- Title: IRAQ: Iraqi TV dramas defy security worries
- Date: 14th September 2010
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (RECENT) (REUTERS) CAST OF FURSAN AL-MADINA SERIES AT FILMING LOCATION IN KARRADA DISTRICT IN BAGHDAD POLICEMEN GUARDING THE CAST AT OUTDOOR LOCATION DURING FILMING FURSAN AL-MADINA IRAQI ACTORS WEARING POLICEMEN UNIFORMS CREW AT LOCATION ACTORS AT LOCATION CLOSE OF SOUNDMAN DIRECTOR GIVING INSTRUCTIONS DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR ASSISTANT BEHIND MONITOR CAMERA CREW AT LOCATION CAMERAMAN FILMING CAST OF FURSAN AL-MADINA SERIES AT INDOOR LOCATION DIRECTOR WATCHING MONITOR MONITOR (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UDAI RASHI, DIRECTOR, SAYING: "We are just working like all other Iraqis, maybe a doctor or an engineer will be at higher risk than me, we're just like other Iraqis so I have no complaints. I can't say that the security condition is now good, this is the state that the whole country is in, of course we wish security was more stable and people allowed to go about their work in a better manner, arrive at work in a more relaxed circumstance, some of us are leaving our houses really early to avoid traffic jams. At the end of the day, we are not better than other Iraqis." IRAQI ACTORS WEARING POLICE UNIFORM REVIEWING SCRIPT CAMERAMAN FILMING SCENE OF SERIES ACTORS ACTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAMAR QAHTAN, ACTOR, SAYING: "Because security is still not fully stable, you are always facing a full challenge, especially with jobs like this where we have chase scenes, a bit of action, gunfire. These are all major problems in the Iraqi street in current times because of poor security. I think the production manager has around 20 letters from security departments that lets us film in a car outside, it makes our lives easier, a letter from the defence ministry, the interior ministry, but you still carry the risk that anyone armed can come and cause harm to everyone on the set here." ACTORS IN POLICE UNIFORM AT LOCATION ACTORS AND LOCATION MANAGER
- Embargoed: 29th September 2010 13:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVA4YESMAWSRKUJLLOI5ZGWX59DG
- Story Text: Iraqi actors defy security obstacles and seek to compete Arab drama during holy month of Ramadan despite lack of production tools, technical and artistic capacities.
Protecting by police forces the cast of Fursan al-Madina (City Knights) set a filming location in Karrada's street in central Baghdad to film outdoor scenes of a series that produced by state-owned channel of Iraqiya.
Many factors represent challenges to sector production in Iraq after U.S.2003 invasion , the most important one is the security deterioration in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces.
Thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and wounded during the sectarian slaughter unleashed in Iraq after the 2003 while almost four million others fled to neighbouring countries.
Most of Iraqi actors and directors were forced to flee country to neighbouring countries to produced drama works.
Udai Rashid , director of Fursan al-Madina , referred to difficult work conditions that is similar to all Iraqis, hoping to see better security situation to work in better climate.
"As Iraqis , our conditions are similar. The doctor could be threatening more than me or even the engineer , we are like all Iraqis. There is nothing that I suffer from, but I can not say the security situation is a stable because this is the situation of whole country. I hope to see a stable security situation so as to people become able to practice their work in a safer circumstance. We are forced to leave our houses in early morning everyday to avoid traffic jam, but I would say that our condition is not better than Iraqis' condition." He said.
The series highlights the conflict between police forces and gangs as well as armed groups after 2003.
For his part , Samar Qahtan, an Iraqi actor, dubbed the work in Baghdad's street as a challenge as long as security situation is not stable.
"You are completely facing a challenge as long as security situation is not stable, especially, in such kind of drama. This work contains a lot of scenes of actions, chases and shooting fire, this is a huge problem in the Iraqi street now because of the security situation .I think the production's manager has more than twenty permissions to guarantee the work of outside broadcasting van .These permissions are issued from Interior ministry and Defence ministry to facilitate our mission, but any armed man is still able to hurt the cast at any moment, this is a big challenge." He added.
Most of the dramas airing on the channel and which tackle the situation in Iraq have been shot in neighbouring Syria.
Different Iraqi channels broadcast Iraqi programs along with other Egyptian and Syrian entertainment programs and drama, but there is not even one Arab station which broadcasts an Iraqi drama production. This seems as an old obstacle which the Iraqi production was not yet able to overcome.
"God willing, I am very optimistic of this work despite the lack of production tools .Actually, the Iraqi drama is specified with a certain amount (of money) , but God willing we will be able to bring the attention of official production houses, especially, when we present a distinctive drama. We aspire that this work will be a first step towards competition with Arab drama." Kadhim al-Quraishi, an Iraqi actor ,said.
Despite the contradicting points of view raised around the Iraqi drama among observers, no one can ignore the fact that it is witnessing a new start maybe it is the first time in its history that it wades through new horizons of expression and mainly that of political expression. Such a horizon has been completely lacking in the drama during the rule of the former regime.
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