Last Season Shawaks is nationally screened in Turkey *

KurdishCinema - May 12, 2010

The Last Season: Shawaks, the second feature-lenght
documentary film by Kazim Oz from Mesopotamia Cinema
Collective, had its national premiere in the 28th Istanbul
Film Festival in Turkey. The film had its international premiere
in the 15th Vision du Reel Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland.
In late April,

Also The Last Season: Shawaks was screened in the
Trento Film Festival in Italy. In the following months, the
documentary was invited by several international film festivals.
In July it competed in international section of the Paris Cinema
International Film Festival.

The Last Season: Shawaks produced with the support of
ARTE France and Jan Vrijman Fund, The Last Season:
Shawaks deals with the almost extinct life style of the
Shawaks community living in Dersim area as well as their
struggle and harmony with nature.

Kazim Öz travels with pastoral Shawaks from Dersim villages
to Dersim mountains when spring starts with heavy rain. The journey that ends at the zeniths of
mountains starts again in autumn after long working days during the hot summer in the highlands.
Shawaks get on the road to return their village this time. After weeks of travelling with herds,
Shawaks reach their village and the cycle begins from the start. Stating an aesthetic and creative
sentence about human, nature, and labor, The Last Season: Shawaks invites the viewer to an
unusual journey. Starting and ending with tales, this journey provides a window for ninety minutes
to the rich cultural world of Shawaks as well as their life, filled with struggle.


The Shawaks are a nomadic community in eastern Turkey. In the winter, they live in stone houses
in a village, and in the spring, when the lambs are born, they take their livestock up to higher
pasture in the mountains. An entire herd of sheep and goats, along with pack animals, dogs and
entire families, are packed into rented trucks and unloaded at the foot of the mountains. What
follows is a brutal hike uphill. The mules are heavily packed they slip in the snow and regularly run
the risk of collapsing under their hefty loads. High up, the Shawaks pitch the tents in which they and
their families will spend the summer. The women make cheese, which they sell to merchants.
Filmmaker Kazim Oz accompanied the Shawaks for a whole year. He observes man and animal
from up close, without asking questions or adding comment. But the filmmaker isn't completely
invisible; sometimes his subjects address him directly, telling him things about their lives in a
strikingly confidential way. This produces an intimate depiction of a group of people who have to
work very hard to eke out a humble living.


The Last Season: Shawaks won the
International Jury award in Mannheim-
Heidelberg International Film Festival, the
second biggest festival in Germany after

"One Special Award of the Jury goes to the
Kurdish documentary "DEMSALA DAWÎ:
SHAWAKS"), which follows the yearly cycle
of a Kurdish clan with beautiful images
and with anthropological precision. Kazim
Öz's team managed to give us news of a
microcosm we Northern Europeans had
not heard of yet. We are happy that the
Turkish parliament finally promised Kurds
more cultural autonomy on Friday." The
Jury of the Mannheim-Heidelberg
International Film Festival.

The Last Season: Shawaks will compete
in the international competition in
DOCLISBOA, Portugal.

The Last Season: Shawaks will compete
in the international section of 58th Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival in November.
The Last Season: Shawaks is selected for international documentary competition of the 31st
CINEMED Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival.

The Last Season: Shawaks will compete in DOCBOAT Warsaw in September.

The Last Season: Shawaks will be screeneed in French Culture Center on June 2nd at 14:00 and
in Beksav on June 3rd at 18:00 during Documentarist Film Days. The film is nominated for best
documentary by Siyad.

The Last Season: Shawaks will be screened in Muammer Karaca Theatre on May 30th 2009. The
special screening is organized by Yapim 13 in cooperation with Tunceli Pertek Social Collobaration
Association. For tickets contact the Association at 0212 284 83 31 and check
The Last Season: Shawaks will compete in Paris Cinema International Film Festival, a prestigious
festival of France, in July.

Director Kazım Öz

He was born 1973 in Dersim. During his university
studies, he had worked with Teatra Jiyana Nû (New
Life Theatre), on the branches of acting and directing
for 4 years, starting from 1992.

