Abdullah and Leilah

2017, 20’


Abdullah and Leilah (2018, 20’)

Resource Productions

Dir. Ashtar Al Khirsan

Prod: Dominique Unsworth

  • Nominated best short Arab film, El Gouna Film Festival
  • Out of Mind Film Festival


This very moving and brilliantly acted short film by Ashtar Al Khirsan focuses on the relationship of Leilah and her Iraqi father Abdullah. Funded by the Welcome Trust, the film tackles the issue of dementia. “Abdullah has been living in London for many years and now has dementia. As he drifts back into his past, Abdullah vividly recalls the Baghdad of his youth in the 1950s while his daughter Leilah struggles to make and emotional connection with her father in the present”

I was privileged to work with two wonderful musicians for this score, which we recorded at the Crypt studios in north London — Francesco Iannazzulli on oud and Omar Said on viola. With their input the music combines influences from the east and west to convey the different aspects of Abdullah’s and Leilah’s characters and experiences.