Eight Young Kurdish Filmmakers
Hazem (Birhat) Khodeideh is a 13 year old boy who’s parents are captured by ISIS. He takes care of his sick grandmother, as well as his younger sister, Sonia, who has stopped speaking after ISIS captured and released her. He is desperate and helpless as the camps have no medicine left for his grandmother, and the doctor insists Sonia needs surgery but will not confide the details of her illness, as Birhat is too young.

Besameh Soleiman is a young Izadi girl from Shingal. She escaped from an attack by ISIS, but resultantly lost her arm to a landmine explosion. She goes through the camps and films other refugees in their despair. One woman calls to the world for attention and immediate help. Another woman laments, with tens of women weeping.

Sami Hussain is a 14 year old boy from Shingal and his family is severely injured while ISIS still has his sister captive. Through his eyes we see two women bemoaing that it is better to be killed than live under the captivity of ISIS.

Zohour Saeid is a 12 year old girl from Shingal. She is asked to sing a song for Shingal as her voice is known to be beautiful, but she admits she no longer sings after losing her father who taught her to sing.

Diar Omaris 13 years old and from Kobane. His house was burned while he and his family were inside; his parents are wrapped entirely in cast while “fortunately, (Diar) didn’t burn much;” he has a severe burn on his face. Diar tries to find glasses for his father, as they have been crushed and he can no longer see.

Mahmod Ahmad Mahmod is 13 years old from Kobane. He takes us through the ruins of his town and it’s martyred people after it’s freed from ISIS, in search of his home.

Delovan Kekha is 13 years old from Kobane. His father is extremely ill and there is no more medicine left in the camps. The infirmary tent gives him a piece of paper with a prayer written on it instead of medicine.

Rounahi Ezaddin is 14 years old and from Kobane. She speaks of the terrible conditions in the refugee camps. There is screening of the movie American Sniper. The children run out during a shooting scene as simultaneous bombings happen close to their town, trying to guess who’s house the bomb hit while praying to God it isn’t theirs.

Bahman Ghobadi was born on February 1st, 1969 in Baneh, a city near the Iran-Iraq border in the province of Kurdistan, Iran. He was the first son in a family of seven siblings. He lived in Baneh until, at the age of 12, civil disputes caused his family to immigrate to Sanandaj, the center of Kurdistan Province where he continued his high- school education. Ghobadi moved to Tehran in 1992, beginning his artistic career in the field of Industrial Photography. Though he attended the Iranian Broadcasting College, he never graduated. Rather than following a formal curriculum, he believed the only way he could learn the craft of cinema was by tirelessly making short films. Using 8mm film, his starting point was to shoot a series of short documentaries. Through his instinctive and hands-on approach to filmmaking, Ghobadi developed a unique style, soon gaining widespread local recognition. A breakthrough came with Life in a Fog (1999), one of the most acclaimed shorts ever made in Iran. Following this success, Bahman Ghobadi made his directorial debut with A Time for Drunken Horses (1999), also the first feature-length Kurdish film in the history of Iran, which went on to win the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This early achievement was one of many to follow; his films have gained international acclaim and given direction and ambition to many other Kurdish filmmakers. The following year, he set up his production company Mij Film to further develop Kurdish cinema. Both his subsequent Marooned in Iraq: Songs of my Motherland (2002) and Half Moon (2006) feature the lives of Kurds - and their music; a marked interest of Ghobadi’s. He was awarded a Peace Award in Berlin International Film Festival and a Golden Seashell at San Sebastian Film Festival for Turtles Can Fly (2004). In 2009, Ghobadi completed No One Knows About Persian Cats — a quasi-documentary about the underground indie music scene in Tehran, filmed in Iran without an official permit under very restricted conditions, weeks before the disputed presidential elections. The director has since been in self-exile living in Erbil, Iraq. Rhino Season (2012) is his first production outside his country and with professional actors.

Life on the Border

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