Latif al Ani, born in Baghdad in 1932 is known as the 'father of Iraqi photography’. His work forms a unique visual archive of Iraq during its heydays from the 1950s to 1970s and are a profound insight into the country, mostly unknown to Westerners and even Iraqi people themselves. When Saddam took power, Al Ani stopped photographing. For a long time he had to hide. In 2015, he received the prestigious Prince Claus Award, awarded annually by the Dutch Royal Family. This recognition has given Al Ani new confidence and a desire to reconnect with his work, his country and to travel the world like he did freely so many years ago. Iraq’s Invisible Beauty is supported by Catherine Simeon, Nick Ware (Faites un Voeu) and Ali Raheem (Sumerian Dream Productions).
Sahim Omar Kalifa is a Belgian-Kurdish filmmaker based in Belgium. In 2001, he came to Belgium, and in 2008 he got his Master's degree in filmmaking at Sint-Lukas Film School, Brussels.
Kalifa has won 96 international awards between his short films Land of the Heroes, Baghdad Messi, and Bad Hunter. Land of Heroes won the Best Short Jury Prize at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. Baghdad Messi was shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards, and 'Bad Hunter' was shortlisted for the 88th Academy Awards. Bad Hunter also went on to win several additional international awards at prestigious festivals including the 59th Valladolid, the 38th Montreal World Film Festival, the Dubai IFF and Flickerfest International Film Festival.
Sahim was chosen in Istanbul as the Best Kurdish film director and later that year became a voting member for the Academy Awards.