KURDISH DIRECTORS  

    There are a number of Kurdish director from different countries whose artistic work draw
    international attention and win major prizes at international film festivals. Below is the list of some
    of the most known Kurdish directors.



    Yilmaz Guney

    The most famoust Kurdish film director who died in 1984 in France. He has
    lots of feature films but the most popular ones are; ‘Seyitxan’, ‘Arkadas’
    (Friend),  Endise (Anxiety), Umut (Hope), ‘Yol’ (The Road), ‘Suru’ (The Herd)
    and ‘Duvar’ (The Wall).



    Bahman Ghobadi

    A director from Iranian Kurdistan. Ghobadi has four feature films until now.
    These are ‘A Time For Drunken Horses’, ‘Marooned in Iraq-Songs of My
    Motherland’, ‘Turtles Can Fly’ and Half Moon. Last year Ghobadi has been
    chosen 'one of the best living 100 director' in the world.


    Kazim Oz

    A Kurdish director from Turkey. Oz has one short film, one documentary and
    one feature film. These are ‘Ax’ (short film), ‘Photograph’ and ‘Dur’
    (documentary).



    Hiner Saleem

    A Kurdish director from South Kurdistan. He has four feature films. ‘Long
    live the Bride-Liberation of Kurdistan’, 'Beyond our Dreams', ‘Vodka-Lemon’
    and ‘Zero Kilometre’.




    Jalal Jonroy

    A Kurdish writer-director, living in America. His first feature film is ‘David and
    Layla’ which has been invited to 23. Jerusalem Film Festival in
    2006.





    Yusuf Yesiloz

    Living in Switzerland, Yesilgoz has directed "Between the Worlds" which
    won the best documentary awards at Innsbruck Film Festival in Austria in
    2006.  Yesiloz has also two other documentaries 'Fasting to Topple Walls'
    and 'Alevit Songs'. His has completed a new documentary about some
    musicians living in Switzerland, called "Musikliebe" (Love of Music), in 2007.



    Jamil Rostami

    A Kurdish director from Iran. He has directed several films included
    Requiem of Snow in 2005. Rostami currently filming Jan-i Gal (The Agony
    of a People) in Kurdistan Region of Irak.





    Said Kekeyi

    He made a docu-drama called "Waiting for Hiwa" which deals with the Halabja massacre, in
    2002.

    Aras Rashid

    A Kurdish director from South Kurdistan based in Sweden. His feature film "The Burning
    Paradise" shot in 1999.

    Hussein Hassan Ali

    He was born in Duhok in 1974. Hasan Ali started to do children
    programmes in a local television and shot video clips for different artisists
    and singers. He shot a number of short film, Narcissus Blossoom, (U
    Nergis Biskivin) his first feature film which Ali directed with Massoud Arif
    Saleeh.



    Massoud Arif Saleeh

    Born in Duhok in 1973 Saleeh started theatrical work when he was just 10
    years old. Then Saleeh started to work in some local tv. stations. He is the
    co-director of Narcissus Blossom, (U Nergis Biskivin).





    Lauand Omar

    A young Kurdish writer, director and producer who is directed "Bekhal's
    Tears" (Firmiski Bexal) in 2005 in Iraqi Kurdistan. Omar now is woking on
    his next project called





    Ayse Polat

    Born in 1970 in the Kurdish city of Malatya in Turkey, Polat currently resides
    in Germany. Polat shot a several short films such as Fremdennacht (The
    Night of Foreigner-1992), Ein Fest für Beyhau (A Fist for Beyhou-1993) ve
    Gräfin Sofia Hatun (Mrs Barones Sofia-1997) Her first feature film
    Auslandstournee (Trip out of Country-1999) won young talent award in
    Ankara Film Festival. Polat's last feature En Garde-2004 won special prizes
    at Hamburg ve Locarno film festivals.  

