MUMBAI: PyraMovies first co-production feature film Son of Babylon, directed by Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji, has won two Independent Jury Awards at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.
The film has won the 6th Amnesty International Film Award, which was for the first time split between Son of Babylon and Waste Land by Lucy Walker (United Kingdom/Brazil). The Amnesty International Film Award was established to raise the issue of Human Rights with cinema audiences and the film industry and aims to encourage filmmakers to take up vital issues.
Son of Babylon also won the 25th Peace Film Award which was awarded to director Mohamed Al-Daradji in a ceremony at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
Son of Babylon begins in Northern Iraq in 2003, three weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Ahmed a 12-year-old Kurdish boy begrudgingly follows in the shadow of his grandmother who on hearing the news that prisoners of war have been found alive in the South, is determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed’s father, who never returned from the Gulf War in 1991. The awards come at a timely focal point as Pyramedia CEO Nashwa Al Ruwaini and PyraMovies join forces with Human Film and Iraq Al Rafidain to launch Iraq’s Missing Campaign, a campaign related to the subject matter of the film.
Nashwa Al Ruwaini quotes, “This film is extremely important for the Iraqi people and we hope that by showing to the world the deeply rooted issues that still remain in Iraq, to the world, that we can speed up the process of change in this massively complex country. We will continue to do as much as possible in working towards acquiring the means to identifying these lost souls in the mass graves, so that one day families in Iraq may find peace somehow to look to the future.”
PyraMovies joined forces with production companies Human Film (UK + NL), and Iraq Al-Rafidain (Iraq) in co-producing the 90 minute feature film in 2009. Nashwa Al Ruwaini is also an Executive Producer on Al-Daradji’s film.
Son of Babylon is a co-production between a number of countries including Iraq, UAE, Palestine, UK, France and Holland, with support from organizations including the Sundance Institute, UK Film Council and CNC France. The film’s world sales agent is Roissy Film (FR) and its Arab world distributor is Sunnyland ART (Egypt).