Archive for the ‘Screenings’ Category

March 2nd 2014

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Filmwise: Our feature film MESOCAFÉ is part of the Raindance VOD Premiere Collection line-up.


Officially launched last Monday, the site has received coverage in the trades, including Screen Daily and the Hollywood Reporter.

Peace and love,

Ja‘far ‘Abd al-Hamid

November 24th 2013

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Greetings friends,

After premiering in competition at the Raindance International Film Festival in 2011, and screening in competition at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai in 2012, we are thrilled to announce the Video On Demand release of our feature film MESOCAFÉ on the newly launched Raindance Releasing platform.


The release is currently limited to the UK and Eire, but we hope to expand the VOD footprint in the near future.

The film:

Logline: In February 2003, an Iraqi underground blogger arrives in London to campaign against UN Sanctions on his country. Falling in love is not part of the plan.

Short Synopsis:

A few weeks before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an underground blogger risks his life by travelling from Baghdad to London to campaign for the lifting of UN Sanctions on Iraq. As political intrigue thwarts his heartfelt attempts to highlight the suffering of his people under the sanctions, he takes refuge at Mesocafé, a little Baghdad in West London. With their Arab, Assyrian, Jewish and Kurdish heritage, members of the Iraqi community allow him into their lives, sharing with him their stories and dreams. It is here that he meets the beautiful Bisan.

What is it about?

MESOCAFÉ is as much a love story between a Briton of Iraqi origins and a visitor to London from Iraq as it is about the idea of exile and immigration; the way in which migrants carry with them into their new country an imagined homeland and a way of life that are more a product of memories than the real country. These themes permeate a narrative about the confusion and wariness that many members of the Iraqi diaspora felt in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Mesocafé in numbers:

- 3 Weeks and 4 Days of filming in London.

- 8 Years from the moment the idea was conceived to the birth of the film on the big screen.

- 11 Languages spoken on set.

- 20 Nationalities of cast and crew, united in their love of cinema.

- 32 Speaking Parts.

- 145 Weeks of post-production.

- 28,000 Feet of Super 16mm film.

Peace and love,

September 15th 2013

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Filmwise: Mesocafé has screened at the Iraqi Cultural Centre, London, on Friday September 13th.

The screening was graced with the presence of Ahlam Arab (plays the role of the café owner), Caroline Jay (plays the role of the British government minister), Seamus Newham (plays the role of a senior civil servant) and Aziz al-Na’ib (plays the role of the wise and gracious car driver). Also present was Mouthanna Al-Sayegh, the online editor and colour grader of the film.
Mesocafé was the inaugural screening of the Iraqi Film Club, founded by Jamal Amin Alhassany, a director and actor whose first film role was as a teenager in Biyut Fi Thalik al-Zuqaq / Houses in That Alley (Dir. Kasim Hawal, Iraq 1977).
The organisers invested all the means at their disposal to create a good environment for the screening.
As I keep saying, in making a movie, one makes four films: the one on the page, on the film set, on the editing and post-production stage… and the one watched with an audience. For me, this final film is the most instructive, as one gets to see the story through the eyes of the audience.
An instructive experience.
Peace and love,