Kotha is an ancient town in the city of Babel, otherwise known as Babylon. Babel is mentioned in numerous cuneiform inscriptions, the holy books of the Bible and the Koran, and the books of travelers and orientalists. The name of the city appeared for the first time in the Akkadian period, 2371-2230 BC as “Kadirigirra” in the Sumerian language and “Babili” or “Babiliani” in the Babylonian Semitic language, meaning “the door of gods/goddesses.” Babylon is associated with King Hammurabi, the lawmaker, and King Nebuchadnezzar II, whose reign Babel became the biggest city in the ancient world. Alexander the Great even considered adopting it as his capital because of its special status and the importance it enjoyed among the ancient world.
Mahdy Al-Babely, whose name translates to Mahdy the Babylonian, is a teacher and filmmaker who founded Kotha Arab World Film Festival, naming it after this ancient Sumerian town, to honor the creative men and women of the international Arab World, particularly celebrating the Iraqi cinema. Films from all over the world have submitted to Kotha – from Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, and France. And if you want to submit, the deadline is October 30.
The film festival will be held at the Arab American National Museum from November 29 to December 1st. Every session will showcase a film from one of the Arab and international countries. The first session will be dedicated to Iraq. For more information and an updated schedule, visit https://www.facebook.com/KOTHA-Arab-World-Film-festival-109465180434500
This is a great endeavor by Mahdy, as it helps showcase new talent, encourage the community toward the arts, and are a creative way to engage audiences. Through the influence of compelling stories, film festivals can touch our hearts and display stories we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see.