WORLD CINEMA – FEATURE
Out of Competition
MY SWEET PEPPER LAND, Hiner Saleem
Iraq-Iran-Turkey-France / 2013 / 100 min / DCP / Kurdish w/English sub-titles
After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, resolves to accept a position in a godforsaken village at the borders of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. It is a lawless territory, right at the heart of illegal drug, medication and alcohol trafficking.
Having arrived in the small village, he refuses to bow down to Aga Azzi, the seriously corrupt tribal chief and absolute ruler of the area. Baran meets Govend, the village school teacher, who is also rejected by the villagers. Like Baran, she represents another law, that of the young and autonomous Kurdish state. Govend is all the more vulnerable as she is not a married woman. Together, Govend and Baran will defy Aga Azzi's power, and help the Turkish Kurd resistance movement.
Screenplay: Hiner Saleem in collaboration with Antoine Lacomblez / Assistant Director: Antoine Chevrollier / Editing: Sophie Reine Clémence Samson Juliette Haubois / Script Supervisor:
Véronique Wüthrich / Cinematography: Pascal Auffray / Sound Mix: Miroslav Babic / Art Director: Fehmi Salim / Make-up & Costume: Pauline Batista & Ceylan Remezan / Principal Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan, Suat Usta, Mir Murad Bedirxan, Feyyaz Duman, Tarik Akreyi,
Véronique Wüthrich / Contact: Films Boutique Sanam Madjedi
THE DIRECTOR: Born March 9th, 1964 in Akré, Iraq, Hiner Saleem had already started shooting scenes for his first film, UN BOUT DE FRONTIÈRE, when he was interrupted by bombardments and prevented from completing the film. Gillo Pontecorvo, however, decided to present this footage in 1992 at the Venice Film Festival as an “unfinished work,” which in turn allowed Mrs. Saleem to
raise the financing he needed for his next film, VIVE LA MARIÉE... and the liberation of Kurdistan (Kebab Connection). He then made a drama with autobiographical underpinnings, PASSEURS DE
RÊVES (BEYOND OUR DREAMS), followed by VODKA LEMON: awarded Best Film at the Venice Film Festival 2005. His feature film, KILOMETER ZERO, was part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival (and later that year played FLIFF). This was followed in 2007 by the release of DOL OU LA VALLÉE DES TAMBOURS. He directed in the film Beneath the rooftops of Paris – earning Michel Piccoli Best Actor prize at Locarno International Film Festival. In 2011 Mr. Saleem shot IF YOU DIE, I’LL KILL YOU.
The 28th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival runs Oct 18 - November 11, 2013 in Ft Lauderdale, Hollywood, Sunrise, Pompano Beach and on Grand Bahama Island. The fest moves to Saint Augustine January 16 - 19, 2014. There are over 200 films plus a galaxy of parties, cruises, and special events. Special guests include Ann-Margret, Ed Asner, Tab Hunter, Anna Paquin, Lea Thompson, Aphrodite Jones, Guy Harvey, Jonathan Bird, Pauly Cohen, William Grefe, Jonas Armstrong, Hannah Tointon and Michael Bolton. FLIFF is the Guiness World Record holder for longest in the world.