Nowhere to Hide

Feature Length Documentary

Nowhere to Hide follows male nurse Nori Sharif through five years of dramatic change, providing unique access into one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible areas – the “triangle of death” in central Iraq. Initially filming stories of survivors and the hope of a better future as American and Coalition troops retreat from Iraq in 2011, conflicts continue with Iraqi militias, and the population flees accompanied by most of the hospital staff.

Nori is one of the few who remain. When ISIS advances on Jalawla in 2014 and takes over the city, he too must flee with his family at a moment’s notice, and turns the camera on himself.

(★★★★  MASTERPIECE) “…offers a terrifying, ultimately moving portrait of the effects of war, both psychological and psychic.”

The Washington Post


Chicago Reader

THE NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS’ PICKS: “Raw immediacy that’s both appropriate and involving…gripping portrait…buoyed by Mr. Sharif’s cheery personality”

The New York Times

“Nowhere to Hide” offers an uneasy prognosis that is at once graphically gut-wrenching and doggedly life-affirming”

Los Angeles Times

“There are those films, which are wonderful to see and there are films that the world needs to see. The film we choose is both of these things. The experience was immersive and left us deeply touched. The director respected the unique perspective that only the subject could have and in doing so he gave us an unprecedented window into the real life lasting consequences of war.”

IDFA Jury statement

This is a story of a man struggling for survival in Iraq…

where war has become the norm. The enemy is invisible, and neither women nor children have a safe hideout. Our protagonist, 36-year-old Nori Sharif, is husband, father of four children, and a male nurse. He becomes a videographer, documenting life over several years in one of Iraq’s most dangerous provinces: Diyala.

By following Nori we take part in his daily life. We are with him as another war erupts after the American retreat in 2011; a new war without fronts, uniforms or common rules. Without choosing sides, Nori records destruction as well as hope from this war zone. But it is the beginning of the end. The film stretches over a period of five years, beginning with the hope of a better future, to witnessing the growth of ISIS (the Islamic State), and eventually the fall of Nori’s home town. As Nori keeps filming throughout this period of time, he begins to turn the camera on himself.

Nori’s narrative represents persistence, hope and faith. But, in this new reality of being squeezed between two giant forces – ISIS on one side and the Iraqi militias on the other, is it possible to remain impartial and keep his family intact? Will he and his family survive, and be able to rebuild the country and the oasis that lies hidden behind the smoke and rubble?

  • CREW

    • Director: Zaradasht Ahmed
    • Producer: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas
    • Co-Producers: Hans Husum, Stina Gardell
    • Photographers: Zaradasht Ahmed & Nori Sharif
    • Editor: Eva Hillström sfk
    • Additional photography: Fouad Baqi
    • Production Co-ordinator, Iraq: Fouad Baqi
    • Location Manager, Kalar Iraq: Hiwa Ali
    • Production Company: Ten Thousand Images
    • Co-Producers: Pasaremos, Mantaray Film
    • Distribution Services: East Village Entertainment, Diana Holtzberg
    • Festival Distribution: East Village Entertainment, Diana Holtzberg & Norwegian Film Institute, Toril Simonsen

    • Duration: Festival 86 min / Tv Hour
    • Format: HD, DCP
    • Screen Ratio: 16:9
    • Sound Format: 5,1 Surround, Stereo
    • Languages: Arabic with english, norwegian subtitles

Nowhere to Hide – Official Trailer



Director and Photographer Zaradasht Ahmed is a Kurdish/Norwegian Filmmaker. He was born and raised in Northern Iraq. His previous work includes the award-winning “Road to Diyarbakir” and “Fata Morgana”. His latest film “Nowhere to Hide” has won several prestigious international prizes including Best Feature Length Documentary at IDFA (2016), Best Documentary at the One World Human Rights Festival (2017), the Audience Award at Thessaloniki Film Festival (2017), the Nestor Almendros Prize for courage in filmmaking at the Human Rights Watch FF (New York 2017), the Citizen Journalists prize from Traverse City FF (2017), and the Norwegian AMANDA for Best Documentary (2017). Zaradasht has many years of experience working with documentary filmmaking in the Middle East, North-Africa, and Asian regions, as well as experience training locals in documentation.

