AUIS Hosts Slemani Film Festival Panel Discussion | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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AUIS Hosts Slemani Film Festival Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 16:00

Oct 4, 2016 – The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani hosted a panel discussion during the first Slemani International Film Festival. The discussion was part of a four-day event that showcased local and international films at the University of Slemani. The discussions were held around the topics of Kurdish cinema and identity and moderated by Dr. Dilshad Mustafa from the University of Sulaimani.


Mr. Farhan Jawhar, head of the Kurdish Cultural Committee, talked about the role of cinema in suppressed nations and emphasized the importance of presenting the Kurdish identity through films. Dr. Jawhar also expressed his concerns over the very weak government support for the cinema industry, and said it was a playing factor in the lack of international and regional recognition for Kurdish cinema.

The second panelist, Dr. Adel Yahya, spoke on the importance of conveying messages to the audience through visualizing human emotions. He also highlighted the importance of expressing the Kurdish identity as a way to introduce the nation to the wider audience.

Dr. Shawkat Amin, a filmmaker from Kurdistan, mentioned the importance of having a strong cinema industry, and a culture that encourages people to see films at the cinema. This culture, he says, doesn’t exist in the region, and is a reason the country does not have an industry that can get international recognition.

The other two panelists were German filmmaker Ruth Olsen and Dr. Shaho Saeed. Olsen spoke about the lack of Kurdish women in the cinema industry, and the importance of diversity in order to get films of different perspectives for the international audience.

Dr. Shaho Saeed concluded the panel by talking about the globalization of the Kurdish cinema by becoming a part of the broader cinema industry in Iraq and the Middle East, instead of competing with them. This, he said, will help deliver the message of the Kurdish identity to a wider, international audience.

Photos by Hama Advertising.