Shooting of 'Heval Kekê Min' started

The shooting of the movie 'Heval Kekê Min', directed by Haşim Aydemir, has started. The script of the film, produced by the Rojava Film Commune, was penned by Rêber Habeş.

The shooting of the movie 'Heval Kekê Min', which tells of the progress of the Rojava Revolution, the commune and parliamentary cooperative system and the social reality rebuilt with the revolution, has started.

The film is directed by Haşim Aydemir and written by Rêber Habeş. Nadya Derwêş, the assistant director of the film, and Hajîn Ebdurrehman Mihemed, the leading actor, talked to ANF about the movie. Nadya Derwêş is from Serêkaniyê and has been taking part in the Rojava Film Commune since 2015. She worked as both director and assistant director.

The mirror of the revolution

Nadya Derwêş said: “The new system created or the life built in Rojava will spread everywhere as a model. We explained this with the brotherhood of the peoples in Rojava. In a village, people live in a communitarian way and create a communal life.

The film covers the period of liberation of the city of Raqqa after the liberation of Tabqa. The struggle of YPJ-YPG fighters to liberate the city and the fighters' relationship with the public are also highlighted. The reality of society and fighters is revealed. The film emphasized what kind of system the fighters and the people created together. Most importantly, the film shows that these fighters are part of this people, they are its children, brothers, sisters, brothers. The Rojava Revolution is told through intertwining multiple topics. Of course, the story is like a drop of water next to the sea.”

Attacks could not stop art

Derwêş noted that, in addition to the problems caused by weather conditions, the attacks by the Turkish state are a big problem, but they do not see any of them as an obstacle, and continued: “They will never be an obstacle. We are carrying out cinema or artistic activities within the revolution, and these attacks cannot stop our art. In our previous projects, the most difficult issue was acting. We are faced with the reality of a people devoid of cultural and artistic activities. A people who could not make art with its own color, culture, identity and language, and did not take part in art. For the first time, we create the art of the revolution with our own people, means and experience within the revolution.

Therefore, there are deficiencies. In particular, the experience of our actors is less than the lifespan of the revolution. The actors who play in movies, TV series and theatres are mostly amateur actors, rather than professionals who have been involved in artistic activities for many years. The current stage has its shortcomings, but the results achieved are valuable. We are starting from scratch with limited resources in a war environment. Over time we will have an art that becomes more specialized. We have friends who are experts in the movie Heval Kekê Min. We also have friends who have just started acting. We learn again, we teach again.”

Working with a collective spirit

Nadya Derwêş said that the script was actually ready one and a half year ago and added: “We started preparations for three months with the technical team, actors, etc, considering the circumstances. Some of the actors were playing in the TV series Evîna Kurd, and some others were working in different TV series and films. Production and decor preparations took us a long time. A new house was built to create a suitable environment for shooting. Filming started at the beginning of this month. We need suitable weather conditions for shooting. Sometimes we take a frame more than once until we get what we want. There are disruptions depending on weather conditions, but we have reached a certain level so far. Our actors adapted to their roles. Our youngest actor is 13 years old and plays the leading role in the movie. Although it was her first time acting in a movie, she quickly adapted to his role and was able to enter the atmosphere of the movie. As a team, we continue our work with a collective spirit.”

Cinema is being recreated in Rojava

Derwêş, who has been involved in cultural activities, especially cinema, since 2015, said: “It is a pleasure to take part in cultural activities in the revolution, I consider it a great chance. Cinema is being recreated in Rojava. I learned about filmmaking and we get to know our culture by mingling with the people through movies. In addition, communicating with people, getting to know them closely and socializing is the most important thing. Cinema enables me to integrate with the people and socialize. Even if I leave aside the technical and artistic aspects, learning new things from my people and getting to know them directly helps me get one step closer to art."

The initial excitement is still preserved

Pointing out that the construction of the revolution and the war were intertwined experiences, Nadya Derwêş added: “Our insistence and resistance is to create art from the ashes in such an environment. The fictions of our films, TV series and theatre plays are woven with truth and are a part of these experiences. Shooting in such an environment gives us strength. Resistance, freedom and struggle are described. The fact that we work without breaks or that the sets do not stop is proof of our resistance and struggle despite the war. We derive our strength from the people's ownership of films that depict the people's language, culture, identity and existence. In the beginning, people were happy to say that we will have movies too. Even if we don't have movie theaters, we come together from children to adults and watch together through a big screen. What could be more stimulating than that? We still maintain our initial excitement. My hope is that we will create more successful pieces of work that please our people."

I adapted in a short time

Hajîn Ebdurrehman Mihemed is from Qamishlo and is a 13-year-old actress. She plays the lead character Nûjin in Heval Kekê Min. She said that she worked in theatre before switching to film acting, and added: “I performed three theater plays. I won the best theater actor award. Currently, I am the leading actress in the movie Heval Kekê Min. Transitioning from theater to cinema had its difficulties. While theater has a wider range of shots, in the movie there are shots that go into detail. There were difficulties in this aspect, but I adapted to my role in a short time. I play the character of Nûjin. When Nûjin was born, her older brother joined the guerrilla and she did not have the opportunity to know him. She meets a guerrilla named Baran and thinks he is her brother. So the movie continues..."

Hajîn stated that there should be more films depicting the resistance and struggle of the Kurdish people in Rojava, the Rojava Revolution and the brotherhood of the people.