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2015 European Union Film Festival in Sulaimani, Kurdistan

10- 16 May 2015, Amna Suraka  (Red security)  Museum

European Union Film Festival: Dialogue and Reconciliation through Cultural Interaction for a Peaceful Iraq, Hiwa Foundation, in association with Vinci Interior Design and Architecture, partnered with the European Union diplomatic missions, to host the 1st EU Film Festival in Sulaimani city, the cultural hub of Kurdistan Region.

The Festival is jointly presented by EU diplomatic missions in Iraq to promote shared values such as mutual tolerance, peaceful coexistence and common understanding. Through its diversified films, it will provide a reflection of the European Union’s strengths and values.

This event, the first ever to be organized in Kurdistan, will take place in Red Museum (Amna Suraka) over the course of seven days, viewing a variety of European films, showcasing Europe’s cultural diversity as well as presenting the richness and versatility of the film industries of the EU Member States. This event will take place within the framework of the celebration of Europe Day, 14 films will be showcased from May 10, 2015 until May 16, 2015.

The Festival’s theme, “Dialogue and Reconciliation through Cultural Interaction for a Peaceful Iraq” is an opportunity to discover films selected by the Embassies of the European Union Member States as well as the Delegation of the European Union to Iraq. The films from the following European Union Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom and Romania. Most films will be viewed with Kurdish subtitles.

This event has been placed under the High Patronage of H.E. Mr. Khalid Dosky, Minister of Culture and Youth of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and H.E. Mr. Aso Faraidoon, Governor of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Regional Government. The European Union diplomatic missions and the Film Festival Organizing Committee are particularly honoured that the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the Kurdistan Regional Government has kindly consented to the European Union Film Festival taking place in the beautifully renovated Yilmaz Güney Auditorium of Amna Suraka, the Red Security Museum of Sulaimani.

All Films will be viewed in the afternoon and evening. To obtain tickets please, visit Culture Cafe and Chalak’s Place.

European Union Film Festival, May 2015: a first ever in Kurdistan

by Nian Abdullah Ahmed and Konstantinos Vardakis *

 

” Any culture is born in mixing, in interaction, in confrontation. Conversely, it is in isolation that a civilization dies “

Octavio Paz, diplomat, writer, Nobel Prize winner

 

Sulaimani, March 2015.

Culture is about the meanings we ascribe to the world. Each culture describes the world in a different way. Thus, it is vital to find ways to engage with partner countries’ cultures and to learn from each other.

While the Kurdistan Region is known as the land of culture and history, culture is a vital part of the collective European identity. Culture in Kurdistan and in the European Union helps to underpin our shared values such as promotion of democracy, respect for human rights, diversity and equality. Cinema is a reflection of the European Union’s strengths and values. It offers a slice of the European way of life seen through the camera lens.

To share Europe’s diverse and rich cultural heritage, the diplomatic missions of the European Union on one hand, the Kurdistan Region authorities and Kurdish civil society on the other, have joined hands in a true spirit of partnership. Our common aim is to offer to art-loving audiences in Kurdistan’s cultural capital Sulaimani, in May 2015, a taste of Europe’s contemporary 7th art.

The diplomatic missions of the European Union are proud to present the first time ever European Union Film Festival in this part of the world. The films which will be presented in Sulaimani from 10 till 20 May will come from 14 European Union member states namely, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom and Romania.  One common theme transcends all films to be screened: dialogue and reconciliation. Cultural exchanges and cooperation help promote mutual tolerance, peaceful coexistence and common understanding.

The Delegation of the European Union is delighted that the Hiwa Foundation, a non-profit organization involved in education, training and woman empowerment has undertaken in association with the Vinci art and design company to take over the task of organizing the 1st European Union Film Festival in Kurdistan.

We are particularly honoured that the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the Kurdistan Region has kindly consented to the Festival taking place at the beautifully renovated Yilmaz Güney Auditorium of Amna Suraka, the Red Museum of Sulaimani.

Nobody else but the late and celebrated Kurdish film director Yilmaz Güney, who directed most of his films from prison and died as a political refugee in France, represents better a people’s struggle for freedom, political, cultural and social rights which constitute the eternal pillars of any civilization.


* Respectively Chief Executive Officer of the Sulaimani-based Hiwa Foundation and Minister-Counsellor / Deputy Chief of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Iraq

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