OUR RIVER… OUR SKY wins Best Ensemble Performance at 2022 BIFA

OUR RIVER… OUR SKY wins Best Ensemble Performance at 2022 BIFA

Veteran documentary filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi's debut fiction feature OUR RIVER… OUR SKY won Best Ensemble Performance at the 2022 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), making it the only Arab film to win at the prestigious competition. 

The award was presented to the film's cast and crew on December 4th during a ceremony in London. The ceremony was attended by Pachachi, as well as cast members Darina Al-Joundi, Basim Hajar, Badia Obaid, Meyriam Abbas, and the UK casting agent.

OUR RIVER... OUR SKY was nominated for two other BIFA awards, including Best Casting (Leila Bertrand) and Best Supporting Performance (Zainab Joda).

Recently, the film screened at the Doha Film Institute and claimed the Debut Film Special Jury Prize at the Meta Film Festival. Prior to that, it had its UK premiere during the 30th edition of the Raindance Film Festival.

After holding its world premiere at the Sarajevo Film Festival, OUR RIVER… OUR SKY. The film has been featured at highly anticipated screenings in the MENA region at Cairo, Slemani, Amman, and at Franco-Arab film festivals.

OUR RIVER… OUR SKY is an ensemble film of intersecting stories that take place in the last week of 2006 — between Christmas and New Year. It tells the stories of ordinary Iraqis trying to live their everyday lives amid unpredictable violence.

Shortly before the New Year, following the unexpected news of Saddam Hussein's execution, Sara and her neighbors brace themselves for an uncertain future while trying to sustain a fragile sense of hope.

The film was written by Maysoon Pachachi in collaboration with co-writer Irada Al-Jubori — a Baghdad-based author.

The international cast includes Iraqi actors based inside and outside of Iraq, including Basim Hajar (Sweden), Meriam Abbas, Ali El-Kareem (Germany), and renowned Iraq-based actor Mahmoud Abo Al-Abbas. London-based actors Zaydun Khalaf, Amed Hashimi, Labwa Arab, and Badia Obaid are also featured in the ensemble cast.