Dema Dirîreşkan declines award for best cinematography at Sulaymaniyah Film Festival

The film Dema Dirîreşkan (Blackberry Season) was awarded at Sulaymaniyah Film Festival even though it had been withdrawn by the Rojava Film Commune after the banning of another film by the Commune. The crew refused to accept the award.

The film Dema Dirîreşkan (Blackberry Season) by director Hasim Aydemir received the best cinematographic award at the Sulaymaniyah International Film Festival. Announcing that they had refused the award, the film crew said: “We withdrew our film from the festival after the movie Ji bo Azadiyê was arbitrarily taken off by the festival. For this reason, we do not accept this award.”

The Dema Dirîreşkan film crew said the following in their statement: “As it is known, Komîna Fîlman a Rojava announced 4 days ago that it had withdrawn the movie 'Dema Dirîreşkan' from the 5th Sulaymaniyah International Film Festival. This decision was taken after the decision by the festival direction to stop the screening of the movie 'Ji bo Azadiyê', also produced by Komîna Fîlman a Rojava.

Today [on Friday], at the award ceremony of the festival in Sulaymaniyah, we learned that our film Dema Dirîreşkan received the best cinematographic award. Such a situation arose even though the festival direction knew that we had withdrawn the film from the festival. We, the film crew, do not accept this award.

The reason why we did not accept the award is because the movie 'Ji bo Azadiyê' was banned. We share this with the public as a necessity of our artistic stance. We do not want to blame any Kurdish festival. But no Kurdish film should be banned at any Kurdish festival! This is our art stance and critics.”


The screening of the movie Ji Bo Azadiyê (The End Will be Spectacular), which was invited to the 5th International Film Festival in Sulaymaniyah, was banned at the last minute.

Following the ban on the film which is about the resistance in Sur (Amed), the producers, the Rojava Film Commune (Komîna Fîlman a Rojava), announced that they had also pulled their films ‘Dema Dirîreşkan’ (Blackberry Time) and ‘Ronak’ from the festival.

Based on a true story, Blackberry Season tells the story of an injured guerilla wandering through the villages of Kurdistan to find his comrades.