Hêza awarded as best documentary at Los Angeles Independent Women's Film Festival

Hêza, directed by Derya Deniz, received the best documentary award at the Los Angeles Independent Women's Film Festival.

Los Angeles (LA) Independent Women's Film Festival, held for the seventh time this year, brought together women directors from many parts of the world.

The documentary Hêza, which participated in the festival, was awarded the best documentary award.

The documentary Hêza directed by Derya Deniz received the best documentary award at the festival. The film got the best award at the Sweden Boden International Film Festival in April, and the outstanding achievement award at the Druk International Film Festival held in Bhutan in South Asia.

Derya Deniz, the 37-year-old director and producer of the documentary, stated that Hêza is a tribute to all women who were rescued from the hands of ISIS and resisted, and said, "The awards belong to them."

The documentary tells the story of Hêza, a Yazidi woman who was enslaved during the ISIS attack on Shengal on 3 August 2014. The film shows what Hêza went through at the hands of ISIS, how she managed to escape and how she continued her life after escaping.

Hêza is a living witness of the genocide and the film also shows her own pain, suffering and struggle for justice. The story is actually the story of all women who were kidnapped, enslaved, murdered, driven to suicide, and eventually managed to walk free.

Hêza was taken to Raqqa after she was kidnapped by ISIS. She tried to commit suicide many times until she managed to escape from the organization, and return to Shengal in 2015. She joined the YJŞ as a Kurdish Yazidi woman and became a commander.

YJŞ Commander Hêza joined the campaign to liberate Raqqa from ISIS around a year later, in 2016. After liberating the city, in 2017, she found and visited the family who helped her to escape free while she was held captive in the city.