Kurdistan covers in big parts the region of former Mesopotamia. Being one of the oldest cultures in the world, Mesopotamia is widely considered as the cradle of civilization, where writing was invented and the origins of philosophy can be traced back to. With its ancient, highly developed and socially complex states it had a profound impact on the development of the western civilization and culture.


The Duhok International Film Festival wishes to return a cultural identity to this region, so that it is perceived again as a place of development instead of a place of political conflict. The fertile land that Mesopotamia once presented is now the land that can breathe quality, cinema and epic stories, growing to new strength.


The festival aims to showcase innovative films of high artistic value with a notable handwriting made throughout the world. It shall work as a pinnacle point for all wishing to learn more about the possibilities the Kurdish regions have to offer. Duhok IFF wishes to create an atmosphere of exchange between different cultures and human values. The city becomes an encounter of civilizations, where ancient culture connects with modern culture and the Kurdish film landscape with world cinema. Unique film experiences can be made and people can share their thirst for new discoveries and a passion for cinema in all its diversity.


A major task of the festival is to build a bridge between Kurdish film production and worldwide filmmaking. It wishes to create a launch platform for films from Kurdistan, taking the pulse of new tendencies and offering the opportunity to explore a terrain opening up in contemporary filmmaking. As a unique festival in this region, it understands itself as a forge for new talents and meeting place for up and coming filmmakers.


The program does not only present a wide selection of international productions from all over the world, it also aims to spotlight Kurdish film in the world’s film landscape. It focusses both on new films from the four parts of Kurdistan (Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey), as well as on films from abroad including films made by Kurdish filmmakers who live in Diaspora.

It is time to open ourselves to the thoughts, images, myths and stories of Kurdistan, to its culture, to its films. Welcome to Duhok!
The Duhok International Film Festival is organized by the General Directorate of Culture, Arts, Sports and Youth of Duhok City and by the Cinema Directorate Duhok in cooperation with mîtosfilm Berlin.