Interview with Filmmaker Farman Abdalrahman Karim (ISIS WAS HERE)

 ISIS WAS HERE was the winner of BEST FILM at the August 2018 Documentary Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Farman Abdalrahman Karim: My motivation was focus the human rights and I wanted to document the ISIS crimes.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I needed about three months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Tragedy is continuous.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The big challenges for me was threats from ISIS because ISIS in the beginning until now…..they want to kill me. Now I left my country.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

This was a big for me. I feel that I’m on my way to became a global documentary filmmaker.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I visited the city and I saw they destroyed it. So I decided to document that story.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Pianist and the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Filmfreeway is easy, great and an amazing website to help filmmakers participate and find good festival for their films.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Bezhan Kamgar. He is a Kurdish signer.

10. What is next for you? A new film? 

My new project is documentary film about the Ezidy girls who were raped from ISIS.


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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