Sahim Omar Kalifa has just started shooting his first feature film, Zagros, in Greece
by Aurore Engelen
- Discovered thanks to his short films, which include Bad Hunter and Baghdad Messi, both shortlisted for the Oscars, Samir Omar Kalifa takes the plunge into the feature-length world
Belgian-Kurdish filmmaker Sahim Omar Kalifa made a name for himself across the globe with his short films, which notably include Land of the Heroes, Bad Hunter and Baghdad Messi. His first feature film, Zagros, starts off in today’s Kurdish countryside. We follow the footsteps of a shepherd, Zagros, whose wife, Havin, having been accused of adultery, has fled their village. When Zagros discovers that she has gone to Brussels with their daughter, he decides to go there to meet them and uncover the truth behind this supposed adultery.
Zagros is a romantic drama, co-written with scriptwriter Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem, to whom we owe titles such as Moscow, Belgium [+see also:
film profile], Brasserie Romantiek [+see also:
film profile] and Oxygen [+see also:
film profile]. The role of Havin will be played by Halima Ilter, an actress of Kurdish heritage who has taken up residence in Berlin, and Zagros will be played by Turkish actor Feyyaz Duman, who can be seen in Erol Mintas’ Song of My Mother [+see also:
interview: Erol Mintaş
film profile] and Hiner Saleem’s My Sweet Pepper Land [+see also:
film profile]. Featuring notably alongside them is Maaike Neuville (often appearing on television and seen on the big screen in High Heels, Low Tide, Code 37 [+see also:
film profile] and Dirty Mind [+see also:
As with the director’s shorts, Zagros is being produced by A Private View (the production house founded by Van Rijckeghem with producer Dries Phlypo), with backing from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Screen Flanders, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Centre for Film and Audiovisual, and the Netherlands Film Fund, as well as support from the MEDIA programme, Eurimages and the Tax Shelter. Zagros is being co-produced in Belgium by Man’s Films and in the Netherlands by Viking Film.
Shooting for the film, which began in Greece on 6 May, will continue in Turkey and Brussels.
(Translated from French)