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From Baghdad to The Bay is a documentary that follows the journey of an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the US military. Wrongfully accused of being a double agent, tortured by the U.S. and ostracized from his family and country, Ghazwan Alsharif struggles to rebuild his life in the United States while coming out as an openly gay man.

Keeping Up With Ghazwan (blog)

Kat Cole

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What a month! We closed the Mill Valley Film Festival out with two incredible screenings last weekend and this week we are screening with the United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) on Sunday!

We are honored to say that we kicked everything off with a special screening of From Baghdad to The Bay at UNAFF's press conference in September and that we are now about to close this run of our local Bay Area screenings with UNAFF once again! 

Please join us THIS Sunday at 4:30pm in Palo Alto at Mitchell Park Community Center for our LAST local screening (for now anyway). Don't miss this. It may be a while before we screen again in the Bay Area.

UNAFF is a particularly important festival, as it was founded in 1998 by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The festival's theme this year could not be more aligned with Ghazwan's intention in life and our film's goals. The UNAFF theme this year is TOMORROW? Films have been selected with the intention of emphasizing the complexity of our current moment and exploring possible paths emanating from it, into the future.

We hope you will join us and also explore some of the other incredible films we are fortunate to be programmed alongside. The full program can be found here

We also hope you will join us for UNAFF's Opening Night - this Thursday at 6:15 in Palo Alto!

Ghazwan, Erin and other special guests are attending each of our screenings! See you at the movies!

Erin Palmquist and the From Baghdad to The Bay Team


TUNE IN at10am THIS MORNINGto catch the Executive Director of the Arab Film & Media Institute, Serge Bakalian, and (me) Erin Palmquist live onKALW's Your Call with Rose Aguilar!

LISTEN NOW toKWMR's R. Gallyot's interview Erin Palmquist on independent filmmaking andFrom Baghdad to The Bay.

LISTEN NOW to Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio hostDr. Ramzi Salti's interview with Erin Palmquist on KZSU!

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Sadly, Ghazwan was not able to join us for these interviews, as he just started a new job as the Executive Chef at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences! But, he will be with us for all the upcoming Bay Area screenings! So, please come to a theater this week, congratulate him on his success, and hear about his experiences making this film!


Friday 11/2, 4pm - Ojai Film Festival
Saturday 11/10, 10am - Ojai Film Festival

Director Erin Palmquist will also be giving two presentation for the Ojai Youth Filmmaker Program:

Advancing Women Directors and Underrepresented Voices
Building Strong Film Scenes with Visuals and Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking

Interested in hosting a screening in your city?
Please reach out by emailing
We would be happy to help make this happen.

A few pics from our UNAFF Press Conference screening!

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