Kobane International Film Festival: Call for entries

The Kobane International Film Festival (KIFF) will take place from 13 to 19 November in the city of Kobane, whose heroic stance and victory against the Islamic State is renown worldwide.

A passionate and commitment group of young people have been working hard to ensure this year festival will see the participation of international film makers as well as local ones.

Three years after the liberation of Kobane, the KIFF has established its headquarters there so that the memory of it’s resistance and the thousands incredible stories it carries, can continue to resonate in the minds of its inhabitant and abroad.

“To enhance dialogue, synergy and community across the city and global networks, - said the organisers - the festival will open interactive spaces with workshops, panels and screenings where local realities and experiences from around the world can be shared, allowing for a real hub of cinephile and creative thinkers to emerge”.

This lively celebration of arts and cinema will take place around the themes of resistance, women and cultural sovereignty.

This year, the competition will be open for short films (open thematic) and long feature documentaries about “resistance”.

A special section will be dedicated to the screenings of films from women  film makers and/or about subjects related to women, as well as workshops and panels.

Tribute to Afrin resistance

A special honor to the resistance of Afrin will also be made by screening films made by directors from Afrin and through discussions with the directors during the festival.

Through the panels and workshops the organisers aim to explore new ways of understanding cinema and its role in the context of Rojava and abroad.

International dimension

As to the importance of this year international presence, the organisers said: “In order to introduce the audience to the diversity of this art and participate in growing a visual artistic sense, we are screening a rich selection of  movies from around the world alongside films from regional film makers”.

To enhance the bonds between Rojava and the world we are inviting for the first year many guests from diverse countries to come and meet directly with  the audience.

This will give the opportunity for Rojava’s population and professional film makers to exchange their perception.  

The public will also find there a leisure space in which they can get in touch with their creative self, and develop their critical thinking away from the harshness of war zone reality.  

Call for entries

Filmmakers can submit their film to Kobane International Film Festival until 25 October. The submission can be made at this link:



Soon after the start of the Syrian Civil War, the northern Syrian enclave of Rojava has witnessed a unique societal change. A democratic system of self-governance was established in 2013 by the people of Rojava. Deeply rooted on feminist, ecologist and communal values, this political project has challenged the patriarchal system, empowered ethnic and religious minorities, as well as grass-root movements and inspired the opening of local democratic spaces. Despite facing the most ruthless threats, this population is writing now a new page of their history.


Kobane first came into the spotlight end 2014 as an emblem of the resistance, when it’s population fought and defeated Isis (Islamic State). From September 2014, starts of attack from IS, to the 26 January 2015, date where IS were officially defeated, many people joined the call from the YPG (people’s protection unit) and YPJ (Women protection units) forces to defend their city. Their commitment and faith even in the darkest hours still inspire a great feeling of dignity and collective bond within the Kurdish community.

However, the almost complete destruction of the city and the painful legacy of IS massacres also left vivid scars that requires a long healing process. Far from being prostrated, the people of Kobane started right away to rebuild their city to the point that today it shines more than ever before.