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Grant number: TW-226732-15

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Independent Feature Project, Inc. (Brooklyn, NY 11201-1122)
Zeva Oelbaum (Project Director: June 2014 to present)

Gertrude Bell: Letters from Baghdad

Production of 90-minute documentary on Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), who played a crucial role in the creation of Iraq and the modern Middle East.

The documentary film, "Gertrude Bell: Letters from Baghdad," will peel back the layers of time to reveal the origins of the state of Iraq through the extraordinary story of a woman who played an essential role in its creation. The film will be produced and directed by award-winning filmmakers Zeva Oelbaum ("Ahead of Time") and Sabine Krayenbuhl "(My Architect"; "Mad Hot Ballroom") for public television broadcast and theatrical release, and for use in educational markets. Because Gertrude Bell's personal journey placed her at the nerve center of British activities in Mesopotamia before, during and after World War I, her story reveals much about those activities. The policies that Bell and her colleagues enacted during this time altered the geopolitical map of the world. The film will provide a fresh look at the British policies and strategic decisions that gave birth to the new nation-state of Iraq by taking into account new research and the multifaceted Arab perspective.

Project fields:
Near and Middle Eastern History

Bridging Cultures through Film

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 12/31/2015