Film Pitch Report






Last Test of Khrait





Film Story


Abu Ahmed and his family live in Hawizeh Marshes, located in southern Iraq. When their only source of income, a buffalo, dies, they are left without any means of support. During this time, they encounter many difficulties and have been hunted by ghosts.


Jasim, also known as Abu Ahmed, is a 36-year-old water buffalo shepherd. He was raised by an old woman in the Al Hawizeh marsh after his family was killed during the 1990 South Uprising. Jasim is married to Fatima, who is 28 years old, and they have three children: Ahmed, Ali, and Zahra.

Fatima is a 28-year-old housewife and reed weaver. She lost her parents when she was 10 and was raised by her uncle. She was forced to marry an old man when she was 15 years old, but her husband died after only one month of marriage. She then married Jasim when she was 17 years old.

Ahmed is a 9-year-old boy who helps his father look after the buffalo. He dreams of becoming a soldier when he grows up.

Ali is a 7-year-old boy who enjoys playing and looking after the buffalo. He also likes to create buffalo figures from clay.

Zahra is a 2-year-old girl and the youngest child in the family.

The marshes are a strange and magical world, with unique environments, animal and plant organisms, and their relationships with the inhabitants. Among the local beliefs is the existence of “Tantal” in the remote waters. This being has no specific form, but can transform into any shape desired . It is said to harm those who are found alone, and many stories have been woven about its encounters with people.


The climate crisis and political turmoil have severely impacted the Iraqi wetlands. The Hauzha marsh, located on the border of Iran and Iraq, is completely dead. As a result, residents have been forced to leave their homes and seek shelter in nearby cities.

Only one family remains in the marsh. Abu Ahmed, a 36-year-old man, his wife Fatima, and their three children must leave the marsh after their last buffalo dies. Without it, they will have nothing to live off of. However, they cannot afford transportation for their belongings he seeks support from people who know but no one has come to help them.

Abu Ahmed came up with the idea to turn their reed house into a boat to carry their belongings and wait until the water returns to the marsh and leaves forever. During this period, Abu Ahmed and his family explored the marshland for the first time and found many objects that were linked to the violent past of the marsh. Meanwhile, due to the drought in the area, natural gas steam rises from the land, causing the family to hallucinate and see ghosts and other unexplained phenomena.


The Hawizeh Marshes are wetlands located on the Iraq-Iran border, nourished by the Tigris River in Iraq and the Karkheh River in Iran. They support the Central and Hammar marshes, serving as a sanctuary for various species. The Al-Kassarah drains the wetlands and prevent them from becoming a closed saline basin. The Hawizeh Marshes have been inhabited for over 5,000 years by the Marsh Arabs in Iraq and the Hawizeh people in Iran. Small cities within the wetlands belong to both countries and have no border separating them. The areas near the wetlands provide a safe haven for migratory animals, and the wetlands have a significant impact on the Sumerians and Babylonians who once lived there. The wetlands were drained in the early 1990s and later reopened following the war in 2003.

Things to be used in the scene

  • Reed House
  • AK-47 weapon
  • buffalo

Important event

  1. Last Buffalo dies.
  2. Turning the reed house into a boat.
  3. Encounter the ghost witnessed by the family.
  4. Finding an AK-47 weapon.
  5. Preparing a sweet called Khrait.


Film Director: Sherko Abbas

He is a Kurdish-Iraqi artist and filmmaker. Abbas earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2015. His work explores sonic and visual memory, with a focus on modern memory that relies on recorded materials. Additionally, Abbas is interested in the current geopolitical situation and the impact of climate cricis in Iraqi’s culture.

Abbas’ works have been exhibited and screened internationally including at: Archaic, the Iraq pavilion at the 57th Venice biennale; Theater of Operations, MoMA PS1, New York; May Flames Pave the Way for You, Arsenal gallery, Białystok; Push Festival, Manchester , UK; Towner International, Towner Eastbourne, Eastbourne; Speaking Across Mountains, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.; Baghdad Mon Amour, Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Vernacularity, Alternativa Festival, Gdansk; Estrangement, The Showroom, London.

Also, his moving image works were screened at the Independent Iraqi Film Festival’s online screening, the 38th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival in Kassel, Germany, Aashra, Ashkal Alwan Online Film, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin at the Louvre Auditorium in Paris, the Open City Documentary Combined Programme: What Rules The Invisible in London, Visit Festival Het Bos Ankerrui 5-7 in Antwerp, Belgium, Ruya Shop in Baghdad, and Shasha Movies online streaming.

Cast team