SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Wednesday marks the opening day of the 3rd Slemani International Film Festival (SIFF) featuring a red carpet ceremony and special VIP guests who will be in attendance.
Organizers are expecting over 100 international artists including acclaimed actors and directors.
"We are expecting a very significant event, of course compared to last year's flight ban," said the festival’s communications director Hemmin Hussein. "This year I think it's going to be really great."
Last year’s edition kicked off just a few days after Baghdad imposed an international flight ban on flights in and out of the Kurdistan Region, putting a damper
on the festival.
This year, Hussein said they anticipate 2,000 people will attend the opening ceremony.
"We are very well prepared and most of the guests have arrived," Hussein added. "We're going to have a stunning red carpet event with all of the guests attending the festival and having a presence on the red carpet."
This year’s theme, "Heroines Preserve Humanity,” is reflected in the opening selection – the feature film Girls of the Sun
(Les filles du soleil) that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The movie is about the genocide committed against the Yezidi minority and shows the lives of an all-female battalion who take up arms to reclaim their homeland.
A total of 170 films from over 120 countries will be screened over the week-long festival.
The festival runs from October 10 to 16 and will open at Talari Hunar (Arts Building) in Sulaimani.
Rudaw is media sponsor.