LKFF 2020 AWARD CEREMONY The 11th London Kurdish Film Festival Online Edition has successfully come to a close, concluding with the Closing Award Ceremony that took place on the 24th August 2020. We are incredibly honoured to have been able to showcase our Kurdish film festival to a global audience, completely free of charge. This is a first in the history of Kurdish cinema. Introducing ourselves to the world with a Short Film programme was a wonderful start to many more engaging activities and exhibitions to come. With the challenges we faced this year and the initial hurdle of not being able to host a festival at all, turned into an opportunity that allowed us to be able to connect on a wider, global scale. It allowed us to reach new audiences beyond the locality of London, including all four parts of Kurdistan. We wish to continue to have a strong presence online even after the film festival is over, and bring you all exclusive content throughout the year. Importantly, we wish to extend our thanks to BFI, Film Audience Network and Film Feels Connected for their support and hope to continue our partnerships with them in the future. Our film selection process began in 2019 and we received more than 400 submissions. It was a difficult task to put together a limited list of films to be included in this year’s festival programme. We invited a selection committee from different parts of Kurdistan as well as the diaspora, to settle on the final curation of films to be showcased. A huge thanks to Awat Roshan, Azad Azizyan, Berri Shemdin, Guldem Masa, Havi Ibrahim, Hesam Yousefi, Maryam Ashrafi, Mizgin Mujde Arslan, Piran Baydemir, Shler Murdochy, Zanyar Omrani for their work. This year’s core festival management team comprised of the Festival Coordinator, Avesta Kadir, Festival Director, Ferhan Sterk, Programming Director, Kaveh Abbassian & Head of Art & Design, Zelah Latteef who finalised and coordinated the online programme which consisted of 53 short films, 31 live stream Q&A sessions with 36 participants, 2 panel discussions and 2 workshop masterclasses. The film festival accumulated over 60,000 combined views and thousands of comments and interactions with the films, filmmakers as well as the audience with each other. LKFF shed light on various aspects of life within and beyond Kurdistan, covering various social topics which are evident in the six themes under which the films were categorised: Beyond Borders, The Struggle Continues, Women in Film, War on Screen, Children in Film & Once Upon a Time in Kurdistan. These themes were accompanied with an equally bold and colourful visual campaign to compliment the rich programme in place for this year’s online exhibition. Additionally, LKFF wishes to extend further thanks to all the young, talented content creators who produced the accompanying festival content, these are the videographers, editors, translators, animators and illustrators. The Award Ceremony hosted on the festival closing date was a way to celebrate the winning films. We extend a huge thanks to our panel of jurors, Kazim Oz, Maxine Peake, Karen Cifarelli, Jiyar Gol, Pauline Tucoulet, Elan Gamaker, Maryam Tafakory, William Brown & Chiman Rahimi. The aim of these awards is a way to support filmmakers with under-exposed Kurdish stories and continue to enrich Kurdish cinema as a whole. The winners of the 11th London Kurdish Film Festival Online Edition 2020 are: TWO ENDS OF A BRIDGE WINNER OF THE 7TH YILMAZ GUNEY BEST SHORT FILM AWARD Jury Statement Among the extraordinarily diverse and impressive selection of films, Two Ends of a Bridge stood out for its simplicity, directness and radical approach. Using one long take, writer-director Muhammad Seyyid Yildiz has crafted a tense, brooding drama and powerful allegory, using clever cinematography and choreography to produce a graceful work of subtlety and urgency. While short in length, the film poses larger questions about nationhood, identity, the use of violence, and agency. It is an exciting work reflecting at once the heritage and ongoing promise of Kurdish filmmaking. SLAUGHTER RECIPIENT OF THE JURY SPECIAL MENTION Jury Statement Directors Saman Hosseinpuor & Ako Zandkarimi's decidedly stark visual concept created the perfect frame to capture the rich performance of Fereidoun Hamedi and his colleagues. Though not obviously a comedy, the masterly choreographed fight scene stood out for its taunt suspense and dark thread of humor which was finely woven through it as throughout the film. DP Hamed Baghaeian's choice of wide sweeping shots lend this dark story a kind of fairy tale imagery compounding the dramatic tension. An elegant and sophisticated short film leaving one wishing it was much longer. THE HEART OF RAQQA RECIPIENT OF THE JURY SPECIAL MENTION Jury Statement We felt this was a story that the world needed to hear. The story of the courageous and inspirational Mehmet Aksoy and his ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom and democracy on behalf of the world. Rita Duarte captured the spirit and joy of Mehmet and the many hearts and minds he touched throughout his short but impactful life. FOR CAMERA WINNER OF THE LKFF HONORARY AWARD LKFF Statement We are giving our award to this film for the courage it shows both in its style and also in its content. We appreciate the documentary, experimental, and zero-budget aspects which created an authentic and original portrait of a family. We also praise the challenging approach of the content of this film which holds a mirror up to its audience. This is an exciting, unpredictable, raw, vulnerable, awkward, and also essentially political family portrait. It shows the multi-layered nature of the reproduction of oppression and patriarchy in different sections of the society, from the ruling elite to a small family unit; from the head of the family to its youngest member. Meanwhile, the film touches on the problematic aspect of religious beliefs and traditional culture held by many families in the region. We also acknowledge the presence of hope in the film; hope for change in the familial as well as the social dynamics of life. LKFF Management Committee Last chance to watch the films! The full programme will be removed on a daily basis starting from the 25th August. Last day for playback will be the 4th September 2020 on our YouTube channel. Follow us for exclusive updates and new content on: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.