Europa: Haider Rashid’s Refugee Thriller, Iraq Nominee for Best Foreign Language Oscar (Cannes Fest)

Iraq has selected Haider Rashid’s refugee thriller Europa as its contender for the Best International Feature Film Oscar.

Made by Italy-based Rashid, the film was partly financed by Iraq’s Ministry of Culture.

Europa concerns a young Iraqi man named Kamal who is caught by police after entering Europe through the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. He manages to escape into a wild forest underworld, only to become wounded by Bulgarian migrant hunters. Alone in the forest, Kamal has three days to escape them.

Europa, which world premiered at Cannes in the Director’s Fortnight section, has already secured Italian distribution (I Wonder); U.K. distribution (Bulldog Film Distribution); and an Eastern and Central European broadcast outlet (HBO). It is being sold by France’s MPM Premium which is seeking a U.S. distributor.

“So, we tried to be as close as possible to reality. We had to build a story with a structure but pretty much everything that takes place in the film is coming from real life. It’s a journey that takes place every day. And now with the situation in Afghanistan it’s going to be even worse.”