The 2nd Duhok International Film Festival
The 2nd edition of the Duhok International Film Festival took place from October. 9th – 16th /2013 – eight days of international innovative cinema and valuable Kurdish cinematographic stories was presented throughout the event.
The Duhok International Film Festival is an event that wishes to return a cultural identity to the Kurdistan region, so that it is perceived again as a place of development instead of a place of political conflict. The fertile land that Mesopotamia once presented is now the land that can breathe quality, cinema, and epic stories – growing to new strength. This year’s event in itself represented 155 countries and more than 42 films were showcased at the event.
The Duhok International Film Festival is organized by the General Directorate of Culture, Arts, Sports and Youth of Duhok City and by the Cinema Directorate of Duhok in cooperation with Mîtosfilm Berlin.
Feature Films, Short Films and Documentary Films are subject to screen at the festival. Even though the event has only taken place during the past two years, the event organizers have turned it into a habit of choosing a country of focus, and this year’s country of focus was: Germany.
Certain features such as award-winning BARBARA by Christian Petzold and MERCY by Mathias Glasner were selected to portray the festival’s country of focus. Set in former West and East Germany, BARBARA tells the story of how a love affair is deeply complicated by the former borders. MERCY follows a German family as they move to Norway, where the dark winter months and a car accident proves to change the course of lives.
One way for filmmakers and directors to showcase their productions is through the submissions the event enables them to apply through – the selections are not made specifically by the organizers but they’re rather open to everyone. The awards presented to the participants at the event varied from Best Actress Award to Best Diaspora Film Award to Best Script Award. It basically addressed all the aspects of films showcased at the event and gave the chance to young filmmakers to get their names out.
A major purpose behind the festival is to build a bridge between Kurdish film production and worldwide filmmaking. It aims at creating a launch platform for films from Kurdistan, taking the pulse of new tendencies and offering the opportunity to explore a terrain opening up in contemporary film making. As a unique festival in this region, it is a forge for new talents and a meeting place for upcoming filmmakers in the region.
By: Parzhin M. Ahmad