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.

Nowhere To Hide should be required viewing for anyone with an opinion about the refugee crisis.”

- Screendaily

“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

Sharif’s compassionate and poetic documentation, told with unflinching honesty, presents a humanistic portrait of a troubled people very different from the news images broadcast around the world during the last few decades.”


Shattered bodies prove easier to fix than broken countries in Zaradasht Ahmed’s Nowhere to Hide, a first-person immersion in four turbulent years in the life of an Iraqi medic.”

- Hollywood Reporter

“Zaradasht Ahmed’s ‘Nowhere to Hide’ Takes Top Prize at IDFA… An insider’s account of the hellish aftermath of the Iraq war charts the path to today’s unsettled world”

Variety, Damon Wise

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 he has many years of experience working with documentary filmmaking in the Middle East, North-Africa, and Asia, as well as training local people in documentation. His latest film on the topic of illegal immigration to Europe (for SVT Swedish Television) – “Fata Morgana”, has been screened at several prestigious Film festivals.

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.


IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

WINNER – Best Feature Length Documentary

Amsterdam Netherland2016, Nov 16-27
TIFF Tromsø International Film Festival

NOMINATED: The Norwegian Peace Film Award

Tromsø Norway2017, Jan 16-22Screenings Jan 17,18 & 21
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GFF Gøteborg Film Festival

NOMINATED: Dragon Award for Best Nordic Documentary

Gøteborg Sweden2017, Jan 27 – Feb 06Screenings Jan 30,31 & Feb 1,5
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Best of IDFA on tourNetherland2017
Human Rights Human Wrongs
Documentary Film Festival
Oslo Norway2017, Feb 14-19Screenings Feb 15, 17 & 18
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Boulder International Film Festival
Boulder, USA2017, March 2-5Screenings March 5th
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Thessaloniki International Film Festival

WINNER: Audience Award

Thessaloniki, Greece2017, March Screenings March 8 & 9
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be there!
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Trondheim International Film Festival
Trondheim, Norway2017, March 6-12Sceenings March 9, 11, 12
NTNU Seminar: Face of Terror
One World
Human Rights Film Festival

WINNER: International Competition

Prague, Czech Republic2017, March 6-15Screenings March 9, 12, 13
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present at selected screenings.
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Tempo Documentary Festival
Stockholm, Sweden2017, March 6-12Screenings March 12th
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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International Film Festival and Forum
on Human Rights

NOMINATED: Creative Documentaries Competition

Geneva, Switzerland2017, March 10-19Screenings March 11 & 16
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Human Rights Watch Film FestivalLondon UK2017, March 6-17London Closing Night Feature
March 17
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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CHP:DOXCopenhagen, Denmark2017, March 16-26Top Dox Secion
Screening 20 & 26 March
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present at selected screenings
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Stavanger Domkirke / Stavanger CathedralStavanger, Norway2017, March 22Special Stavanger Premiere

Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present.
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AmandusfestivalenLillehammer, Norway2017, March 22-26thScreengs 24th & 25th March.
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present on the 24th.

Oslo, Norway2017, March 29th – April 2ndScreening March 29th
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Arabiske FilmdagerOslo, Norway2017, March 30th – April 2ndScreening March 31
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
Screening April 1st
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TIFF Bell Lightbox Human Rights Watch Film FestivalToronto, Canada2017, March 31st Screening March 31st
Director Zaradasht Ahmed is holding a Skype presentation
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Cleveland International Film Festival

NOMINATED: Greg Gund Memorial Standing up Competition

Cleveland, USA2017, March 29th – April 9thScreening April 1st & April 3rd
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Middle East Now FestivalFlorence, Italy2017, April 4th – April 9thScreening April 6th

Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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CINEMAZERO CULTURAL ASSOCIATION Le voci dell’inchiesta [The voices of the investigative journalism]Pordenone, Italy2017, April 5th – 9thScreening April 7th
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present.
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Sarasota Film Festival

Documentary Feature Competition

Sarasota, Florida, USA2017, March 31st – April 9thScreening April 7th & April 9th
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NOMINATED: Official Competition

Leiria, Portugal2017, April 18thHádoc Official Competition
Screening April 18th 21h30, at Miguel Franco Theatre
Bertha DocHouseLondon, UK2017, April 21st – April 28thNowhere to Hide will screen daily from Friday 21 April. Check back for more times.