My ambition is to let the audience reflect on the human consequences of a brutal reality where all taboos are violated.

With “Nowhere to Hide” I want to show that we are all part of this reality – war, explosions, victims, terrorism, they affect us globally, and we are all responsible, despite our geographical whereabouts. Meanwhile, I want to show the human resistance that is growing among these survivors; to show the hope of rebuilding after the breakdown of civilization.

In the end, as humans, the only thing that can help us survive is to believe that the will to build will always be stronger than the desire to destroy.


Fifteen years after the US-led invasion of Iraq the country continues to dominate the headlines with stories of sectarian violence, bombings, kidnappings, corruption and dire poverty, human displacement and a massive refugee crisis.

Institutions and infrastructures are breaking down, and the de-stabilization of the region continues to reach new areas. The country has become a breeding ground for new and diverging religious, ethnic and political conflicts that also spreads far beyond the Arabian Peninsula. A lot of land is now in the Islamic state’s (IS) hands; a seemingly undefined army of international jihadist, mercenaries, ex-military and clans that don’t seem to have any greater common long-term strategy than power and influence.

During the first years after the US invasion a war pattern was obvious: that being between the occupier and the opposition forces. But in 2006-8 there was a change in character; ethnic sectarianism flared up and the violence became increasingly unpredictable and random. Families, tribes and communities were divided, and it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe. How can one give a truthful picture of this state of war when the areas are forbidden “no-go”-zones, and the survivors are without a voice? By training and directing Nori Sharif to film his surrounding, this has become a possibility.


Inconvenient Films- Lituania
Oct 12 – Nov 5 all-day

Screening and Q & A with the director on the following dates:

  • October 16, 18 and 19.
  • Also screening October 25 and November 3.

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Human Rights Film Festival at University of California – Davis, California, USA
Oct 19 – Oct 22 all-day

October 19 – 22, 2017
Screening October 20

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The international film competition of the Festival des Libertés – Brussels, Belgium
Oct 19 – Oct 28 all-day

October 19 – 28, 2017
Screening October 28

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IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

Amsterdam NetherlandNovember 16 – 27, 2016WINNER – Best Feature Length Documentary

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Press release

Interview Zaradasht Ahmed

TIFF Tromsø International Film Festival

Tromsø NorwayJanuary 16 – 22, 2017
Screenings January 17, 18 & 21
NOMINATED: The Norwegian Peace Film Award

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GFF Gøteborg Film Festival

Gøteborg SwedenJanuary 27 – February 06, 2017
Screenings January 30, 31 & February 1, 5
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
NOMINATED: Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary

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Best of IDFA on tourNetherland2017
Human Rights Human Wrongs
Documentary Film Festival
Oslo NorwayFebruary 14 – 19, 2017
Screenings February 15, 17 & 18
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Boulder International Film Festival
Boulder, USAMarch 2 – 5, 2017
Screenings March 5th
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Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Thessaloniki, GreeceMarch 2017
Screenings March 8 & 9
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be there!
WINNER: Audience Award

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Trondheim International Film Festival
Trondheim, NorwayMarch 6 – 12, 2017
Screenings March 9, 11, 12

NTNU Seminar: Face of Terror
One World
Human Rights Film Festival

Prague, Czech RepublicMarch 6 – 15, 2017
Screenings March 9, 12, 13
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present at selected screenings.
WINNER: International Competition

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Press release

International Film Festival and Forum
on Human Rights

Geneva, SwitzerlandMarch 10 – 19, 2017
Screenings March 11 & 16
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
NOMINATED: Creative Documentaries Competition

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Tempo Documentary Festival
Stockholm, SwedenMarch 6 – 12, 2017
Screenings March 12
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Human Rights Watch Film FestivalLondon UKMarch 6 – 17, 2017
Screening March 17
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
London Closing Night Feature

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CHP:DOXCopenhagen, DenmarkMarch 16 – 26, 2017
Screening March 20 & 26
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present at selected screenings
Top Dox Section

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Stavanger Domkirke / Stavanger CathedralStavanger, NorwayMarch 22, 2017
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present.
Special Stavanger premiere

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AmandusfestivalenLillehammer, NorwayMarch 22 – 26, 2017
Screenings March 24 & 25
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present on the 24th.

