Fifth New York Kurdish Film Festival centered on Kurdish women
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – This year's New York Kurdish Film and Cultural Festival focuses on Kurdish women and their contributions to the development of feminism, human rights, literature, and egalitarian society.
The programming predominantly features works made by Kurdish people, but includes some Western perspectives on Kurdish life and struggle. The festival was organized by New York based educator and human rights activist Xeyal Qertel, who told Kurdistan 24 that this year will focus on Kurdish women.
"Our fifth edition explores Kurdish women's efforts to create a better, more humane society in the Middle East and around the globe,” Qertel said.
“We are trying to show who Kurdish women are and what they are trying to do. They have contributed significantly to human rights discourse, feminism, literature, and equitable and inclusive societal formation. This festival honors that."
This year the festival will be held in person at New York's landmark theater, Village East by Angelika. Last year’s program, focused on Kurdish unity, took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More: Fourth New York Kurdish Film Festival focuses on Kurdish unity
"COVID-19 not only cost lives and made many sick and unemployed, but also created distance within our communities. People are striving to be able to gather again. Watching Kurdish film festivals alone at home does not really bring us together in the same way," Qertel said.
Most private and public spaces in New York city are now open and 70 percent of New Yorkers are vaccinated.
"We cross our fingers that we will remain open," Qertel added.
She said she hoped the festival would allow New Yorkers and diaspora Kurds to enjoy Kurdish cinema together.
The festival is sponsored by Justice for Kurds, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NY Office, NYU Kevorkian Center, and Kurdish Lobby in Australia, and its community partners are Washington Kurdish Institute, Kat and Retaw Film Distributions, and the German Film Office.
The New York Kurdish Film Festival runs from September 10-12 in New York City.