First International Film Festival in Erbil
The first-ever Erbil Film Festival kicked off on Friday evening in Saad Conference Hall in Erbil, which comes within the activities of Erbil as the Capital of Arab Tourism. The festival lasted for five days and showcased movies from across the region.
The Erbil Film Festival had initially been scheduled to run earlier this month, but was postponed due to “elections and technical reasons.” It was attended by Kurdish, Arab and international filmmakers, all competing for prizes in a number of categories.
Over 60 feature films, long and short, competed for the festival awards. The occasion stressed the importance of establishing Erbil International Film Festival to be a new cultural phenomenon in Kurdistan. The event will hopefully develop the local cinema industry and encourage the young to engage in film making in the future.
The Iraqi artist, Mohammed Shukri Jameel said that the festival is a good initiation because any cultural movement needs accumulation of experiences. This accumulation needs turning points. He added that culture in Iraq witnessed how it was remarkably developed in the fifties when the public and private sectors were working together.
He confirmed that the Kurds will inspire a lot of young people through these festivals to take the necessary steps to engage in the art of cinema.
After expressing her happy feelings over attending the event, the Syrian actress, Mona Wassef said:“Whenever festivals increase, artists would be happier, pointing out that this is a good start and a successful step that will have a significant impact on the development of cinema in Kurdistan,”
The opening ceremony was attended by the Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi, who said the festival is a good opportunity to meet the artists and the representatives of the Kurds, the Iranians, Arabs and Turks to develop the Kurdish cinema and art.
He pointed out that these events are organized within the framework of Erbil, the Capital of Arab Tourism, in order to develop the Kurdish cinema and support the actors in the Iraqi Kurdistan.