Iraq. 2011. Nizar Rawi, the director of a Short-Film Festival in Iraq is preparing the second edition of his event in Bagdad. While revising the list of the short-films selected he realizes that only one comedy has been sent in… and it´s not even funny. That´s when he decides to bring a group of people together to film the first comedy in Iraq in 30 years.

The main character of this 30-minute film is Nizar Rawi himself, the Iraqi Festival´s director. Rawi and Lander Camarero, director of A Serious Comedy, met some years back in Palermo, during a Documentary Festival where Rawi was part of the jury and Camarero participated with a production. “It´s been 30 years since a comedy has been filmed in Iraq”, Rawi told Camarero and a short time later they were preparing this project together. They filmed in Iraq and Navarra and have managed that the first Iraqi comedy in 30 years has participated in Film Festivals such as the ones in Malaga and San Sebastian.

A serious comedy (Lander Camarero, 2014)

At the end of 2014, an Iraqi TV channel debuted a series that confronted terrorism and the IS through a satire called Mythical Sate. It became an immediate success. Ali al Qassem, director of the series, commented in an interview: “We should all defend this country. We might not know how to use weapons, but we can help dissolve the Islamic State through our work”. This is the active fight in which both Camarero and Rawi participate with A Serious Comedy.

Rawi considers that a comedy “is not only what makes people laugh”. A Serious Comedy is a lot more than just a good time spent in the cinema. It is a film about politics, about filmmaking and about reminding people that it´s politically correct not to ever lose your sense of humor.

Lander Camarero (Bilbao, 1981) has graduated in Audiovisual Communication and worked mainly as a scriptwriter, assistant director and editor. In 2012 he directed What about Columbus, portraying the different interpretation of a same topic depending on the culture. His short-film A Political Story (2013) tells the story of a film student that, tired of the snobbery of her colleagues, decides to film a politically involved movie.

A Serious Comedy is part of the Official Section of the International Medium-length Film Festival La Cabina that will take place at the Filmoteca in Valencia during the month of November.

A SERIOUS COMEDY | Lander Camarero · Spain-Irak · 2014 · 30 min