Since 1996, he has been working in Mesopotamia
Culture Center, Cinema Department; currently know
as Mesopotamia Cinema Collective. His first short
film “AX” (the land) was well taken in the public and in
international cinema environment. He finished his
first long feature FOTOGRAF in 2001. The film
achieved several prizes, and was in theatres in winter
2002. His later work, a feature documentary of 74 minutes, with the title “Dûr” (the distant), is
awarded “the best documentary” in Turkei&Deutschland Filmfestival, Nürnberg 2004. The film is
produced with the support of Jan Vrijman fund of IDFA, and was purchased by ARTE-France. In
2008 he completed his second feature length fictional film, “The Storm.” Recently he finished his
second feature length documentary, “The Last Season: Shawaks,” which is a co-production with


1990 – 1998 civil engineering, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul
1999 – 2003 film studies, Marmara University Institute of Fine Arts,
Post-Graduate Degree
Since 2003 film studies, Marmara University Institute of Fine Arts,
Doctorate Student

films (samples)

2009 Demsala Dawî: Şewaxan (The Last Season: Shawaks) 92 min. HDV, writing, directing Co-
production with ARTE FRANCE
2008 Bahoz (The Storm) 155 min. 35 mm, writing, directing
2006 Son Oyun (The Last Game) short film, 13 min. DV, Director of Photography, editing
2005 Dûr (The Distance) documentary, 74 min. DV, writing, directing, camera, editing
2001 Fotograf (The Photograph) 67 min. 35mm. Editing (group work), Writing and Directing
1999 Ax (the Land), 16mm, 27 min., Writing (group work) and Directing.
1998 Güneşe Yolculuk (Journey to the Sun), Feature Film, Director: Yesim Ustaoglu (Assistant
1996 Destên Me Wê Bibin Bask Emê Bifirin Herin...(Let these hands will be wings and we will fly...)
Documentary, 27 min. Hi-8 (Directing with Dorothea Kiest)


2001 Best Short Film, Tebessa Int. Film Festival / Algeria
2000 Best Short Film, M. Orhon Ariburnu Awards / Turkiye
2000 Best Film, Modena International Human Rights Film Festival / Italy
2000 Special Mention, Huesca International Film Festival / Spain
1999 François O’de Prize, Hamburg International Short Film Festival / Germany
1999 Best Short Film - Cortometraggio 99, Milano Int. Film Festival / Italy

2003 Bridge Prize, Private-Look International Film Festival / Armenia
2003 Öngören Prize for Democracy and Human Rights, Nürnberg Interforum Film Festival /
2002 Special Jury Award, Valencia Cinema Jove / Spain
2002 Special Jury Award, Arıburnu Cinema Awards / Turkiye
2002 Best Feature Film, Trieste Int. Film Festival / Italy
2001 Best Feature Film, Milano Int. Film Festival / Italy

2004 Best Documentary, Nürnberg Interforum Film Festival / Germany
2006 Best Documentary, Ankara Int. Film Festival / Turkey

2006 Best Picture Mansion, Marmara University Faculty of Communication Short Film Competition

2009 Best Young Actor (Cahit Gök), Ankara International Film Festival / Turkey


Interviews with Yuksel

“Turtles Can Fly” And
The Image Of
Perpetrators, Victims
And Heroes (Saviors) /
by Saniye KARAKAS*

"Kurdish Cinema is
unknown to the world",
Babak Amini

Inteview with Huseyin
Karabey, director of
"My Marlon and

Film feast

Half Moon Takes
Cynical Approach
Toward Turkey

Aristotle's seven
golden rules of story
telling by Jalal Jonroy

An interview with
Kurdish director
Hisham Zaman on

5th Kurdish Film
Festival in London

Self-distribution key to
getting 'David & Layla'
in theater

Q & A with Bahman
Ghboadi for Passion of

Gutsy Jewish-Kurdish
romance goes after
more than laughs

Bahman Ghobadi
discusses his new film:
Half Moon

"I have problems with
the borders"

My big, fat, Jewish-
Kurdish wedding?

David & Layla: A love

Reading a screenplay

Bahman Ghobadi: The
poetics of politics

Hiner Saleem's
portrayal of Kurds

Why write?

Waiting for the rain, a
Kurdish  love story

Silence tells much
more than words

The first film about
Kurds: Zere 80 years

Half Moon, a review in
Hollywod Reporter