TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

Koutaiba Al-Janabi

Koutaiba Al-Janabi


Scriptwriter, Film Director


FrameWork Participant 2015
Interchange Participant 2013


Koutaiba Al-Janabi was born in Baghdad, studied photography and cinematography in Budapest, Hungary. He wrote his PhD thesis on the aesthetics of Arabic cinema. He now lives in London and Baghdad.

Koutaiba has worked as cinematographer on several feature films, such as Jiyan, the first Kurdish feature film, and as producer/director for televisions, such as MBC, on locations worldwide, from Kosovo to the USA, from China to Yemen. He started directing and producing his own short films and documentaries (The Train, Wasteland, The Ever Restless Man), with several of his films winning awards for his work as a cinematographer and as a director. Koutaiba is also a well regarded still photographer, with his work published and exhibited widely, as well as collected in two books of photography (Far from Baghdad, Foreign Light)

His first feature length film as a director Leaving Baghdad, won first prize at the 2011 Gulf Film Festival, a British Independent Film Award in 2011 and was nominated for Cinema for Peace Award 2012 at the Berlin Film Festival.

He is both the director and writer of Daoud’s Winter, a personal story, going into production in 2017. A further feature film project, The Window, is in development and Koutaiba's visual personal, experimental journey, Stories of Passers Through, a feature film shot over 30 years, is in the postproduction stage.

company profile

London based Real Art Pictures Limited was established in 1998 by Koutaiba Al-Janabi and Hanna Heffner for the production of own feature films, short films and documentaries, such as:

Leaving Baghdad (feature film)
No Man's Land
The Ever Restless Man
The Train