Iraq’s Film Industry Hits Bottom

Besides the weak academic level of cinema arts, Kazem noted, “What makes the number of cinema students particularly meaningless is the lack of institutions that support cinema activities.”

When the malls are spaces for screening films

With economic and social openness, which Baghdad and some Iraqi cities have begun to undergo, malls have turned into spaces for film showings. The Iraqi Cinema company confirmed that it was opening a new branch in a mall in the city of Erbil, in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Dananer, an economic website, reported that the cinema at the Royal Mall in Erbil will consist of five theaters, three of which can accommodate as many as 80 people, and the other two can accommodate 125 people.

The company’s first branch is in the Iraqi Hunting Club in Baghdad, from which it will move toward supporting cinema culture in Iraq and give foreign and Arab films a chance to garner popularity. The opening of two movie theaters in the Erbil and Mansour mall in Baghdad, without government or external support, reveals that “there are active youth working to deliver a message to the outside world that Iraq is keen to evolve and keep pace with other countries,” Dananer reported.

The activities for the “Baghdad, capital of Arab culture for 2013” celebration consist of producing seven Iraqi films and nine plays.

Baghdad, capital of Arab culture for 2013: new Iraqi films

Bushra Jaafar, managing director of “Baghdad, the capital of Arab Culture” said the Cinema and Theater Department at the Ministry of Culture “has achieved remarkable success by preparing eight long narrative and documentary films, which are ready to be shown in movie theaters. Additionally, nearly eight others are being filmed, including  al-Wasiti, directed by Tareq al-Jubouri. Meanwhile, [work] has not been started on al-Hisan, directed by Thaer Mohammed Yousef, and al-Ustaz, directed by Hamdiya Abdul Karim, which are included in the plan.”

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