London Kurdish Film Festival 2013

London Kurdish Film Festival       The London Kurdish Film Festival has become an annual event amongst Kurds in London and this year marks the 8th year since its initiation. This year’s program started on the 15th of November and will run until the 24th. The schedule includes 121 films, comprising of 23 features, 46 documentaries and 52 shorts, including 20 short films competing in the prestigious 4th Yilmaz Guney Short Film Competition.

       One thing that distinguishes the London Kurdish Film Festival is the originality in bringing together films and productions from all four parts of Kurdistan. The Kurds, as a nation, have a cause that needs fighting for and the festival organizers believe that the role of cinema is a vital role in unifying the Kurdish nation as a whole and in introducing the world to what the Kurds are actually capable of.

       The films shown at the festival are mostly locally related to the lives of Kurds in all four parts of Kurdistan and abroad. They address issues that Kurds face on a daily basis. For instance, the first opening gala film this year is a UK premiere of Before Snowfall, which is a thought provoking film about honor killing by multi-award winning director Hisham Zaman – who will be in attendance at the festival.

       Along with the films that are to be showcased, a record number of documentaries will be shown at this year’s festival. Each of which will cover a wide range of issues concerning Kurds and Kurdistan including Veli Kahraman’s award winning and poetic ‘Where is my mother tongue?’ which is a documentary film about the importance of the Kurdish language in defining its culture and world. It introduces an issue that most Kurds abroad can relate to – and since the festival is based in London – the people attending can understand where it’s coming from.

        It’s also a great way of introducing Kurdish issues to the world. Another personal documentary shown at the festival will be Roboski Mon Amour by Bulent Gunduz, which is a touching journey to the village where 34 Kurds were massacred by the Turkish state in 2011. It’s a new way of dealing with the truth and its representation – the things that have happened to Kurds is now being showcased and since most of the films and documentaries are made by locals – it’s more heartfelt.  

       This event was an event sponsored by: The University of Kurdistan Hewler, KRG UK Representation, Levenes Solicitors, KRG Minister of Culture and Youth, IPBD – Al Zahawi Group, Presiding Solutions, IKB, MHS, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) and Magnolia Banqueting Suite along with volunteers at the event.

By: Azheen Fuad