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Global Screen Picks Up Sahim Omar Kalifa’s Zagros


Global Screen has picked up world-wide distribution rights to gripping cross-culture drama Zagros, the latest production from Belgium's A Private View (Oxygen, Moscow, Belgium).

While Zagros, a young Kurd, is herding his sheep in the mountains, his pregnant wife Havin is accused of infidelity by her in-laws. In a culture where that is as good as a death sentence, she flees to Belgium together with her nine-year-old daughter Rayhan. Convinced of her innocence and confident that they can build a new life together, Zagros smuggles himself to the West to join them. But when Zagros's father arrives and moves in with them he successfully plants the poisonous seeds of doubt as to Havin's fidelity in his son's mind.

"International audiences and especially fans of high-quality, arthouse drama will take to this tragically moving story of a husband and wife trapped in their cultural roots”, says Julia Weber, Head of Theatrical Sales at Global Screen. “Our last cooperation with A Private View was on Moscow, Belgium, which won three awards in the Semaine de la Critique in 2008 and was commercially successful."

Producer Dries Phlypo says: "I have seldom been so gripped by a script. The viewer is constantly next to Zagros as he is torn between his loyalty to his family and especially to his father, to whom he owes everything. We share his desperation and also his doubts as to his wife's fidelity: we want to know, as does he, has she betrayed him or not?” Director and co-writer Sahim Omar Kalifa has made several award-winning short films, such as Land of the Heroes and Baghdad Messi, and with Zagros he now makes his feature film debut.

A Private View produced Zagros in coproduction with Netherland based Viking Film and Belgian Man’s Films. Global Screen will start selling the film at TIFF, where a first trailer will be presented. The film is directed and co-written by Sahim Omar Kalifa, together with Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem. In the Benelux, Cineárt will handle the theatrical release.

Zagros received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz and was also backed by the Screen Flanders economic fund, under the aegis of Flemish Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.