"> London's First ‘Kurdish Film Pop-Up. Syria Today-Remember Halabja!



September 14, 2013

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London's First ‘Kurdish Film Pop-Up. Syria Today-Remember Halabja!  


Kurdish cinema urgently needs recognition and support. To this end we’ve collated a unique insight into a war-torn region. These are the actual stories of the region, from film-makers on the ground, whose suffering and struggle is far from the riches of Hollywood. Hardly known in Britain- except to the Kurdish Diaspora- Kurdish films have a fierce, spare, beautiful cinematic language, yet they also carry a critical message for our times- one we in the West urgently need to see and hear. This story of enduring, highly creative, film-makers, a region in turmoil, & its long suffering people- would hugely benefit from any media attention.



Following the recent nerve gas attack in Syria, it’s vital to hear from the hidden voices of the region. Working outside of the governments of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey’s control, Kurdish film-makers have made many remarkable films under incredible conditions. At these critical times, we've put together a snap 'pop-up' season (with Kurdish film-makers) to bring urgent attention to the people, the region, and its radical cinema.

Despite such harsh realities- arrest, censorship, war, and exile- Kurdish filmmaking has survived and recently has been going through a new creative wave- this artistic resistance we celebrate. This special one-off film-event: ‘Syria Today-Remember Halabja’, Friday 20th Sept takes place at the Portobello Pop Up Cinema, a reclaimed arts space under the Westway motorway. ‘London’s first ‘Kurdish Pop-Up' opens with Taha Karimi’s tour-de-force critique of the West and its multinationals: Oil, The Cancer Of My City. (The Kurdish Film Pop-Up is dedicated to the great film-maker Taha Karimi who died recently this year aged 38). This is followed by the very rarely screened in the U.K: Halabja, the lost children, dir: Akram Hidou. Seen from Kurdish eyes: this is a rare glimpse onto the brutal devastation and raw healing following the viscous air born nerve-gas attack on the Iraqi -Kurdish city of Halabja on March 16,1988, when at least 5,000 people died. Made in 2011 this affecting and heart-wrenching film carries a very chilling foreboding for events in Syria today. At these critical times this is a film that needs the widest public attention. On Saturday 21st, there‘s a special forum with Kurdish Film-makers: ‘What is Kurdish Cinema? (Kurdistan to London) A journey through war & exile’ Pioneering author & dir: Mizgin Arslan presents her wonderful short-film: Asya, plus Rojin by Chiman Rahimi. Next is the most ambitious Kurdish film masterpiece, Mandoo (Fatigued: winner of the ‘Yerevan Golden Apricot’ Dir: Ebrahim Saeedi). This is bravado filmmaking: shot entirely from the point of view of an unseen character- you the viewer are the desperate wheel chair bound refugee fleeing a mountainous war zone, your eyes are what he sees. This is an unbelievable, incredible ‘camera-stylo’ masterwork, plus brilliant ensemble acting, the like of which you have never seen- a triumph of Kurdish cinema. A rare unmissable screening of a film that deserves much wider critical acclaim. An epic tale of war and the plight of refugees. Also note on Saturday at 18.00pm, they’ll also be a special ‘film-extra screening’ of Saddam’s Road To Hell, Dir Gwynne Roberts. & White Mountain, Dir Taha Karimi. These are both films critical to better understanding events on the ground today. On Saturday night they’ll be a special panel debate with celebrated Kurdish film-makers (which the audience can join) discussing: ‘What is Kurdish Cinema (Kurdistan to London): A journey through war & exile?’ Kurdish film-makers are a rare breed; their epic fortitude and unique critical imagination are worth seeing and meeting For PRESS: For all press requests please contact the press office of LKFF: Goran Baba Ali E: press@lkff.co.uk T: 0044 7453918505

London's First ‘Kurdish Film Pop-Up. Syria Today-Remember Halabja! 20h September: Friday, 19.30pm: £5 (suggested donation) ‘Syria Today- Remember Halabja! Opening night with speakers.  Oil, Is The Cancer Of My City, Dir: Taha Karimi, 20mins, 2009. (Iraq-Kurd). Halabja, The Lost Children, Dir: Akram Hidou, 72 mins, 2011 (Iraq-Kurd).

21st Sept: Saturday, ‘What is Kurdish Cinema? (Kurdistan to London) A Journey Through War & Exile.’  18.00pm: ’Saddam’s Road To Hell, Dir Gwynne Roberts. 30min, 2006 (U.K). White Mountain, Dir Taha Karimi, 20mins, 2011. (Iraq-Kurd). 19.30pm: £5 (suggested donation) Asya. Dir: Mizgin Arslan, 9 mins, 2013. (Turkey). Rojin. Dir: Chiman Rahimi, 10 mins, 2010, (U.K) Mandoo. Dir: Ebrahim Saeedi, 90 mins, 2010 (Iraq). Discussion with special guests follows.

The Portobello Pop-Up Cinema is located at: 274 Portobello Road, under-the-westway, W10 5TY. Tube: Ladbroke Grove. Bus: 7, 23, 52. Tel: 020 7792 9626. Tickets on the door £5 (Suggested donation). Kurdish Pop Up Cinema. For this event contact: Shiereen Saib, London Kurdish Film Festival, T: 07928393370, E: shiereensaib@lkff.co.uk.

For all other inquiries regarding the London Kurdish Film Festival please contact LKFF at:

1 Thrope Close London W10 5XL E: lkff@lkff.co.uk www.lkff.co.uk 

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