The Films of Mohamed Al-Daradji

Co-presented with the Iraqi Australian University Graduates Forum and the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, University of Sydney


31 July, 2017

Born in Baghdad in 1978, Mohamed Al-Daradji, is a multi-award Iraqi film director, producer and civil activist. He escaped to the Netherlands in 1995, where he studied film production before completing master’s degrees in cinematography and directing at the Northern Film School in Leeds. He is co-founder of multi-award winning Human Film, a UK and Netherlands–based feature film production company.

Following the collapse of Saddam’s regime in 2003, Mohamed returned to Iraq to make his first feature film, Ahlaam, an insight into the chaos and confusion of a war-torn Iraq following three decades of dictatorship which screened at over 125 international film festivals, received over 22 awards, and represented Iraq for Oscar and Golden Globe Consideration in 2007. While he was in Iraq, he was kidnapped by militias, detained by the US army and assaulted by Iraqi security force.

Mohamed then directed his two acclaimed films: Son of Babylon, winner of the Best International Feature Film at the Raindance Film Festival, 2010, and In the Sands of Babylon, winner of the Best Film from the Arab World, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, 2013. He also co-produces short film academy program in Iraq, where short films are written and produced by students under his supervision.

The following extracts from his films will be screened at this forum:
  • 2013 - In the Sands of Babylon, the fateful climax in the killing fields of Babylon is revisited through unravelling the courageous and tragic secrets of three survivors of Saddam Hussein’s mass graves.
  • 2009 - Son of Babylon, harrowing story of a boy’s quest to find his long-missing father just after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.
  • 2005 – Ahlaam, an insight into the chaos and confusion of a war-torn Iraq following three decades of dictatorship.


After the film screenings, Mohammad will be in conversation with Dr Lucia Sorbera from the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney.

The event will be hosted by Firas Naji, Member of the Cultural Salon & Director of the Iraqi Cultural Festival, Iraqi Australian University Graduates Forum.

CAAR logo

Mohamed Al-Daradji's visit to Australia is part of the 2017 Iraqi Cultural Festival, which is supported by the Australian Government through the Council of Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.