By Koutaiba Al – Janabi
Thursday 15 February, 7 – 9pm
A screening evening of Koutaiba Al – Janabi’s feature film ‘The Woodman’. This screening will be followed by a Q & A.
This screening is presented by ArtForward.
“Nobody was born with the dream of becoming a refugee”
The Woodman is a feature film with a thriller theme with a life size wooden dummy as the protagonist. It is a fairy tale about the outsiders in the world represented by the Woodman. This story is the reverse of the usual representation – the Woodman is now on the search of his home, chased by evil powers invisible in the film, he wants to go back to his forest, he wants to go home.
The protagonist of the film is a life-size wooden dummy, that does not speak or move. His feelings, emotions are expressed through the composition and lighting, editing and sound. After the deluge of images of refugees in the media, Koutaiba was looking to condense the feelings of the displaced person and show their innermost feelings, rather than holding the camera yet again up to their face.
Koutaiba Al-Janabi was born in Baghdad, studied photography and cinematography in Budapest, Hungary. He wrote his PhD thesis on the aesthetics of Arabic cinema. He now lives in London and Baghdad. Koutaiba has worked as cinematographer on feature films and as producer/director for television companies. He directs and produces his own award winning short films, documentaries and feature films and he is also a well-regarded still photographer.
His first feature length film as a director, Leaving Baghdad, won first prize in 2011 in Dubai, a British Independent Film Award and was nominated for a Cinema for Peace Award in 2012 in Berlin, etc. The film was also screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.