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LOCARNO – Iraqi-French director Abbas Fahdel’s docu “Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) is the winner of the Doc Alliance Selection Award, given by a group of seven prominent European festivals dedicated to docus, and presented for the first time this year at the Locarno Film Festival.

Fahdel’s monumental more than 5-hour-long work is composed of two parts. The first shot before the U.S. army’s arrival in Iraq, while the second captures post-war events. Besides the nod’s important recognition, he received Euros 5,000 in cash.

“The norms and values in my country have been turned upside down,” said Fahdel, who is currently living in French exile, describing his feelings about his homeland.

“What would have become of me, if I had stayed in Iraq? These were the questions I asked myself, with a bit of frantic and insatiable curiosity.”

Fahdel’s “Homeland” first emerged on the fest circuit when it won the international competition at the Swiss Visions du Reel fest.

The Doc Alliance Award is given by an alliance of the following seven docuy film festivals: CPH:DOX, Docs Against Gravity FF, Doclisboa, DOK Leipzig, FID Marseille, Jihlava IDFF and Visions du Reel.

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