about us

Welcome to Kobane Film Festival

3 years after Kobane liberation, the Festival will have it’s main venue there so that the memory of it’s resistance and the thousands incredible stories it carries, can continue to resonate in the minds of its inhabitant and abroad. To enhance dialogue, synergy and community across the city and global networks, the festival will open interactive spaces with workshops, panels and screenings where local realities and experiences from around the world can be shared, allowing for a real hub of cinephile and creative thinkers to emerge. This lively celebration of arts and cinema will take place around the themes of resistance, women and cultural sovereignty. We aspire to support the transformation of Kobane from a city besieged by IS into the main siege of a celebration of life and culture. Through the many activities taking place during the festival, we aim to give a push for creative projects to flourish all along the year.

With the support of Komina film a Rojava (Rojava’s cinema organisation), we aim to create a growing access to knowledge, skills, and opportunities for the local actors to fulfil their dreams and reach their potential. Througout the year we will continue to build a sustainable base for training, experimenting and networking. The population of Rojava and particularly the youth have a tremendous will to emancipate their own community from the present hardship. Everyone of them wants to participate in their own way in this unique process. However the unstable politico-military situation and the lack of resources are holding them back from creating and developing projects over the years. In this context, we are establishing a recurrent annual event to promote their participation in a collective project and stimulate their creativity. The youth of Rojava will take part from this year on in the organisation of the spaces and workshops as well as in the media coverage of the festival and wider communication with the population of Rojava. Working in collaboration with the local youth movements is also a way for us to engage them further in the cultural field.

Goals

Through the panels and workshops we aim to explore new ways of understanding cinema and its role in the context of Rojava and abroad. In order to introduce the audience to the diversity of this art and participate in growing a visual artistic sense, we are screening a rich selection of movies from around the world alongside films from regional film makers. To enhance the bonds between Rojava and the world we are inviting for the first year many guests from diverse countries to come and meet directly with the audience. This will give the opportunity for Rojava’s population and professional film makers to exchange their perception. The public will also find there a leisure space in which they can get in touch with their creative self, and develop their critical thinking away from the harshness of war zone reality.

25

Prizes awarded

35

Film screened

7

Team members

6.000

Audience reached

What happened on the 13 of November?

This is the date at which the festival starts every year, in memory of the cinema of Amude (town in Northern Syria), that burned in 1960. While projecting an Egyptian horror movie the cinema took fire, killing around 300 children. Eyewitness at the time said that the projectionist and owners of the cinema had left after the fire broke out and the doors had been blocked from the outside.

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50 years later, there is still an ongoing ban on any public commemoration of those who died in the fire. This tragic event stayed in the mind of the inhabitants of this area as a painful example of the repression from the Assad regime on the Kurdish population. By starting the festival on this precise date, we want to commemorate this tragic event and a re-birth of cinema in the region.

The only international film festival this year in Syria

Since the war started in 2011, cultural events and creative expression as a whole have seen a huge set back. Over the years all the cinema theatres, productions and festivals have disappeared. Only a few working for the Syrian government were able to survive in Damascus. In 2018, sadly no other cinema festival has been programmed.

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