DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – Saturday marks the opening day of the 5th Duhok International Film Festival (IFF) which will run from September 9-16 featuring a red carpet ceremony and special VIP guests who will be in attendance.
Salih Arif, Vice Festival President for the 3rd year in a row explains that the opening red carpet ceremony will start at 6 p.m featuring the full crew of the opening Turkish-German feature film “Zer” by director Kazim Oz along with other VIP guests and that the film will begin at 7 o'clock.
The Convention Hall at the University of Duhok campus where the film will be showing allows seating for 800 people and Arif is expecting a sold out show.
“In our experience from the last 3 years, we have been receiving a huge audience,” Arif said. “Sometimes all tickets finish and the all the guests are not able to enter. Today, I also think the hall will be full.”
Arif also stated that there will be between 100-120 VIP guests and crew attending the opening film.
The Duhok IFF will be showing 131 films with connections to more than 50 countries and it took approximately four to five months to prepare for the festival.
"I hope that today we can just perform a very nice opening ceremony," Arif said.
Tickets can be purchased for 3,000 Iraqi dinar at the box office of the Convention Hall upon arrival.
Zer, a film by Kurdish director Kazim Oz, follows a young man raised in New York as he traces his routes to find the song his grandmother sang to him on her deathbed. His grandmother was a survivor of the Dersim massacre, where thousands were killed in a Turkish military campaign to suppress a rebellion in 1937 and 1938.
The festival is held annually in the northern Kurdistan Region city of Duhok. It seeks to serve as a platform for cinema from all four parts of greater Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora as well as to build connections between Kurdish and world cinema.
It features full length, short, and documentary selections from both Kurdish and international cinema.