From Baghdad To The Bay

A Documentary by Erin Palmquist


From Baghdad to The Bay is a documentary that follows the journey of an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the United States military. Wrongfully accused of being a double agent, tortured by the U.S. and ostracized from his family and country, Ghazwan Alsharif struggles to rebuild his life in the United States while coming out as an openly gay man.
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Erin Palmquist is an independent filmmaker in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has worked for Lucasfilm, Actual Films/National Geographic Explorer and PBS. She was the producer, editor, and director of photography for BDSM: It’s Not What You Think! which premiered at the San Francisco International Frameline32 Film Festival in 2008 before traveling the world.  She was the director of photography for Anthony Palombit’s film Out on the Dance Floor, also an official Frameline32 selection. Alongside From Baghdad to The Bay, she is currently director of photography on 5 Blocks, a feature length documentary chronicling the revitalization of the Central Market Street neighborhood in San Francisco, and is serving as producer and director of photography for the documentary shorts series Oakland Originals.


Eli Olson is an Emmy Award winning film editor with a unique storytelling ability. Her extensive experience reaches into the feature film, documentary, non-fiction broadcast, and commercial realms. Eli won an Emmy for her work on “My Flesh and Blood” for HBO Films, which also won an Emmy for Best Documentary, and the Audience Award and Best Director Prizes at Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Eli co-directed the documentary “’Stories from Tohoku” about the courage and strength of the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. “Tohoku” won a Jury Prize at the 2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and was featured on PBS.  Other 2014 editing projects include “Heaven Adores You”, a documentary on singer Elliott Smith featured at San Francisco International Film Festival, and “3 Still Standing”, a documentary about the rise and fall of three San Francisco comedians.  “Standing” was featured at the 2014 Mill Valley Film Festival. In 2015, Eli edited “The Nine”, a non fiction feature by acclaimed photographer Katy Grannan, and “Saving Eden”, a documentary by Oscar winning director Bill Couturie. Eli also edited the feature films, “And Then Came Lola,” a comedy, and “Mrs. Menendez” a feature length documentary for A&E Films. Other non-fiction television credits include “Sam Cooke: Crossing Over” for PBS’ American Masters, “Amelia Earhart” and “The Boston Strangler” for National Geographic, “True Life” for MTV,  “Sports Wives” for A&E, and “Rocket Dogs” for Animal Planet.


Frances Reid has been producing, directing, and shooting documentary films for over 30 years. Her most recent production, with Deborah Hoffmann, was Long Night’s Journey Into Day: South Africa’s search for Truth & Reconciliation. It won the Grand Jury Award for best Documentary at Sundance 2000, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001 and a DGA award in 2002, and has been exhibited at festivals worldwide, including the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2000 where it won the “In the Spirit of Freedom” award.

In 1995 Frances produced and directed Skin Deep, a film exploring race relations on college campuses. It was broadcast nationally on PBS and is now in use by nearly 2,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. In 1994, she received an Academy Award nomination for her documentary short Straight From The Heart. Additional producing and directing credits include such films as the groundbreaking documentary on Lesbian mothers and child custody, In the Best Interests of the Children (1977), a Blue Ribbon Winner at the American Film Festival. Her film The Faces of AIDS (1992) won a First Place at the Black Filmmakers‚ Hall of Fame. Her cinematography credits include The Times of Harvey Milk, Visions of the Spirit, The Ride to Wounded Knee, Reno’s Kids, and scores of other award-winning documentaries including Deborah Hoffmann’s Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter.

Frances has traveled widely to speak and lecture with her films and on filmmaking and cinematography. Most recently she served on the Grand Jury for the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. She is also the recipient of the James Phelan Art Award in Video. Frances is one of the original members of Iris Films, founded in 1975.