Oslo, NorwayMarch 29 – April 2, 2017
Screening March 29
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Arabiske FilmdagerOslo, NorwayMarch 30 – April 2, 2017
Screening March 31
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present at the screening April 1
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TIFF Bell Lightbox Human Rights Watch Film FestivalToronto, CanadaMarch 31, 2017
Screening March 31s
Director Zaradasht Ahmed is holding a Skype presentation
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Cleveland International Film Festival

Cleveland, USAMarch 29 – April 9, 2017
Screening April 1 & 3
NOMINATED: Greg Gund Memorial Standing up Competition

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Middle East Now FestivalFlorence, ItalyApril 4 – 9, 2017
Screening April 6
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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CINEMAZERO CULTURAL ASSOCIATION Le voci dell’inchiesta [The voices of the investigative journalism]Pordenone, ItalyApril 5 – 9, 2017
Screening April 7
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Sarasota Film Festival

Sarasota, Florida, USAMarch 31 – April 9, 2017
Screening April 7-9
Documentary Feature Competition

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Leiria, PortugalApril 18, 2017
Screening April 18
NOMINATED: Official Competition
Bertha DocHouseLondon, UKApril 21 – 28, 2017
Nowhere to Hide will screen daily from Friday 21 April.
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will have Skype Q&A on opening night.
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West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF)Zhejiang, ChinaApril 20 – 23, 2017
Screening April 21
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One World BrusselsBrussels, BelgiumApril 24 – May 04, 2017
Screening April 26, discussion with the director afterwards.
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Volda, NorwayApril 26 – 30, 2017
Screening April 27
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
WINNER: Best Feature Length Documentary
AmbulanteMexico City & Oaxaca, MexicoMarch 23 – May 25, 2017Read more
DOK.fest München

Munich, GermanyMay 3 – 14, 2017
Screening May 7 – 9, May 11 – 14
WINNER: Best Documentary

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Press release

Nordic Docs

Fredrikstad, NorwayMay 11 – 14, 2017
Screening May 12 & 13
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
WINNER: Special Jury Award

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Press release

TRT Documentary DaysTurkey, IstanbulMay 11 – 15, 2017
Screening May 12 & 13
Human Rights Arts and Film festival

Melbourne, AustraliaMay 4 – 18, 2017
Screening May 13
NOMINATED: HRAFF Impact Award for best feature film

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Docs Against GravityWarsaw, PolandMay 12 – 22, 2017
Screening May 14, 17 & 21
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Doc AvivIsrael, Tel AvivMay 11 – 20, 2017
Screening May 16 & 17
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Seattle International Film FestivalSeattle, USAMay 19 – June 11, 2017
Screening May 19 & 20
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Berkshire International Film Festival

Massachusets, USAMay 31 – June 4, 2017
Screening June 2
WINNER: Best Documentary

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Human Rights Watch Film festival NY

New York, USAJune 9 – 18, 2017
Screening June 9.
Followed by discussion with filmmaker Zaradasht Ahmed and producer Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas
Opening Night screening

WINNER: Director Zaradasht M. Ahmed & Nori Sharif won the 2017 Nestor Almendros Prize for courage in filmmaking

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San Diego International Documentary Film SeriesSan Diego, USAJune 13, 2017
Screening June 13
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Sydney Film FestivalSydney, AustraliaJune 7 – 18, 2017
Screening June 15 & 18
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The Norwegian Short Film Festival

Grimstad, NorwayJune 14 – 18, 2017
Screening June 15 & 16
Honorable Mention

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AFI Docs SilverdocsWashington, USAJune 14 – 18, 2017
Screening June 16
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Village East CinemaNew York city, USAJune 23 – 29, 2017
Screening every day from 23 – 28
Q & A with director Zaradasht Ahmed after some of the screenings,
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Laemmle Music HallLos Angeles, USAJune 30 – July 6, 2017

Director Zaradasht Ahmed will participate in Q&A’s at the Music Hall opening weekend June 30-July 2nd following the 7:30 PM shows. A different special guest will join him for each screening.

