Environmentalist film wins main award at Duhok Film Festival’s closing ceremony
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dutch-Kurdish filmmaker Reber Dosky’s film Sidiq and the Panther won the best Kurdish Feature Film Award on Monday during the closing award ceremony at the Duhok International Film Festival in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
“While shooting our new film on Yezidi (Ezidi) women, we were surprised and honoured to receive the award for the best Kurdish film for our last film Sidik and the Panther at Duhok International Film Festival,” Dosky wrote in a social media post on Monday.
“Our dear film that premiered in Amsterdam at IDFA 2019 (International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam) is now back home in Kurdistan, the story is complete,” he continued. “Last night we dedicated this award to all the Yezidi victims killed by ISIS and to those who are held as hostage even to this day.”
Read More: Dutch-Kurdish filmmaker wins award for ‘Sidik and the Panther’
At the ceremony, Dosky dedicated his award to the Peshmerga martyrs and missing Yezidi (Ezidi) women, who are still missing years after the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“I think we, as Kurds, forget things fast. In Europe, the Second World War is remembered every year. We also should not forget it (the war against ISIS), and history should not be repeated,” he said.
He also said there are still many Yezidi families stuck in displacement camps in the Kurdistan Region. “No one talks about it anymore in the West and also here in Kurdistan. We need more attention for this issue, that’s why I dedicated the prize to them.”
Dosky told Kurdistan 24 that he hopes that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) invests more in creating more movie theaters. “In Duhok, there are only two small cinemas in an area of more than 800,000 people. We should have at least 20 cinemas.”
Dosky has previously won awards for his documentary, Radio Kobanî, and hopes in the future to establish a new movie theater in the Kurdish-majority northern Syrian town of Kobani after which the film is named.
“We already did a lot of work and I recently was in Rojava,” he said. “We got a piece of land in the center of Kobani, and we hope to build a cinema if the Turkish threat is over.”
Hessen Arif, Press Manager of Duhok International Film Festival, told Kurdistan 24 after the ceremony that he was happy after the completion of the seven-day event, remarking, “So many people visited the cinema halls.”
German national Axel Timo Purr, who serves on the festival's awards jury and is also a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), told Kurdistan 24 that he felt very much embraced as though he were a member of a family by others at the festival and hopes to come back to Kurdistan with his family, saying, “This was a very unusual and very nice experience.”
He added that other international jury members agreed with him in finding the event professionally run, especially how organizers “treat social media. I did learn a lot and (the festival) was very special and perfect.”
Afghan film director and producer Siddiq Barmak was also on hand to speak to Kurdistan 24 and was also impressed. “I was here in 2012 as well and I can see a lot of professionalism in the festival, and very good organization”
He also noted that the local audience and the new generation showed real interest in cinema and attending movies in person.
Dutch-Kurdish filmmaker Reber Dosky’s "Sidik and the Panther," which focuses on protecting Kurdistan’s environment, wins award for the best Kurdish feature film at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival.— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) November 22, 2021
📸: Wladimir van Wilgenburg / Kurdistan 24 pic.twitter.com/y5iSrllVC1
Shawkat Amin Korki, Artistic Director of the festival, told Kurdistan 24 that many members of this year's audience have remarked to organizers that the quality level of the event has steadily increased.
“The movies, the guests, and juries were also much better. Each year I have been to the festival, it has improved,” he concluded, “and we hope to help the festival to be more international and help the filmmakers to bring their project and films here.”