UK Competition Award and Short Award Winners
The Best Film in UK Competition was awarded to Ali and his Miracle Sheep.
Guided by his grandmother’s haunting Sumerian lament, 9-year-old mute Ali takes his sheep, Kirmeta, for sacrifice on a strenuous 400km journey across Iraq’s war-ruined landscapes to the shrine of an ancient saint.
Kirmeta becomes increasingly resistant, running away from his bloody fate. Ali eventually finds Kirmeta amongst carcasses of cars leftover from decades of violence and false promises of freedom. When Kirmeta collapses from exhaustion, the pilgrims think he is dead, but with the help of Ali’s grandmother’s prayers, the sheep mysteriously recovers.
Witnessing this, the pilgrims declare him a “Miracle Sheep”, a reputation that accompanies them for the rest of their journey. Can both boy and sheep survive the hardship and accept their fate? Ali and his Miracle Sheep is a lyrical film with a hybrid form in which symbolism exposes the suffering of a nation whose only hope left is a mute child and his “miraculous” sheep.