The Rain Bride (4K / color / 100min / Kurdistan (Iraq))
Mehmet AKTAS, Hussein HASSAN
Mehmet AKTAS, Lea DRESCHER
Hussein Hassan is a well-known director, writer and actor in Kurdistan. His first feature film, Narcissus Blossom (2006), screened at the Toronto International Film Festival 2006, and in the Panorama at Berlin International Film Festival 2006, winning the Amnesty International Film Prize. His second feature film as writer and director, Herman (2009), premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2009 and his third feature, Reseba: The Dark Wind (2016), opened the Duhok International Film Festival 2016. Among other awards, the film received the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2016, the Muhr Award for Best Fiction Feature at Dubai International Film Festival 2016, a FIPRESCI Award at Dhaka International Film Festival 2017, and was the official Iraqi entry for the Academy Awards 2017. Besides working on his own film projects, Hassan is also successful as an actor, playing the leading role in well-received films Crossing the Dust (Shawkat Amin Korki, 2006) and Memories on Stone (Shawkat Amin Korki, 2014), and also in the official Academy Awards 2014 entry from Iraq, Mardan (Batin Ghobadi, 2014).
Mehmet AKTAS, Lea DRESCHER
Mehmet Aktas, born in Turkey in 1966, is a scriptwriter, producer, and the founder of the production company mitosfilm, which is based both in Erbil (Kurdistan Regional Government) and Berlin. The production company aims to support authentic storytelling through thought-provoking films. The Legend of the Ugly King (Huseyin Tabak, 2017) won the Best Documentary Award at Hof International Film Festival 2017. Reseba: The Dark Wind (Hussein Hassan, 2016) received several awards, including the Muhr Award for Best Fiction Feature at Dubai International Film Festival 2016, the Grand Newcomer Award at International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2016 and the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2016. Other examples of the company’s well-received films are House Without Roof (Soleen Yusef, 2016); Memories on Stone (Shawkat Amin Korki, 2014), the official Academy Awards 2014 entry from Iraq; Before Snowfall (Hisham Zaman, 2013); and No One Knows About Persian Cats (Bahman Ghobadi, 2009), winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2009. For Reseba: The Dark Wind (Hussein Hassan, 2016) and Letter to the King (Hisham Zaman, 2014), Aktas also received several awards for Best Script.
Lea Drescher is a producer at mitosfilm. She is currently working on several international co-productions, including The Exam (Shawkat Amin Korki), a co-production between the Kurdistan Regional Government, Germany and France.
In the midst of the 2014 ISIS attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan, young couple, Reber and Kajal, rehearse for a performance of traditional Kurdish tale, Mem Abassi. Reber is a former deminer. After becoming a father, he quit the military and chose to keep Kurdish culture alive through Kurdish traditional folk dance. But when the region receives further imminent threats, Reber feels obliged to leave everything behind and support the frontline troops as a deminer. Kajal and their son, Mem, stay with Reber’s family. One day the family receives shocking news from the frontlines. Reber’s unit suffered an ISIS attack. Reber is named as a martyr shortly afterwards. Out of cultural and social pressure, his brother, Dilo, takes responsibility for caring for Kajal and her son. Against her will, Kajal becomes engaged in a formal marriage with Dilo for the sake of her son. Over time, their shared responsibility for Mem deepens their feelings of mutual belonging. As Kajal tries to build a new life, she follows her passion by leading the folk-dance group which has been severely weakened by the war-torn environment. The Rain Bride explores the separations and changes that occur within family dynamics due to times of war. It is about love and loss within a society that is threatened with being wiped out culturally; a fight not only held on the frontlines but also within the community.