release date June 20 2022
Mano Khalil Wins Best Director for Neighbors at Arab Film Festival Rotterdam
Kurdish film Neighbors, by Mano Khalil, won Best Director award at Arab Film Festival Rotterdam, raising the tally to over 20 international awards in total. The festival concluded its events last Sunday.
The film nabbed several awards from prestigious international film festivals, most notably Best Screenplay at Red Sea International Film Festival; Audience Award and Jury of Teachers award at African Asian Latin Amercian Film Festival in Milan; San Francisco Film Critics Jury Priz; Audience Award at Boston Film Festival; Best Film and Best Director award at Hollywood Arab Film Festival; Grand Prize at Mons International Film Festival and Best Picture Award at Gangneung International Film Festival in South Korea. Additionally, it landed its Arab world premiere at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. 
On another note, on both the Arab and international stages, NEIGHBORS has received significant critical acclaim, with Ibrahim Hajj writing in Eremnews, “Every scene in Mano Khalil’s film narrates a story that its parts integrate, creating a poetic and heartbreaking celluloid”. Moreover, Khaled Mahmoud via Shorouk news wrote that, “ With a blend of sarcasm and laughter, NEIGHBORS portrays the absurdity of war through the eyes of a child who eventually finds light in a dark doubtful dictatorial world.” while Elhayat Alarabiya described the script as “ A rich script that crosses boundaries between documentary and narration”. “NEIGHBOURS is both a touching, warm human tale laced with humor and childhood appeal, and a pointed satiric look at the roots of hate, not just in Syria,” wrote Cate Marquis in We are Movie Geeks. 
Set during Hafez al-Assad’s regime in the 1980s, in a small village on the Turkish-Syrian border, Sero, a Kurdish child, must deal with how his small world is radically changing through absurd nationalism. 
Written and directed by Mano Khalil, NEIGHBORS stars Serhed Khalil, Jalal Altawil, Jay Abdo. It’s produced by Frame Film and is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions and worldwide by Frenetic Films. 
Born in Syria, Mano Khalil is Kurdish director/scriptwriter. He studied directing in Czechoslovakia and earned his MBA in Film & TV Directing. He moved to Switzerland, in 1996, and started his filmmaking journey as a director on several short films. He made numerous award-winning documentaries, including Triumph of Iron and The place Where God Sleeps. In 2003, he directed his feature debut Colorful dreams, followed by many significant films, including The Bee Keeper, Die Schwalbe and Hafis & Mara. His most recent film is NEIGHBORS.