Submissions open for Filmamed Documentary Film Festival

Director Lisa Çalan called on filmmakers to submit their work at the 8th edition of Filmamed Documentary Film Festival, and said: "We will eliminate fear with festivals."

The submission period for the 8th Filmamed Documentary Film Festival, which will be held by the Middle East Cinema Academy Association between 27 September and 1 October, opened on 3 July.

All documentaries and films that have been censored for any reason or cannot be screened, as well as those that do not attack or insult ethnic, religious, sexual or cultural identities, will be accepted. The deadline for submitting is 31 July. Films must be produced in 2020 and after.

Filmamed Festival

The festival, which was held between 18-24 April 2011 for the first time under the name of "Diyarbakır Documentary Days", opened with the 1982 production of "Em Kurd".

40 films selected from the nearly 70 films submitted were screened for a week. The festival was dedicated to a social issue each year and continued despite the many difficulties.

34 films screened at the 2nd Filmamed Documentary Film Festival, organized by Peyas Municipality in May 2012, were dedicated to 34 people who were killed by Turkish warplanes in Roboski on 28 December 2011. The third festival was dedicated to Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, who were murdered in Paris with the slogan "Women's freedom struggle towards free cinema". The fourth festival, which was held in Amed between 24 and 29 May 2016 with the slogan "Everywhere is resistance, everywhere is cinema", was dedicated to Islam Balıkesir, who died in Cizre.

Due to the arrest of Amed Peyas Municipality co-mayor Mehmet Ali Aydın on 6 December 2016 and the appointment of a trustee, the festival could not be held in 2017. For this reason, the 6th festival was held between 23 and 27 May 2018 with the slogan "Get Your Film and Come". In the festival, which took place for the 7th time between 8 and12 May 2019, two topics, women and migration, came to the fore.

Speaking to Eylem Akdağ from the Mezopotamya Agency (MA), director Lisa Çalan, a member of the Middle East Cinema Academy Association, said that the festival knows no borders and they are waiting for filmmakers to submit their work.

'They want to leave society without memory'

Çalan said that the trustees attacked all institutions, especially women's, cultural and language ones, and added: "The trustees attacked primarily women's institutions, our cultural institutions, music and cinema festivals. The aggressive state and system want to destroy the Kurdish culture. Since cinema is memory, and the memory of Kurds, it is always under attack. They want to leave society without memory. That's why the documentary film is so important. We deliver information to society in these films."

'We will eliminate fear with these festivals'

Noting that the attack on memory is increasing, Çalan said: "When your memory is gone, society is gone, there is no language, no culture, no resistance. That's why this festival is very important to us. First of all, we are delivering films, distant stories, which are not shown or heard in the world, to the public. We institutionalize a memory. Another important point is that we get society out of the house. A fear has been instilled in society for a long time. We will eliminate this fear with these festivals."

'We will focus on stories the system wants to destroy'

Stating that alternative cinema is ignored and trying to be destroyed in the face of popular culture in all countries of the world, Çalan said: "Today there is an attack against alternative cinema, not only in Turkey but also in the world. Alternative cinema is censored and often has no place to be screened. Women and young people are not given a place; the stories of women's lives are not heard.

For this reason, women should send more films to this festival. The stories of resistance, women, children, society, and peoples close to extinction are not heard or seen. We will include more such films in our festival. For example, we rarely see African films. Therefore, the aim of Amed Film Festival will be to bring films from everywhere."

'Culture should have no borders'

Çalan said: "We hope that the films that will apply will feature unseen stories, the perspective of women, their lives, immigrants, refugees, children, society and war. We are against borders. The world is surrounded by borders and they are trying to put borders on culture as well. But our primary slogan is 'culture should have no borders'. Our door is open to everyone."