On the set of the MMC Movies co-production "Baghdad in my Shadow" at MMC Studios

Shooting of the thriller "Baghdad in my Shadow" is currently underway at MMC Studios. Today, the film was presented to the press by director Samir on set at MMC Studio 50.

The Café Abu Nawas is a popular meeting place for exiled Iraqis in London. A failed poet, a wife in hiding, and a gay IT black worker regularly meet there with a fanatically religious youth, the poet's nephew. But incited by the preacher of a neighboring Salafist mosque, the nephew turns on his uncle and a tragic showdown ensues.

More than half of the new feature film by Iraqi-Swiss director Samir, who won many awards with his documentary "Iraqi Odyssey" caused a sensation, is being built in Cologne.

At "Baghdad in my Shadow", 8 out of 17 shooting days in NRW are accounted for by the MMC Studios.

Here was in the MMC Studio 50 from the MMC Equipment built the set of the London café Abu Nawas. The scenes in the café are created in this set, while the exterior shots of the café take place over 7 shooting days in London in December 2017. Other filming locations are Zurich (5 shooting days) and Baghdad (3 shooting days).

The Script to "Baghdad in my Shadow" wrote Samir and Furat al Jamil.

In the Main roles are Haytham Abdulrazaq, Zahraa Ghandour, Waseem Abbas, Maxim Mehmet, Meriam Abbas and many others to see.

"Baghdad in my Shadow" is a Co-production from Dschoint Ventschr Film Production, COIN FILM, Ipso Facto Productions as well as SRF Swiss Radio and Television, Teleclub and MMC Movies.

The film will sponsored by Media, BAK Federal Office of Culture, Zurich Film Foundation, Suissimage, Focal Stagepool, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, DFFF - Deutscher Filmförderfonds, BFI British Film Institute Tax Credit.

The Cinema release is for 2018 in the distribution of NFP marketing&distribution* (Germany) and Filmcoopi Zurich AG (Switzerland) is planned.

The Story:
London, shortly before Christmas. The Iraqi writer and night watchman TAUFIQ (55) is struggling with feelings of guilt. Years earlier in Iraq, he had betrayed his own brother under torture. His son Nassir knows nothing about this, and Taufiq has taken care of him as if he were his own son. But Nassir is becoming increasingly radicalized and distancing himself more and more from his uncle. The Salafists around the hate preacher Yasin have a great influence on him.

Taufiq is alarmed and even his friends in his favorite café can't help him. The Café ABU NAWAS is the meeting place of a small community of Iraqi exiles. Taufiq reads from his works here and mourns the old ideals with his communist friends.

Taufiq's best friend AMAL (35) also works in the café. The attractive architect from Baghdad had pretended to be a persecuted Christian in order to get asylum in England. In Iraq, she had left her violent husband AHMED (45) after finding out that he was working for Saddam Hussein's secret service. When her ex-husband Ahmed suddenly appears in London, Amal finds herself in increasing danger.

MUHANAD (25) has also found a second home in the café. The homosexual computer scientist had to fear for his life in Baghdad and has only recently arrived in London as an asylum seeker. Taufiq and his friends get him small IT jobs. He keeps his German lover SVEN (30) a secret from them.

In order to win back the trust of his nephew Nassir, Taufiq visits the Salafist mosque together with him. But a confrontation ensues between Taufiq and the preacher Yasin. The "godless" of Café Abu Nawas are a thorn in the imam's side. Nassir must decide which side to take.

It is Amal's ex-husband Ahmed who succeeds in getting Nassir on his side. Together with the imam, he incites the young Salafists to attack the café. Nassir receives a special order from Ahmed: he is to punish and kill the 'adulteress' Amal for her infidelity. Only Taufiq can prevent the impending catastrophe...

Photo: © MMC Studios, Photographer: Ralf Jürgens

Back from left to right: Ali Daeem (Ahmed), Christina Bentlage/Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Ngo The Chau/Cinematography, Samir/Direction, Kerry Fox (Maud Robertson), Taro Bahar (Firas Kamiran), Maxim Mehmet (Sven), Zahraa Ghandour (Amal Jerjis), Lachlan Nieboer (Martin), Bastie Griese/MMC Movies, Herbert Schwering/Coin Film, Joël Jent/Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion

Front: Meriam Abbas (Maha), Hazel O'Connor (Kate), Kae Bahar (Zeki), Awatif Salman (Samira Al-Baghdadi), Waseem Abbas (Muhanad), Christine Kiauk/Coin Film.