Interview with Yad Deen: Filmmaker Behind the Short Film, ‘Carga’


Interview by Lorna Codrai

Yad Deen, the director, writer and producer of Carga, talks to us about the inspiration behind his latest short film and his experience transitioning from documentaries to fiction. Carga follows couple, Marta and Juan, two young journalists to an abandoned cigarette factory to uncover its secrets. Deen explains, “we hit a bit of a niche here, making a Spanish thriller in Iraq — it’s intriguing.” It certainly is but more so due to the film’s location.

The former cigarette and tobacco factory in Sulayminyah, Iraq was left abandoned for over a decade with rumours of a reopening, then further talks of demolishing it. However, a local NGO saved the 1950s complex in late 2018 and the Kurdistan Regional Government has dedicated millions of dollars to transform the area into a culture city. Talk about a new lease of life!

The film is currently unreleased but it recently announced its Scandinavian premiere at the Annual Copenhagen Film Festival in March, where it has been nominated for Best Short Thriller. It was also screened twice this month during the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. Yad Deen was kind enough to speak to us about Carga and his experience of shooting the film.

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Quote of the Week

Doctor Marcia Fieldstone: Tell me what was so special about your wife?

Sam Baldwin: Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

RIP Albert Finney

Renowned British actor, Albert Finney, tragically died today after a short illness. He was 82 years old. Finney had a long and established career, which began in the theatre, before switching to roles in film. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and became a prominent film actor in the 1960s, emerging as an original “angry young man” actor of the period. His debut performance on film was in Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer (1960) and he became known for a variety of roles with a career spanning six decades.

His incredibly impressive filmography consists of: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Tom Jones (1963), Two for the Road (1967), Scrooge (1970), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Annie (1982), The Dresser (1983), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Erin Brockovich (2000), Big Fish (2003), A Good Year (2006), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), and the 2012 James Bond film, Skyfall.

Finney has been nominated for five Academy Awards. Four times for Actor in a Leading Role, for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984). He also received a nomination in 2000 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Erin Brockovich. In later years, he declined a CBE and a Knighthood.

Albert Finney was something special and, in many ways, underrated. His five-time loss of an Academy Award can attest to that. He could do so much with so little and, no matter the role, he was irreplaceable. You couldn’t take you eyes off him. Whether he was silently pensive in the background or screaming in another actor’s face, Finney was always your focus. A tremendous loss to cinema and British film history.

“I don’t think that we necessarily lie. I mean, we make our living by pretending that we’re someone else. I don’t tell tall tales. I always tell the truth.”

1936 – 2019