Dialog Box

On the Banks of the Tigris: the hidden story of Iraqi music
On the Banks of the Tigris celebrates Iraqi music and the power of culture to unite people across boundaries. It tells the story of Majid Shokor, an Iraqi-Australian from a Muslim background who seeks the source of songs he loves and discovers a hidden history - the Jewish role in Iraqi music. To find out more, Majid embarks on a bold journey from Australia to Israel, Europe and Iraq to meet top Iraqi musicians, hear their music and stories, and unite them in a joyful concert for peace and reconciliation.

"A much-needed film that crosses boundaries and brings home universal truths"  Arnold Zable, Australian author and human rights activist

"Magnificent!  A rich array of personalities and music"
  ABC Radio National


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

On the Banks of the Tigris is a film and peace education project. Our film screenings, school visits and education program show how culture unites people across religious and political boundaries. Audiences learn about Iraq’s history as a multi-cultural and tolerant society where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived peacefully together for thousands of years. In Australia, our project is building bridges between communities by offering new ways of thinking about Iraq, the Middle East, and the common threads that bind us all together.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

On the Banks of the Tigris is a beautifully crafted, emotionally engaging, and informative film that is timely and important.  Our film aims to:

increase understanding of Iraq and the Middle East

challenge stereotypes

promote dialogue and discussion

contribute to community harmony and inter-faith peace

Our film boosts awareness of the common ground between people of different faiths and promotes peace at all levels - community, national and international.

We need your help to ensure this film is very widely shown - in festivals and theatres, at schools, universities and libraries, in religious and inter-faith contexts, and by neighborhood and community groups.

Our film is a Finalist in the Australian Teachers of Media Awards, and winner of Best Documentary at the Baghdad International Film Festival - sure signs that this film can play an important role in peace education.


What is your education and outreach strategy?

Screenings, website, social media, radio and print media, public talks, and in-person visits to schools and community groups are among the ways our film and its peace message is reaching audiences. 

International festival screenings are underway, in diverse contexts including Jewish and Arab film festivals, Global Peace Film Festival, and major cities from Montreal to Melbourne, Sydney and Baghdad. Cinema screenings, DVD release, educational distribution by Ronin Films, and internet distirbution are planned.

A "Strengthening Multicultural Communities" grant from the Victorian Multicultural Commission recognised our film's value in promoting peace and community harmony. A growing network of teachers, Jewish, Muslim, interfaith and peace organisations, and other groups in the community will enable us to continue and expand our educational outreach.

Marsha Emerman
Marsha Emerman
Total budget
79 Minutes