Kobanê International Film Festival kicks off today

The Festival will run until 19 November and will present a selection of some 80 films from all over the world.

Everything is set for the opening, today, of the Kobanê International Film Festival.

The Festival will end on 19 November and it promises to present a very rich and wide selections of long and short features, animation, documentaries from all over the world.

The Festival will pay a special tribute to the 58th anniversary of the massacre of the Amûdê cinema fire, in which 283 primary school children (of the 500 who attended the screening) lost their life.

International dimension

A passionate and committed group of young people have been working hard to ensure this year festival will see the participation of international film makers as well as local ones.

Three years after the liberation of Kobane, the KIFF has established its headquarters there so that the memory of it’s resistance and the thousands incredible stories it carries, can continue to resonate in the minds of its inhabitant and abroad.

The selection committee have been busy in the last three weeks choosing the around 80 films to shown at the festival, selected among the over 600 entries received.

The organisers said: “In order to introduce the audience to the diversity of this art and participate in growing a visual artistic sense, we are screening a rich selection of movies from around the world alongside films from regional film makers”

To enhance the bonds between Rojava and the world we are inviting for the first year many guests from diverse countries to come and meet directly with the audience."

This will give the opportunity for Rojava’s population and professional film makers to exchange their perception.

The public will also find there a leisure space in which they can get in touch with their creative self, and develop their critical thinking away from the harshness of war zone reality.

“To enhance dialogue, synergy and community across the city and global networks, - said the organisers - the festival will open interactive spaces with workshops, panels and screenings where local realities and experiences from around the world can be shared, allowing for a real hub of cinephile and creative thinkers to emerge”.

This lively celebration of arts and cinema will take place around the themes of resistance, women and cultural sovereignty.

This year, the competition will be open for short films (open thematic) and long feature documentaries about “resistance”.

A special section will be dedicated to the screenings of films from women film makers and/or about subjects related to women, as well as workshops and panels.

Tribute to Afrin resistance

A special programme will be presented dedicated to the resistance of Afrin. Films made by directors from Afrin will be screened and there will be discussions with the directors during the festival.

Through panels and workshops the organisers aim to explore new ways of understanding cinema and its role in the context of Rojava and abroad.


Kobane first came into the spotlight end 2014 as an emblem of the resistance, when it’s population fought and defeated Isis (Islamic State). From September 2014, starts of attack from IS, to the 26 January 2015, date where IS were officially defeated, many people joined the call from the YPG (people’s protection unit) and YPJ (Women protection units) forces to defend their city. Their commitment and faith even in the darkest hours still inspire a great feeling of dignity and collective bond within the Kurdish community.

However, the almost complete destruction of the city and the painful legacy of IS massacres also left vivid scars that requires a long healing process. Far from being prostrated, the people of Kobane started right away to rebuild their city to the point that today it shines more than ever before.