The Flowers Of Kirkuk, the first-ever co-production between Italy and Iraq,
is to shoot in April, it was confirmed at the EFM yesterday.

The film, to be directed by Fariborz Kamkari, has now received support from Regione Lazio. It is being produced by Fabrizia Falzetti's Far Out Films. Istituto Luce has confirmed it will handle Italian distribution of the film.

The French coproducer is Vincent Macheras of Lorival. Meanwhile, French outfit Sophie Dulac Distribution, owner of the cinema circuit Les Ecran De Paris, has also boarded the project. The Iraqi co-producer is Suli Films, owned by Hero Talabani, the wife of Iraq's President Jala Talabani. The film should be ready by the end of the year.

Set in the late 1980s, during the darkest days of Sadamm Hussein's regime,
the film tells a story of love and betrayal between a Kurd from Kirkuk and an Arab from Baghdad. A young Iraqi Arab woman witnesses ethnical cleansing.

Although she belongs to the elite, she can't ignore the horrors being perpetrated around her.

The Ministry Of Culture Of Iraq has approved financial support for the film. Most of the shooting will take place in northern Iraq. The majority Italian co-production is the first film to benefit from the co-production meetings organized by Regione Lazio with the CRC Capital Regions for Cinema.

Over the last year, the film has been presented in coproduction markets in Berlin, Cannes, Rome and Utrecht.

Regione Lazio's support for the film was announced at a press conference
yesterday (Saturday) in Berlin. During the conference, the Regione Lazio Councillor Culture, Entertainment and Sport, Giulia Rodano introduced the region's new 'Million Euro Challenge.' This challenge is to stimulate the production of cross-platform audio-visual content and is open to all Italian, European and non-European production companies.

The Regione has undertaken to provide funding of one million Euros, 70% of which will be unsecured funding and the remaining 30% in equity capital. Application forms will soon be made available.