    Yuksel Yavuz

    Yavuz born in 1964 in the Kurdish city of Bingol, and moved to Germany
    when he was 16 years old. He studied at Hamburg Fine Arts School
    between 1992-1998. Yazuz's won the best documentary award with his first
    short film 'My Father a Guess Worker" in 1995. Yavuz shot his first feature
    'The April Children' in 1998 and and won special awards at Salemo adn
    San Francisco Film Festivals.


    Jiyar Gol

    Born in Eastern Kurdistan, Gol lives in Canada since 1998. He owns Jiyar Productions Inc. and
    has produced several documentaries until now including; 'Liberation of Occupation? A Passage
    Through Iraq-2004', 'The Emblem Of Turkey. The Kurdish Problem,' 'The Struggle For Justice;
    Leyla Zana': Leyla Zana  a Kurdish Parliamentarian who was imprisoned for 11 years for simply
    speaking Kurdish in the Turkish National Assembly. Gol graduated at Vancouver Film School
    majoring in Documentary Filmmaking.

    Rahim Zabihi

    Zahibi is a young Kurdish director from eastern Kurdistan and still lives in Iran. He made his first
    feature film last year called 'Roja Duyemin' (Second Day). Zahibi also shot several short films and
    invited to some film festivals.

    Sirin Cihani

    She is from Eastern Kurdistan and currently shootint her first feature 'Stêrk
    di nav rojê de bêreng in' (The stars do not have colurs during daylight).
    Cihani has also shot several documentaries including the one that tells the
    life of famous Kurdish poets Siware Ilxanizade and Jila Huseyni.


    Özay Sahin

    She was born in the city of Dersim in Northern Kurdistan and currently lives
    in Germany. Sahin made an excellent documentary called 'Can Baz' which
    tells tragedy of three Kurdish boys on of them is addictive to tiner. She also
    writes scenerios and invited to several film festival in Europe and Turkey.




    Arin Inan Arslan

    Born in the city of Dersim and now living in Izmir Arslan is a young Kurdish
    talent who made two short films called 'Kirinti' (Crumb-2004) ve 'Si u Ba'
    (Shadow and Wind-2006). Arslan received special jury awards at 16.
    Ankara International Film Festival and 26. IFSAK Festival. Arslan also won
    Yilmaz Güney best film award in 1. TKM Short Film Festival by his first short
    film.

    Müjde Arslan

    Young Kurdish woman director born in the city of Mardin in northern
    Kürdistan Müjde lives in Istanbul. She shot her first short film 'Son Oyun'
    (Last Game-2005) and won best picture award in Marmara University Short
    Film Festival. She is currently workin on her next project 'Kemik' (Bone).




    Nazmi Kirik

    The famous Kurdish actor born in Diyarbakir in 1976. Kirik has shot his first
    short film 'Kimlik' (Identity-2006) and has already been invited to 43. Antalya
    Golden Orange Film Festival's short film competition section. Kirik took
    important roles in the films of Photograph, Journey to the Sun, Zero
    Kilometre, Dole (Hiner Saleem's latest feature) and Organized Businesses
    (directed by famous Kurdish director Yilmaz Erdogan).  

    Caner Canerik

    Born in the city of Dersim in 1973, Canerik lives in Istanbul. Canerik shoots
    mainly short films and documentaries such as  “The War Game” (short film\
    1999), “The Palace” (documentary, 2000-2002), “The Story” (short film,
    2003), “The German Shovel” (documentary, 2005)\ “Gül-i Zare”
    (documentary, not finished yet), “The Weed” (documentary, 2006),   “Eyüp
    Sultan” (documentary, 2006), “The top of yellow is Düzgün”  (documentary ,
    2006), “Two fishes, for people” (short film , 2007) and “Sayd” (documentary,
    2007).


