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2nd İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival begins – Bianet English

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« Made in 1933, “Kurdên Êzidî” (Êzidî Kurds) will be screened for the first time as part of the 2nd İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival, which will be held on March 24-29, 2022 » reports Ferid Demirel in Bianet English.

The 2nd İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival will be held on March 24-29, 2022. While the festival was held for the first time in 2019, it could not be held again due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival Committee had a press conference to give information about the festival today (March 4).

According to the statement made by Adar Taş on behalf of the Committee in the office of Yapım 13 production company in Elmadağ, the film festival is set to begin with the screening of « Kurdên Êzidî » (Êzidî Kurds) on March 24. Shot by Amasi Martirosyan in 1933, the movie will be screened for the first time in Turkey and the other places where Kurds live.

While 80 movies applied to be screened as part of the festival, the selection committee has selected nearly 28 short films, feature-length films and documentaries to be screened at the festival.

Throughout the 2nd İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival, there will be various forums with the participation of directors. The opening and closing ceremonies of the festival will be held at the Şişli Cultural Center and the films will be screened at Beyoğlu Majestik Sinema movie hall.

Adar Taş from the festival committee said that there is intensive pressure on the Kurdish cinema and the festival will be held in these conditions:

‘Kurdish films still unable to find halls, censored’

« As the Mesopotamia Cinema Collective, we held the 1st İstanbul Kurdish Film Festival in 2019. Because Kurdish filmmakers were unable to bring their films together with their audience in movie halls. Even though their films came to the big screen, they had to go through a mechanism of censorship. 

« We do not claim that Kurdish films can find movie halls or they are not censored today. These problems are still in place. For this reason, with this festival, we want to eliminate the censorship, obstacles and restrictions imposed on the Kurdish cinema as much as possible.

« Moreover, we want this festival to be a place where Kurdish filmmakers can screen their films and offer their works primarily to the Kurdish audience and all moviegoers. Even though this is our first objective, we want to establish a powerful representation of Kurds in world cinema and contribute to the Kurdish cinema and the world with our own color.

« It has been almost five months since we started working for this festival. As the festival committee, we set some criteria in selecting the movies. We generally tried to pick movies holding humans, nature and democratic values in esteem and complying with these values.

« All movies sent to us are important, without a doubt, and we would like to thank all directors who sent us their movies in this context. »

A concert as well as a forum where Kurdish filmmakers come together will also be held as part of the festival’s opening event.

The festival program will be announced in the upcoming days. (FD/SD)

Bianet English, March 4, 2022, Ferid Demirel

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