry to the Human Rights and Minorities category and were screened throughout the festival, of which six were commissioned by UN Human Rights.
The UNAMI Human Rights Office in Iraq worked closely with the Baghdad Foundation of Cinema and Arts to make human rights and minorities a central theme of this year’s festival. Under the rules of the competition, each film was required to have a female writer, director or lead actor; pertain to minorities or human rights; and not promote sectarianism or hatred.
“My Music”, an animation film directed by Mortada Al-Ameri, won the Gold Prize in the Human Rights and Minorities category of the festival. It highlights the right to culture by telling the story of a musician who tries to drown out the sounds of war through music, playing a piano amidst heavy gunfire. “The Black Lens”, a chilling account of the impact of corruption and impunity on Iraqi society, directed by Hussein Abu Shama, came second, while “Give Me a Chance”, a beautiful tale about how a clever boy overcomes poverty and discrimination to gain an education, directed by Omar Yassin, won Bronze.
In her remarks at the launch of the Festival, the Head of the UN Human Rights Office in Iraq, Ms. Danielle Bell, said that “the films highlight contemporary challenges faced by minorities in Iraq and wider human rights issues, including disappearances, discrimination, violence against women, child abuse and poverty, and show the impact of the horrors inflicted by ISIL. They are not just stories. The films show the reality for many Iraqis. They portray great loss and human suffering but also the resilience, beauty and strength of Iraqis. These are powerful messages of great relevance to Iraq as it transitions from conflict to peace”.
The Festival was adjudicated by a panel of three independent and renowned Iraqi and international judges: the prominent Iraqi musician and human rights activist Naseer Shamma, a UNESCO Artist for Peace; Intishal Al-Timimi a well-known Iraqi figure in the international film festival circuit; and Ms. Asli Kislal, an Austrian actress and film maker.
For more information, please contact: Mr. Khalid Dahab, Deputy Director of Public Information/Deputy Spokesperson, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 194 0146, Email: email@example.com or the UNAMI Public Information Office: firstname.lastname@example.org