The Boys from Baghdad High received its world première at the 2007 Sheffield Doc/Fest, an annual film festival for documentary productions held in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. In the US it was screened on 29 April 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and 1 August 2008 at the Traverse City Film Festival. The first time Winter and O'Mahoney met one of the film's subjects was at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, nearly a year after the filming had completed. Ali and his family had relocated to the US since completing the documentary, and so he was able to attend the screening. Winter and Ali met a second time at the Traverse City Film Festival. The producers had tried to get the boys visas to enter the UK for a screening in London, but they were denied entry by the British Government.
It premièred on television in the UK on BBC Two, a national terrestrial television network, on 8 January 2008 at 9:00 p.m. as part of the This World documentary series. Overnight viewing figures indicated that 600,000 households had watched the film, which was three percent of the total television audience for that time slot. It was broadcast in France and Germany on the joint-venture network Arte on 18 March 2008 at 9:00 p.m., with the French title Bagdad, le Bac Sous les Bombes, and Die Jungs von der Bagdad-High in Germany. It aired on the premium cable network HBO as Baghdad High on 4 August 2008 at 9:00 p.m., and was available on HBO's video on demand service until 21 September 2008. The documentary also aired in Australia on the Special Broadcasting Service, Canada on CBC Newsworld, and in the Netherlands on VPRO.
The documentary was streamed online by the BBC using its BBC iPlayer service to UK residents for seven days after the initial broadcast. A Region 2 DVD of the documentary can be obtained, although it can only be purchased directly from the BBC and is not available in stores.
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