Competition Documentary Features
DIRECTED BY DAVID FINE
USA/IRAQ, 2011, 82 MIN
IN ENGLISH, KURDISH, AND ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Nightly news coverage of Iraq typically offers a monolithic vision of violence, fanaticism, and repression. SALAAM DUNK reveals a different reality—intelligent young women developing leadership skills as well as tolerance for diverse religious and ethnic groups via the most American of pursuits, basketball. Two years ago, most players on the women’s basketball team at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS) had never held a basketball nor even run outside. Given an opportunity to suit up and compete, they find a blissful release from the harsher realities of their country and learn that teamwork is the only true route to nation-building. Coached by an ever-optimistic American grad student, the AUIS team loses every game their first season but is bent on transforming themselves in year two. The beauty of this film is how director David Fine captures finely crafted portraits of several AUIS players, some impervious and tough, others giddy and naive, all growing up remarkably fast. By revealing the desires and fears of these young athletes, Fine allows the audience to see them as people, not targets or victims. This is a rare, hopeful, and often humorous glimpse into a post-invasion Iraq that deserves to be seen.
David Fine (Salaam Dunk) has worked in the film and television industry in a variety of disciplines (camera operator, editor, post production supervisor). After co-founding Seedwell, David has been directing the company’s viral and commercial work. He loves shooting documentaries and pulling down rebounds. Salaam Dunk is David’s first feature film.
DIRECTED BY DAVID KHACHATORIAN AND GEORGE P. POZDEREC
USA, 2011, 15 MIN
Cameron Crowe once wrote, “Nothing lasts forever, except high school.” Proof comes via this time capsule meditation on memory, teenage life, and the power of the photograph.