Baghdad and its First Film Festival
Dr. Hikmat Al-Baydani
Director of the Baghdad Arab Film Festival


Aug 2023

Dr. Hikmat Al-Baydhani
Director of the Baghdad Arab Film Festival
And we are on the cusp of holding the Baghdad Arab Film Festival in its first edition in 2023. We must point out the importance of this historic city, where they converge. It is a city that tells the story of the nations and civilizations that passed through it, and carries with it the imprints of different eras. This city shines with its rich heritage and history, and is now hosting distinguished and important events in the world of art and culture. Its hosting of the first Arab Film Festival is a new step in its long journey of excellence and development. Between its walls and streets, the colors of art and cinema mix with the stones of history, which enhances its beauty and splendor. This festival is not just a passing event, but rather a tribute to its past and an aspiration towards its bright future.
The history of the city intertwines beautifully with the history of cinema, both of which have stories to tell. Through this festival, we see an intersection between heritage and art, and an escalation of the spirit of creativity and innovation. Cinema reflects the features of the city and embodies the passion of its residents for making dreams and documenting reality.
Hosting this festival is further evidence of the city’s importance as a leading cultural and artistic destination. While it embraces natural beauty and historical monuments, it also welcomes new ideas and artistic innovations. It is a city that not only reads history, but writes it again with its events and creations.
Let’s travel together through time, where the sights of the city blend with the magic of cinema. Let us enjoy a unique experience that takes us from the past to the present, and through it we look forward to a future full of creativity and innovation. Greetings to the ancient and flourishing Baghdad, which combines heritage and modernity throughout it, and welcomes the Arab world to share its historical importance and diverse culture. Based on the principle of cinema, cinema is not just films shown on the screen, but rather a language that connects our peoples and conveys our ideas and dreams. Through cinema, we get to know the experiences of others and live with them their moments, even if those experiences are from different times and places. Movies enable us to immerse ourselves in new worlds, interact with different characters, and open up to other people’s cultures. Cinema is a bridge between the past and the present, where we can relive historical moments and events that affected our life paths. It enables us to think and debate about social, political and humanitarian issues that concern us all.
In this festival, we hope together to see a collection of cinematic films reflecting a variety of voices and feelings. We believe that cinema has the power to change our perspectives, and inspire us to bring about change in our lives and communities.
Let’s enjoy movies and communicate through them, as they are not just fleeting stories, but rather new horizons that open up a horizon for us to express and communicate. We feel proud that you are here to be a part of this wonderful experience, and we look forward to sharing your views and feelings with us.
Greetings to the Iraqi Artists Union, which is the most important initiative in holding this cinematic event. Greetings and appreciation to everyone who stood and supported this most important event at this particular time.
Together, let us celebrate the power of cinema to unite us and shape brighter and more hopeful horizons.

About the Festival

Baghdad Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading, promoting and enriching cinematic culture, by encouraging the audience to participate and interact, support filmmakers, and develop and activate the cinematic industry in Iraq and the Arab countries

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