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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)

Best Documentary Award + Ashland screenings

Kat Cole

This past weekend was full of exciting SOLD OUT screenings at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and the Sonoma International Film Festival. Thank you to everyone who joined us at the screenings and to everyone who worked to make these festivals such a success! Extra special thanks to our hosts Gary & Claudia!

We're excited to announce that we've been awarded our 5th award!  The qFlix Philadelphia Film Festival honored us with the Jury Award for Best Documentary!

All of us found this film to be an original, powerfully told, complex and compelling story, and it came full circle for us. It received the highest overall score among the categories.
— qFlix Philadelphia jurors

We're honored to receive this award, and so happy that Ghazwan's story continues to be shared with our communities nationwide.

Today, we are heading up to the Ashland Independent Film Festival for 5 consecutive screenings in Oregon! This is our official Oregon Premiere and we are thrilled to be having it with AIFF. The communication, hospitality and organization has been above and beyond so far! We can't wait to meet the AIFF team, participate in our Q&As and catch some great films! If you're nearby, please join us!

Three of the five screenings are already at Rush! Meaning the shows are SOLD OUT but some tickets will be available at the door on a first-come-first-serve bases. 

And behind the scenes, we've been working closely with legal students from the University of California, and are happy to highlight their work and incredible contributions to the film below.

Erin Palmquist and the From Baghdad to The Bay Team


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4/11 - 4/15 | 5 screenings! Ashland Independent Film Festival, Oregon
With Director Erin Palmquist.

Interested in hosting a screening in your city?
Please reach out. We would love to help make this happen.

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L to R: Oluwatobi Agbelemose, Kristina Martinez, and Jack Lerner from UCI's IPAT Clinic

L to R: Oluwatobi Agbelemose, Kristina Martinez, and Jack Lerner from UCI's IPAT Clinic

Thanks to Producer Neva Tassan who was responsible for introducing us, since 2016, we've been working with professor Jack Lerner and students of the University of California Irvine'sIntellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic. 

Their wonderful team provides pro bono legal services for films like ours, some who otherwise could not afford the necessary legal expense. They have helped us with contracts, Fair Use claims and other invaluable nuanced guidance. They even connected us to two other fabulous lawyers, Marcia Hofmann & Kendra Albert of Zeitgeist Law PC, who helped us file our FOIA requests with the U.S. government in relation to Ghazwan's past.  Their work was phenomenal, meticulously thorough, returned results and was also provided pro bono. We can't thank them enough!

This semester Kristina Martinez and Oluwatobi Agbelemose have joined our team from UCI's IPAT. They have been vetting our due diligence research in trying to track down owners of footage used in the film that we have not been able to license yet. We are in the final stages of attempting to locate the owners. This process has taken over a year and the whole core FBTTB team has worked hard to get here. We have a few final leads to track down yet but if nothing is fruitful, we will be making a claim for Orphan Work status in order to begin distribution on the film. We are so grateful for their invaluable work, and could not have finished the film without them! 

Who knew filmmaking was this complicated, right?! And this is just a small slice of the pie! It truly takes a village and none of this would have been possible without the support provided by many of you receiving this newsletter!