When I was invited to the premier of 16/03 in June 2018, I was excited to attend as it was the first premier I’d ever be invited to. Screened at the Genesis Cinema, Bow Road, London, I bought a new dress, (Ralph Lauren) got my hair done, put on my makeup and made my way to the theatre. It wasn’t exactly my own team of hair and makeup, but I did a reasonable job of making myself look presentable.
When I arrived at the cinema, the atmosphere was electric. Lights, camera, action, the red carpet was laid out and lined with the press. The stars of the movie were being interviewed and photographed as they made their way to their seats. I did pause for a photo, but unfortunately no one was as interested in my new dress as me. Ah well, never mind.
Hundreds of guests occupied the lobby, many from the Kurdish community giving the evening a celebratory feel. It was very important to them that this story was told and their delight at the prospect of thus was very apparent. When the drinks and socialising paused, we made our way towards the screen room for the main event.
The film tells the story of what happened when Saddam Hussain bombed and murdered between 3000 and 5000 Kurdish people in the chemical attack known as the Halabja Massacre on the 16th of March 1988, during the closing days of the Iran-Iraq war.
It has won over 20 awards, I wont list them all but some include:
1- Finalist Best of the Year at Oniros Film Awards IN Italy
2-Finalist Best Director /producer of the year.At LANFA (Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards In Hollywood
3- FinalistBest of the year IN North korea International film festival
4-Finalist Best feature film at out of the can film festival In United kingdom
5- Finalist Best screenplay at out of the can film festival In United kingdom
6-Finalist Best producer at out of the can film festival in United kingdom
7-finalist best support artist Erick Hayden at out of the can film festival in United kingdom
It’s had now been nominated in 4 categories of The National Film Awards 2019 and can be voted for by members of the public from here. Vote Here
The movie 1603 is a combination of incredible facts and fantastic fiction. It will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as an intense plot unravels. Corrupt government, terrorism, lies, injustice, espionage and of course softened at the edges by a beautiful love story, this amazing and energetic drama is definitely worth taking the time to watch.
The true account of what happened on that fateful day in 1988 is harrowing to watch and vivid in it’s portrayal. Seeing the innocent people of Halabja completely wiped out on the whim of a madman is devastating, but this film honours them and helps us remember them. Along with a strong plot that has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, 1603 will keep you captivated and guessing until the very last minutes of the film.
Strong character performances from Danny Darren, Rachel Marquez and Carl T James are a pleasure to watch and scenes that take you from London to Iraq and back again are captivating. The wonderful tribute to the Kurdish people made watching this film a very enjoyable experience and one I’d thoroughly recommend.
No release date confirmed as yet, but keep an eye out for it. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4359764/