Wed. October 6, 2021 @ 19:30 PT


Hogir Hirori
Antonio Russo Merenda, Hogir Hirori
MTV Documentary Films
Two animated women in black niqabs.


With just a mobile phone and a gun Mahmud, Ziyad and their group risk their lives trying to save as many Yazidi women and girls as possible being held by ISIS as Sabaya (sex slaves) in the most dangerous camp in the Middle East, Al-Hol in Syria. Meanwhile at home, Mahmud’s wife, Siham, and his mother, Zahra, help the traumatized girls with loving care to shed off the black garments of an ideology that tolerates nothing but itself.

This digital screening includes a moderated filmmaker conversation that will be on demand with the film. The conversation features director, cinematographer, editor and producer Hogir Hirori and producer Antonio Russo Merenda and is moderated by Amy Nicholson, Film Critic for Variety & KPCC Film Week.

Captioning and ASL will be provided for this virtual showing and conversation.

Panelist Bios

A man with brown skin and black hair and facial hair.Hogir Hirori, Director/Cinematographer/Editor/Producer

Hogir Hirori was born in 1980 in Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan. In 1999, he fled to Sweden and has lived since then in Stockholm. He works as a freelance photographer, editor and director and runs his own production company, Lolav Media. Hogir’s most recent work, The Deminer, had its world premiere at IDFA 2017, where it received the Special Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film has since travelled to more than 50 international film festivals and aired on more than 30 broadcasters worldwide.

A man with light skin, black hair and facial hair.Antonio Russo Merenda, Producer

Originally from Italy, Antonio Russo Merenda moved to Stockholm in 1993 where he founded Hysteria Film, which he ran for 15 years. Antonio started his production company Ginestra Film in 2012 and served as Documentary Film Commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute between 2015-2017. Antonio’s productions have been aired on broadcasters worldwide, selected by major international film festivals and received awards such as the VPRO Award for Best Documentary Feature with Don Juan (IDFA 2015), the Special Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature for The Deminer (IDFA 2017) as well as the Golden Dove with Vodka Factory (DokLeipzig 2010) and with Colombianos (DokLeipzig 2012). With Hysteria Film, Antonio was involved in the production of Searching for Sugar Man, the 2013 Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature.