Bahman Ghobadi's Iranianforeign language Academy Award entry Turtles Can Fly yesterday (15) became the first picture to open inan Iraqi theatre since the end of the war.

Ghobadi was due to attendthe screening at the Crystal Theatre in Arbil City and has also been invited bythe interim Iraqi government to conduct seminars on cinematography and consulton the construction of theatres and cinema educational centers.

The filmmaker is alsoscheduled to meet Nachirvan Barzani, the head of the government of the IraqiKurdistan, where a number of Iraqi theatres will be renovated with the help ofIranian Film Industry.

Turtles Can Fly is set in Ghobadi's native Kurdistan on the eve ofthe American invasion of Iraq and centres on the life of a resourceful 13-year-oldboy who falls for an orphan.

IFC Films will release TurtlesCan Fly in the US in February.