Hiwa Aminnejad

    Hiwa Aminnejad was born in 1973 in Baneh, Kurdistan, Iran from a Kurdish
    middle class family. He obtained a diploma in Film Direction at the
    Association of Cinema for Youth in Tabriz. From 1998 to 2001, he practiced
    photography and participated in several national photos exhibitions. In
    2001, he made his first short film “ Parasite”. “Atesh e Kebrit” won the “Best
    Picture” award at “Esfahan International Film Festival for Youth and Young
    Adults”. “Agar do bare harf bezanam” was selected among 20 films for the
Retrospective of Contemporary Iranian Films in Berlin in 2004. “Afsoon” was selected for the “Hull
Short Film Festival in London”. “Hannabadan e dictator” was shot in Kurdistan, Iraq in 2005.
(kanifilms.com)

Fethi Evari

    Fethi Evari is a theatre graduate from the Fine Arts Institute in Duhok,
    Kurdistan. In addition to a number of theatrical plays, he has directed some
    short films and one feature length including
    The White Page (2007, short) which was shown at 37. Rotterdam
    International Film Festival.

Shaxawan Idrees

    Shaxawan Idrees started as a journalist working with various Kurdish
    newspapers. He directed a short film titled "We Have Gasoline". Idrees
    currently works as production manager at the Cinema Department of the
    Ministry of Culture in Kurdistan.



Mehdi Hesen

    Mehdi Hesen is a theater graduate from the Fine Arts Institute in Erbil and
    currently works as director for Kurdistan satellite TV. He made a short film
    titled "Water" (2007) which was received the Yilmaz Guney Bronze award at
    the London Kurdish Film Festival in 2007.



Zirek Mira

    Zîrek Mira is a graduate of sculpting at the Suliemani Fine Arts Institute in
    Kurdistan. He makes experimental and symbolic short films. One of them
    is a short film shot in 2007, titled "Searching for God". He is known for his
    innovative experimental sculptures, some of which captured international
    attention. Among his most daring works was a giant statue of Saddam
    made entirely by dead soldier’s boots in 2003. Inspired by Bunuel’s and
    Dali’s “Dogs of Andalusia” he began making experimental and symbolic
    short films. “Searching for God” is his second such film, which may best be
    described as an extension of his statue of boots in theme and irony.
    "Breath" (Henase) is the directors another short film which is a piece of
    artistry about life's continuation despite oppression, symbolizing the
    Kurdish resilience in the face of tyranny


Sahim Omar Kalifa

    He was born in 1980 in Zakho, Kurdistan. Kalifa shot his first film when he
    was 17 years old. In 2001 he moved to Belgium and studied at St  Lukas
    film School in 2004 in Brussels. Until now Omer Kalifa has shot 14 short
    films. His film "Ava Reş" (Black Water) won the jury award in Melbourne
    Kurdish  film festival in Australia in 2007.







Ibrahim Selman






Erol Mintaş

    He was born in 1983 in the city of Kars in Turkey. He was graduated from
    Computer and Teaching Technologies Department of the Marmara
    University in 2006 and started studying for the master’s degree for Cinema-
    TV in the Institute of Fine Arts of the Marmara University. He has written
    articles about cinema in different newspapers (Evrensel, Radikal Genç …).
    He has still been working on his thesis about “Existentialism and Cinema
    of Tarkovsky”. Mintas shot his first short film Kül (Ash) in 2006, (15m), and
    his second short film Gidememek in 2007, (15m). He shot  Erostrate (15m)
    in the same year. His last short film Butîmar (2008, 20m) was the second
    runner up of the competition of scenario of the Ministry of Culture and
    TURSAK.


Babak Amini

    Babak Amini , director of the "Angels Die in the Soil", was born in 1978 in
    the Kurdistan province of Iran. He went to school in Tehran and graduated
    with a degree in philosophy. Babak worked for 10 years as assistant to
    director Bahman Ghobadi in his films 'A Time for Drunken Horses', 'Turtles
    Can Fly', and 'Half Moon'. Amini's "Angels Die in the Soil" has also
    appeared in the 16th Archipelago Film Festival in Italy and the 2008
    EcoVision Festival as well as the 24th Festroia Film Festival in Portugal,
    Berlin's Kurdish Film Festival and the 9th Seoul Film Festival. At Palm
    Springs International Shortfest 2008 "Angels Die in the Soil" won Cinema
    Without Borders Best International Film Award



