2nd Moscow Kurdish Film Festival to be held this summer in Russia

This year Moscow Kurdish Film Festival (MoscowKFF) will be held from June 29 to July 13 in the iconic cinema center Oktyabr and in partnership with KARO.ART.
2nd Moscow Kurdish Film Festival to be held this summer in Russia

The problem with seeing the world in black and white, as most politicians will have you looking at complex diplomatic relations all around the globe, is that you end up calling everyone good or bad. No shades of grey in between, which is where most of the world lives. That is how the idea of "the Other" is constantly perpetuated and why we find ourselves in the midst of yet another global conflict, one we didn't start, we don't want and we definitely didn't need to solve any of the problems of Eastern Europe.

So if we only and uniquely vilify Russia, we find ourselves on the wrong side of history once again, this time against the Kurds, long persecuted in Turkey and Iraq. Since the mid-1800's, the Kurds have been aided by the Russians and have enjoyed great relations with Moscow. The Kurdish leader of the nationalist movement Mustafa Barzani went to exile in the Soviet Union in 1945 and, this is the important part, despite ideological differences and Barzani's nationalist ideology, the Soviets began supporting his men militarily throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Because true diplomacy isn't about the ability to start and end wars, it lies in the intent to avoid them altogether. And cinema is always at the forefront of the Art of Diplomacy, which we know is a form of cultural activism.

For its second edition, this year's Moscow Kurdish Film Festival will be held from June 29 to July 13 in the iconic cinema center Oktyabr in partnership with KARO.ART. Because of its timing and theme, this is an amazing cultural event for all film lovers, as well as for the Kurds of Russia, and everyone who is not indifferent to the fate of this heroic people. In line with the Art of Diplomacy, the Moscow Kurdish Film Festival (MoscowKFF) is beyond politics, beyond religion, and promotes cinema as an essential art form and a significant tool for social change.

Films dedicated to the difficult fate of Kurds will be shown in the original language with Russian subtitles. The audience will get to be acquainted with the national culture and language of the ancient people, as well as its centuries-old history and traditions, and current struggles. The opening ceremony will take place on June 29 at the Oktyabr cinema center.

This year the film festival is dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the famous Kurdish-Turkish director Yilmaz Güney. The opening film of Moscow Kurdish Film Festival 2022 will be the legendary film by Güney titled Yol (The Road), in its full version, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982. Güney was jailed at the time the film was shot and his assistant Şerif Gören directed it and after Güney escaped from Imrali prison, he took the negatives of the film to Switzerland and later edited it in Paris. Very controversial and banned in Turkey until 1999, it depicts the country in the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état.

The Competition programme of the festival includes films from 8 countries, filmed by directors from the Middle East and Europe.

Kurdish film festivals have been successfully held for years in several capitals of Europe and the world. 2022 will mark the second year that the city of Moscow will open its doors and provide a unique opportunity to see the best films by Kurdish directors. Also, this year the festival will offer a unique opportunity to watch films from the festival’s programme in the city of St. Petersburg at the KARO 11 Ohta cinema during the same dates as they'll be shown in Moscow.

Through the screening of these films dedicated to the Kurdish filmmakers, the festival contributes to the development of international cinema, the preservation of a national identity and native language of Kurds, as well as the opportunity to share their historical and cultural heritage with other peoples living in Russia.

The programme this year comprises of 54 films, some features, some documentaries, as well as short films. The festival is included by the Ministry of Culture on the list of international film festivals held in the Russian Federation for 2022. 

For all information and to view the lineup, check out the MoscowKFF website.

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