Norwegian-Kurdish Red Heart selected for Beijing, Abu Dhabi
- Shot in Kurdish Iraq, Norwegian director Mustafa Halkawt’s feature debut is the story of a young Kurdish girl who runs away from home with her secret boyfriend
Already screening at, among others, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Quatar and the UK’s Middle Eastern Film Festival in Edinburgh, Norwegian director Mustafa Halkawt’s feature debut, Red Heart [+see also:
film profile] – the first Norwegian film shot in Iraq – has been selected for the 5th Gulf Film Festival and the 2nd Beijing International Film Festival. The Gulf showcase in the United Arab Emirates takes place between April 10-16 April, the Beijing event unspools between April 23-28.
Kurdish-born Halkwat and his family moved to Norway 12 years ago – today they are Norwegian citizens – and he was educated at Oslo’s NISS-Nordic Institute of Stage and Studio. His first feature was packaged by Norwegian producer Egil Ødegaard, with Anders Graham and Halkawt, for Oslo’s Filmhuset in collaboration with Erbil-based Hene Film in Iraq.
Starring Jamal Shahen, Ibrahim Soran and Ahmed Ali, and scripted by Halkawt and Xarib J Jabar, Red Heart is described as a Romeo and Juliet story of a 19-year-old Kurdish girl, Shirin, whose father has traded her for a new bride for himself. On her wedding night, however, she runs away with her secret boyfriend, Soran, to start a new life in the big city.
The film was shot – with a Kurdish dialogue – by three different crews from Norway, Iraq and Iran, initially at the Kurdish mountain village of Rawanduz on the Iranian boarder, before it moved on to Erbil. The Norwegian/Kurdish-Iraqi co-production was domestically released by Europa Film A/S, while Wide Management Enterprise handles international sales; it has been theatrically launched in the UK.
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