Young Directors Award

A panel of five judges awarded the Belgian-Iraqi director Mokhallad Rasem €10,000 and a “Mont Blanc Mozart Pen” for his theatre production of Romeo and Juliet at this year’s Young Directors Project at the Salzburg Festival. The music and arts festival attracts over 250.000 guests, giving young artists a chance for full exposure into limelight.

Born in Baghdad in 1982, Rasem moved to Antwerp, Belgium in 2006 and began working with the prestigious theater house Toneelhuis Antwerpen. His play, Romeo and Juliet is performed in Dutch (with German subtitles), and portrays pairs of lovers from three generations, and European and Arabic love poems are interwoven into the sultry plot.

Juror Michael Köhlmeier says the piece gives insight to how love and hate coexist in a world of terror. “Every culture and every age has its Romeo and Juliet story” says Rasem, “Every culture has suppression mechanisms as regards to love.”


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