Ronak docufilm withdraws from Sulaymaniyah International Film Festival

After the film 'Ji Bo Azadiyê' (For Freedom) was banned at the 5th International Film Festival in Sulaymaniyah, the docufilm 'Ronak' announced their withdrawal in response.

This year the 5th Slemani International Film Festival is being held on December the 17st- 23th, 2021, in Sulaymaniyah City in Kurdistan, Iraq. 143 films from 35 countries were set to be shown over seven days.

On December 19, the screening of the film “Ji Bo Azadiye” or “The End Will Be Spectacular” by the Rojava Film Commune was banned. In response, the Commune withdrew their second film “Blackberry Season” as well, since the festival is not a “free art platform”.

According to the statement released by the Commune, “Our film “Ji Bo Azadiye”, and the film “Blackberry Season”, which we co-produced, took part in the festival based on the request from the festival itself. After the beginning of the festival, and on December 18th, 2021, i.e. the day of the film screening, and just a few hours before the screening; the board reported that ‘Since the film is a 2019 production, it will be taken out of the competition in this category and it cannot be screened today”. This was verbally stated to our friends who are participating in the festival.”

A docufilm titled 'Ronak' has withdrawn from the festival in response to the ban on 'Ji Bo Azadiyê'. A statement released on behalf of the docufilm 'Ronak' on Sunday said the following:

“We, Ronak docufilm employees, have decided to withdraw our docufilm from the 5th International Film Festival in Sulaymaniyah in response to the ban on the movie 'Ji Bo Azadiyê'."

The docufilm is about the story of Ronak Murad who was born in 1965 in Tirpespiyê. Ronak Murad goes to Aleppo for university education and there he learns that the struggle of the Kurdish people has begun and joins the guerrilla resistance. During his time as a guerrilla, he writes 10 novels.

The Ronak docufilm was directed by Bawer Oğurlu from Rojava Kurdistan. It was scheduled to be screened at 18:00 yesterday evening at the 5th International Film Festival in Sulaymaniyah.