On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music
On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music

The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival, took place May 2 to 6, 2018, at The Shedd Institute in Eugene, Oregon, and featured many of the world’s best films on archaeology and cultural heritage, as well as in-person presentations by Dr. Fredrik Hiebert of the National Geographic Society and three days of conference presentations on cultural heritage media from a worldwide array of speakers. The conference notably included a full day symposium summarizing the latest research on the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart as well as a panel discussion debating the three chief hypotheses offered to account for it.

Producers and distributors submitted a record 800 film entries to the Festival, of which 176 films from 45 countries worldwide were considered and reviewed for the competition. At the end of the review process, 29 films from 15 countries were screened in front of audiences at The Shedd. Awards listed below are in nine categories: Best Film (by jury), Best Narration (by jury), Best Animation & Effects (by jury), Best Public Education Value (by jury), Best Script (by jury), Best Cinematography (by jury), Best Music (by jury), Most Inspirational (by jury), and Audience Favorite, as well as three Special Mention Awards designated by the Festival jury.

The Festival is one of approximately eight competitive festivals featuring archaeology-related films worldwide and one of only two in the Western Hemisphere.

The top jury award (Best Film by Jury) went to Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced and distributed by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; USA), about the discovery of a very well preserved Cherokee village in northeastern Tennessee and its connection to the long-forgotten history of early Spanish contact and the original territory of the Cherokee Nation. During the Festival, Buck Kahler described the movie-making process for this film and conducted Q&A for the audience after the screening.

The Festival jury awarded four Special Mention awards. Still Turning (Produced and distributed by Shirley Gu; directed by Jesse Pickett; China) won special mention for promoting awareness of national heritage. United By Water (Produced and distributed by Sherman Alexie; directed by Derrick LaMere; USA) was noted for its presentation of heritage values. Cervantes: The Search (Produced and directed by Javier Balaquer Blasco; distributed by Troto Int. S.L.; Spain) impressed the jury with its innovative storytelling. Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea (Produced and directed by Gustavo Vilchez; distributed by Fundacion de la C.V. MARQ; Spain); gained jury recognition as the best short subject.

The Festival audience picked On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia) as its favorite film. This film tells the story of mid-twentieth-century Iraqi popular music, much of it the product of Iraqi Jews, along with Christians and Muslims, who were purged from Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein but still perform their art.

The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival 2018 awards:

Best Film (by Jury)

Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)

Honorable Mention for Best Film Category (in order):

Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)
Just Like Us (Produced and directed by Hans Dirven and Merel ten Elsen; distributed by Loveland Film and Photography; Netherlands)
On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia)
Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)

Best Narration (by Jury)

Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)

Honorable Mention for Narration (in order):

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing, Ronin Films; Australia)
Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)
Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)
Cervantes: The Search (Produced and directed by Javier Balaquer Blasco; distributed by Troto Int. S.L.; Spain)

Best Animation & Effects (by Jury)

Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea (Produced and directed by Gustavo Vilchez; distributed by Fundacion de la C.V. MARQ; Spain)

Honorable Mention for Animation & Special Effects (in order):

Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)
Chinese Chariots Revealed (Produced by Giulia Clark, Bill Locke, and Lion Television for WGBH NOVA; directed by Giulia Clark)
Manohar Ambanagari (Produced, directed and distributed by Rahul Narwani; India)
Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)

Best Public Education Value (by Jury)

Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)

Honorable Mention for Public Education Value (in order):

Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)
Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)
On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia)
The Enigma of the Celtic Tomb (Produced by Edmée Millot – Eleazar; directed by Alexis de Favitski; distributed by Terra Noa; France)

Best Script (by Jury)

Just Like Us (Produced and directed by Hans Dirven and Merel ten Elsen; distributed by Loveland Film and Photography; Netherlands)

Honorable Mention for Script (in order):

Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)
Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)
Cervantes: The Search (Produced and directed by Javier Balaquer Blasco; distributed by Troto Int. S.L.; Spain)
Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)

Best Cinematography (by Jury)

Chinese Chariots Revealed (Produced by Giulia Clark, Bill Locke, and Lion Television for WGBH NOVA; directed by Giulia Clark)

Honorable Mention for Cinematography (in order):

Chartres: Light Reborn (Produced by Kanari Films; directed and distributed by Anne Savalli; France)
A Walk Through Time (Produced by Brian Brazeal, Leslie Steidl, Greg White, Dino Beltran, John Parker, Darin Beltran, and Drake Beltran; directed by Daniel Bruns; distributed by Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology at CSU, Chico; USA)
Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)
The Enigma of the Celtic Tomb (Produced by Edmée Millot – Eleazar; directed by Alexis de Favitski; distributed by Terra Noa; France)

Best Music (by Jury)

Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)

Honorable Mention for Music (in order):

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia)
Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea (Produced and directed by Gustavo Vilchez; distributed by Fundacion de la C.V. MARQ; Spain)
Of Love and Artistry (Produced and distributed by Jane Himmeth Singh; directed by Suruchi Sharma; India)
Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)

Most Inspirational (by Jury)

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia)

Honorable Mention for Inspiration (in order):

Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City (Produced by Fourth Wall Films; directed and distributed by Kelly Rundle; USA)
Just Like Us (Produced and directed by Hans Dirven and Merel ten Elsen; distributed by Loveland Film and Photography; Netherlands)
Secrets of the Nolichucky River (Produced by Debra Dylan; directed by Buck Kahler; distributed by Debra Dylan; USA)
Searching for the Lost Future (Produced, directed, and distributed by Alfonso Par and Luis Quevedo; Spain)

Audience Favorite Competition (by Festival audience)

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Produced and directed by Marsha Emerman; distributed by 7th Art Releasing and Ronin Films; Australia)

Honorable Mention in Audience Favorite Competition (in order):

Shepherds in the Cave (Produced, directed, and distributed by Anthony Grieco; Canada)
Chinese Chariots Revealed (Produced by Giulia Clark, Bill Locke, and Lion Television for WGBH NOVA; directed by Giulia Clark)
United By Water (Produced and distributed by Sherman Alexie; directed by Derrick LaMere; USA)
Chartres: Light Reborn (Produced by Kanari Films; directed and distributed by Anne Savalli; France)

Special Mention (by Jury)

Still Turning (Produced and distributed by Shirley Gu; directed by Jesse Pickett; China); for Awareness of National Heritage
United By Water (Produced and distributed by Sherman Alexie; directed by Derrick LaMere; USA); for Presentation of Heritage Values
Cervantes: The Search (Produced and directed by Javier Balaquer Blasco; distributed by Troto Int. S.L.; Spain); for Innovative Storytelling
Vikings: Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea (Produced and directed by Gustavo Vilchez; distributed by Fundacion de la C.V. MARQ; Spain); for Best Short Subject

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