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Roxie TheaterSan Francisco, USAJune 30 – July 6, 2017More info here:

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Vancity TheatreVancouver, CanadaJune 30 – July 6, 2017More info here:

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Carlton Cinemas &
Kingsway Theatre
Toronto, CanadaStarts June 30, 2017More info here:

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Angelika Pop-up at Union MarketWashington DC, USAStarts July 7, 2017More info here:

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Facets CinemathequeChicago, USAStarts July 14, 2017More info here:

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New Zealand International Film FestivalAuckland, New ZealandJuly 14 – August 10, 2017
Screening July 25 – 26
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Traverse City Film Festival

Traverse City, Michigan, USA July 25-30, 2017
Screening July 27 & 29

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Lemesos International Documentary FestivalLimassol, CyprusAugust 1-8, 2017
Screening August 2
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DokufestPrizren, KosovoAugust 4 – 12, 2017
Screening August 4, 6 & 11
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Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Art CenterNew Orleans, USAAugust 11 – 17, 2017More info here:

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Broadway TheatreSaskatoonAugust 13 – 16, 2017More info here:

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Clinton Street TheaterPortland, OregonAugust 19 – 20, 2017More info here:

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‘Arabian Nights’ – The CinemathequeCopenhagen, DenmarkAugust 19 – September 10, 2017
Screening August 26 and September 10
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Haugesund Film Festival
Haugesund, NorwayAugust 19 – 20, 2017WINNER: Amanda for Best documentary

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The Palace TheaterHilo, HawaiiAugust 25 – 29, 2017More info here:

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Freedom Film FestKuala Lumpur, MalaysiaSeptember 2 – 9, 2017
Screening September 6
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Kunstnernes Hus KinoOslo, NorwaySeptember 10, 2017
Screening with the director present
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Europe Orient Documentary Film Festival

Tangier, MoroccoSeptember 19 – 23, 2017
Screening September 22
WINNER: Best Director Zaradasht Ahmed

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DMZ DocsRight next to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, a buffer zone between North and South KoreaSeptember 21 – 28, 2017
Screening September 22 & 24
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Nordisk Panorama

Malmö, SwedenSeptember 21 – 26, 2017
Screening September 24 & 25

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Bergen Internasjonale Film Festival

Bergen, NorwaySeptember 26 – October 4, 2017WINNER: Best documentary

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Press release

Twin Cities Arab Film Festival

Minneapolis, USASeptember 27 – October 1, 2017
Screening September 29
WINNER: Audience award

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Zurich Film FestivalZurich, SwitzerlandSeptember 28 – October 8, 2017
Screening September 29 & 30 + October 5.
The director will be present at the first two shows.
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Nuremberg International Human RightsNuremberg, GermanySeptember 27 – October 4, 2017
Screening September 30 & October 3
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UNHCR Refugee Film FestivalTokyo,Sapporo,Nagoya,Osaka,Fukuoka,Hiroshima – JapanSeptember 30 – November 12, 2017
Screening October 3 & 10
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Document Film FestivalGlasgow, UKOctober 2017
Screening October 12
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Inconvenient Films LituaniaOctober 12 – November 5, 2017
Screening and Q & A with the director on the following dates: October 16, 18 and 19.
Also screening October 25 and November 3.
Read more
Human Rights Film Festival at University of CaliforniaDavis, California, USAOctober 19 – 22, 2017
Screening October 20
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The international film competition of the Festival des LibertésBrussels, BelgiumOctober 19 – 28, 2017
Screening October 28
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