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Koutaiba Al-Janabi


Daoud's Winter

Iraq, Netherlands
Production Company: Real Art Pictures, NFI Productions

Project Logline:

Daoud, a young man in his twenties, is studying for greater things in life. Until he is drafted for service on the front during the war between Iraq and Iran, in the Eighties.

He is sent to the front line in the desert, but because of his education he is assigned to the morgue. Cataloguing the new arrivals of dead bodies and organising their transport starts to break his soul.  Until he spots his best friend Ali lying among the bodies and decides to desert the army base to return the  body of his deceased friend to his family.

It is a dangerous journey to his friend’s family home in which deserters are hunted down by the army, but he manages to survive. Upon arrival Ali’s family welcomes him warmly and he does not have the heart to break the  bad news. While he keeps hidden in their home for the army, he falls in love with the people and finds the family he never had. In the meantime guilt is storming his mind, he does not know what to do with the dead body and the army is hunting for deserters.

When Daoud finally finds the heart to break the news to his friend's mother, they bring out his body, and silently start to dig. They have lost a son. He has found a family.

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 directed and produced several short films, documentaries, television programmes.  Several of Koutaiba’s films won awards for his work as a cinematographer and as a director. His first feature length film as a director Leaving Baghdad won first  prize at the 2011 Gulf Film Festival, a British Independent Film Award in 2011 and was nominated for Cinema for Peace Award 2012.