Shewket Amin Korki

    Shewket  Amin Korki is a new Kurdish director who was born in Zakho, Iraqi
    Kurdistan, in 1973. In 1975 Korki was forced (by the Iraqi military) to flee to
    Iran together with his family and stayed in Iran until 1999. Shewket Amin
    Korki has worked in theater, TV and cinema in Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan.
    Korki has directed many short films and entered in many film festivals
    where he got some awards. Korki orginized Erbil First Short Film Festival in
    2002 in Kurdistan.  Korki has also directed his first feature film in 2006,
    Crossing the Dust (2006), a fiction film shot on 35mm and runs for 74 min.
    for more info about the director >>>


Atta Othman
    Atta Othman was born in 1971 in Sulimanya, He graduated of film making
    at the Fine Arts academy in Baghdad University and studied Television in
    Sidney (Australia ). He  made his first feature  (The Return) in 1994 and his  
    second feature film was (Dream) in 2000. Othman made many  short films
    and some documentaries, also he was awarded as a best director in
    Sulimanya Film Festival in 1995. He also got the award for the best script
    writer in Sulimanya Short Film Festival in 2007. Atta Othman currently
    working as a technical director in KNN Channel in Sulimanya.                 


Mano Khalil
    Mano Khalil is a Kurd from Kurdistan in Syria and studied in History and
    Law at DamascusUniversity between 1981-1986 then went to former
    Czechoslovakia.to study in Fiction Film Direction between 1987-1994. Khalil
    worked as an independent film director for Czechoslovakian and later for
    the Slovakian Television. Since 1996 he lives in Switzerland and works as
    an independent film director. Mano Khalil has directed many films most of
    them documentaries. Below is his filmography:

1988- Oh world!, 16mm, 11Min.

1989- My pain, My hope, 16 mm, 15 min.

1990- Embassy, 16mm, 22 Min.

1991- Oh father, 35mm, 21 min.(School films)

1990- My God 16mm, 20Min.Czechoslovakian TV.

1993– The Place Where God Sleeps, 16mm, 30Min.

(Khalil won 1. Price in the Independent International film festival of Augsburg – in Germany

1995- Kino-ocko (Kino eye) 16mm, 20Min Slovak TV.

1998- Triumph of Iron. Beta SP, 31min.

(This film won UBS Acknowledgement Price in Solothurner Filmtage Switzerland and was
nominated for the Swiss Film price in 2000, in the category of best short film.

2001- Script Gala. Price for the script development of the Swiss Author Society –

at Locarno Film festival.

2003- Colorful Dreams. 60.Min 35 mm. co-production Swiss TV

(Colofrul Dreams won best Music Film prise at Canton Bern

2005- Al-Anfal, "in the name of Allah, Baath and Saddam" 52 min. Digi Beta co-

production with Swiss TV.

2006- David the Tolhildan, Digi-beta. Co production with Swiss TV.     

2009- My Prison My Home

2010-  Our Garden of Eden


Ferit Karahan

    Ferit Karahan was born in 1983; completed his education in Ağrı untill his
    university years. He commenced studying electrial teacher at the Marmara
    University(2000-2005). Between 2002-2004, he studied on cinema in a
    cultural foundation. Afterwards this period, he conducted workshops with
    young moviemakers, resulting in short films. He gave lectures on
    directoring. He also shot the films Analog and fotofobia in the same period.
    Between 2003 and 2006, he, had worked at various production company
    shot many advertisement films, educational films, commercial
    documentaries and videos. He also worked as a assistant at various
    production .. Between 2006 and 2008 he has worked at various
    programmes at Roj tv as a director. Lastly he has took place as a second
    director at press which is a long-lenght film. And he shot Beriya Tofanê/
    Before the Flood reference to Ceylan Önkol and applied to all children
    victims of war. Recently he is working at Avrupa film  as a director.










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Special note: This list is not complete. Please help us to complete this list. If you are a Kurdish
director and would like your name appear in the list or you have some update about your work
please send us some information about yourself. Our e-mail: kurdishcinema@hotmail.com
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