Karwan Faidhi Dri
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -A Mosul-based short film on hardships in the city post-Islamic State (ISIS) liberation won a people’s choice award at a short film festival on Monday, highlighting the talents of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) and refugees in the Kurdistan Region.
Some 300 people gathered at Headway Short Film Festival in Erbil’s Saad Abdullah Palace to watch 23 short films created by Syrian refugees, IDPS, and locals from Nineveh and the Kurdistan Region.
Attended by Kurdistan Region senior officials, including President Nechirvan Barzani, the festival was organized by various UN and European Union agencies.
Albidaya (the beginning), directed by Younes Taha, received the people’s choice award, winning $1000 after receiving the most votes on social media.
Produced in Mosul, the film follows the life of a family who lost loved ones in the fight against ISIS, who controlled the city from 2014-2017.
Awards were also given for best story, best creative concept and best technical showing.
“We want to convey a message that Mosul is always strong despite all the catastrophes we suffered and the martyrs we gave. We want to send a message of love to all youths, telling them that life continues,” Taha told Rudaw on Monday.
Fifty short films were submitted to the festival but only 23 competed for the top prizes. The films were divided into four categories: rebuilding communities post conflict, women’s role in social recovery, youth and unemployment and life through your lens.
Barzani thanked the EU and UNDP for the event, adding that the young film creators of the films are the hope of Iraq and Syria.
“What we saw in these films is, unfortunately, part of the sufferings and hardships of Iraqi people in general and Syrians, and another part the expression of those hopes these youths have tried to show the world though showing these short films,” he said.
He added that “the most important thing” is that Iraqis and Syrians are hopeful of their future despite their bitter past.