Director Zaradasht Ahmed will have Skype Q&A on opening night.
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WINNER: Best Feature Length Documentary

Volda, Norway2017, April 26th – April 30thScreening April 27th

Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present

AmbulanteMexico City & Oaxaca, Mexico2017, March 23rd – May 25thScreenings:

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Nordic Docs

WINNER: Special Jury Award

Fredrikstad, Norway2017, May 11th – May 14thScreening May 12th & May 13th
Director Zaradasht Ahmed will be present
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Doc AvivIsrael, Tel Aviv2017, May 11th – May 20thScreening May 16th & May 17th

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TRT Documentary DaysTurkey, Istanbul2017, May 11th – May 15thScreening May 12th & May 13th
DOK.fest München

WINNER: Best Documentary

Munich, Germany2017, May 3rd – May 14thScreening May 7th-9th, May 11th & May 14th

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Human Rights Arts and Film festival

NOMINATED: HRAFF Impact Award for best feature film

Melbourne, Australia2017, May 4th – May 18thScreening May 13th

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Docs Against GravityWarsaw, Poland2017, May 12th – May 22ndSreening May 14th, May 17th & May 21st

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Seattle International Film FestivalSeattle, USA2017, May 19th – June 11thScreening May 19th & May 20th

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Berkshire International Film Festival

WINNER: Best Documentary

Massachusets, USA2017, May 31st – June 4thScreening June 2nd

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Human Rights Watch Film festival NY

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

New York, USA2017, June 9th – June 18thOpening Night screening June 9th. Followed by discussion with filmmaker Zaradasht Ahmed and producer Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas

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San Diego International Documentary Film SeriesSan Diego, USA2017, June 13thScreening June 13th

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AFI Docs SilverdocsWashington, USA2017, June 14th – June 18thScreening June 16th

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Sydney Film FestivalSydney, Australia2017, June 7th – June 18thScreening June 15th & June 18th

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The Norwegian Short Film Festival

Honorable Mention

Grimstad, Norway2017, June 14th – June 18th Screening June 15th & June 16th
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Village East CinemaNew York city, USA2017, June 23rd – June 29thQ & A with director Zaradasht Ahmed after some of the screenings, every day from Friday 23rd to Wednesday 28th

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Laemmle Music HallLos Angeles, USA2017, June 30th – July 6thDirector 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, USA2017, June 30th – July 6thMore info here:

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Vancity TheatreVancouver, Canada2017, June 30th – July 6thMore info here:

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Carlton Cinemas &
Kingsway Theatre
Toronto, Canada2017, Starts June 30thMore info here:

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Angelika Pop-up at Union MarketWashington DC, USA2017, Starts July 7thMore info here:

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Facets CinemathequeChicago, USA2017, Starts July 14thMore info here:

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New Zealand International Film FestivalAuckland, New Zealand2017, July 14th – August 10thScreening July 25th – 26th

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Traverse City Film Festival


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

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Lemesos International Documentary FestivalLimassol, Cyprus2017, August 1-8Screening August 2nd

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DokufestPrizren, Kosovo2017, August 4-12Screening August 4, 6 & 11

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Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Art CenterNew Orleans, USA2017, August 11-17More info here:

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Broadway TheatreSaskatoon2017, August 13 – 16More info here:

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Clinton Street TheaterPortland, Oregon2017, August 19 – 20More info here:

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The Palace TheaterHilo, Hawaii2017, August 25 – 29More info here:

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UNHCR Refugee Film FestivalTokyo,Sapporo,Nagoya,Osaka,Fukuoka,Hiroshima – Japan2017, September 30th – November 12thScreening October 3 & 10

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Nordisk Panorama

NOMINATED: Best Nordic Documentary

Malmö, Sweden2017, September 21-26Screening TBA




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