Ji bo Azadiyê wins Bronze Palm in Valencia

The film Ji bo Azadiyê won the Bronze Palm at the Valencia Film Festival (La Mostra de Valencia). Director Ersin Çelik and producer Diyar Hesso spoke to ANF about the genesis of the film and the new projects of the Rojava Cinema Commune.

The film Ji bo Azadiyê, directed by Ersin Çelik and produced by the Rojava Cinema Commune, won the Bronze Palm award at the 35th La Mostra De Valencia festival.

The Chairman of the Jury Committee, screenwriter and writer Elisa Ferrer presented the award to Diyar Hesso on behalf of the film crew.


Diyar Hesso, thanking the jury and the festival workers, commemorated Mazdek Ararat and Rûbar Şervan and stated that he received the award on their behalf.

Rojava Film Commune founder and filmmaker Mazdek Ararat (Ömer Bağcı) lost his life in Rojava in a traffic accident on 13 September 2019, while Rûbar Şervan (Cihan Sever) who was commander Çiyager in the film, fell a martyr in Heftanin.

The film Ji bo Azadiyê tells the story of the resistance in Sur. Diyar Hesso told ANF: “One of the most important reasons why we chose this story was because of the diary written in Sur during the resistance. Secondly, in 2015-2016 people were burned in the basements of some building, and these events were broadcast live on TVs. Nearly 300 people were burned alive in the basements of buildings in Cizre. A whole history was destroyed in Sur. And while all this was happening, the world just stood back and watched. There were massacres in the same geography years ago. Many people and beliefs were slaughtered. Mass migrations occurred. So our film is also a critique of this silence.”

Asked about the new projects the Film Commune has in store, Diyar Hesso said: “There is another feature film about the Yazidi genocide that is in post-production; another feature film about the latest Turkish State’s invasion of Rojava was just shot. Both film have been directed by women directors.
We are also preparing to re-launch the cinema education in the Art Academy; as it was interrupted by the invasion then the pandemic.”

Ji Bo Azadiyê director Ersin Çelik added: “The story I am personally working on is in the development phase. We are developing our story according to the situation in the country. Because we are as realists as much as we are dreamers, we have to calculate where, how and with what possibilities we can shoot everything we write, otherwise it would stay on paper. The characters of the new story, as in `The End Will Be Spectacular` enter and exit into the real events in Kurdistan, with most of the events going on between triangle passing between Iraq-Syria-Turkey triangle and the Iraq-Iran-Turkey triangle. I can say that it is a story where a person finds himself while looking for someone else.”