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Fall Grants 2020 - Post-Production Stage

Mano Khalil / Feature Narrative / Syria, Switzerland, Qatar / 2021 / 124 min / Original Language: Arabic, Hebrew, Kurdish / Interests: Drama, Politics, Biography, Based on a True Story, Children


In a Syrian border village in the early 1980s, little Sero attends school for the first time. A new teacher has arrived with the goal of making strapping Panarabic comrades out of the Kurdish children. To enable paradise to come to earth, he uses the rod to forbid the Kurdish language, orders the veneration of Assad and preaches hate of the Zionist enemy—the Jews. The lessons upset and confuse Sero because his long-time neighbours are a lovable Jewish family. Sero’s uncle is even secretly in love with their lovely daughter. With a fine sense of humour and satire, director Mano Khalil depicts a childhood which manages to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama. Little Sero gets involved in dangerous pranks with his friends and dreams of having a television so he can finally watch cartoons. But he also experiences how the adults around him are increasingly crushed by the despotism, violence and nationalism which surround them. The film was inspired by the director’s personal experiences, and so his bitter-sweet memories connect the Syrian tragedy to the present.


Mano Khalil
Mano Khalil
Mano Khalil - Frame Film GmbH - Switzerland
Production Company
Frame Film Ltd.

About the Director

Mano Khalil is a Kurdish-Swiss filmmaker who lives and works in Switzerland. From 1981-1986 he studied history and law at Damascus University in Syria. The from 1987-1994 he studied fiction film direction in the former Czechoslovakia. Between 1990-1995, Mano worked as an independent film director for Czechoslovakian and later for the Slovakian Television. Since 1996, he lives in Switzerland, working as director and producer, and in 2012 he founded Frame film production in Bern.


  • Main Contact

    Mano Khalil

    Frame Film

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