Suzan Ilir: I started with theatre when I was 12 years old, and then I played in MIN DIT, a feature film which was also co-produced by mîtosfilm. Hisham knew about me through my appearance in that film and he reached out to me in Diyarbakır. He had to convince my father first, who would not let me participate in the project if it was to portray the Kurds in a negative way. My father liked the story and so did I because I think the film has the power to change people's mind about the issue of forced marriage. Therefore I'm very proud of being a part of it.


Taher Abdullah: I quit school after the 8th grade because I got bored of it. In 2004, my friends and I bought a video camera and started to make little movies on our own, which I really enjoyed. I loved to be in front of the camera and was dreaming of becoming an actor one day... When I met Hisham Zaman, I was 19 years old and working as a gardener in Zakho. He came there to our city to look for a young man for the leading role. It was rather a coincidence because I didn't take part in the actual casting. That was only six days before the shooting was supposed to start. It was a big surprise to me and also for my family and friends. I was incredibly happy to get the role and excited to see many new countries.

 

Duhok IFF: What did you enjoy the most during the shooting?

S.I.: To me, the scenes, in which Taher and I are acting together, were the best ones. We got along very well and became good friends. Taher always gave me lots of positive energy on set. Although it was his first acting experience he did a great job, and I want to thank him for being a wonderful colleague. I went to Norway for the first time through this film and among all the other places we went I liked it the most because I enjoyed the cold there (she laughs).

T.A.: To be honest, I had some difficulties on the first shooting days. It was all so new to me.. But later I got more and more comfortable and Suzan was a huge help for me, too. I agree with her that it was just great to work together, and I also wish to thank her. Suzan is a very good actress and I believe she will celebrate many more, and bigger, successes in the future. The most beautiful shooting days to me were those in which Siyar fell in love with Evin. In real life, I had not felt that emotion yet so those scenes brought me very close to it for the first time.

 

Duhok IFF: How did the overall success of the film affect your lives?

A.T.: My life has completely changed. As I said, I used to be a simple gardener in Zakho and suddenly I became the main actor of a film which won many awards and has been screened in many countries. Later I acted in two short films, which were directed by the Kurdish filmmakers Shawkat Amin and Sahim Omar Kalifa, and I was nominated for the Amanda for Best Actor in 2013. Moreover, the whole City of Zakho loves me now, I am a star there (he laughs)! Even those with whom I had stopped being friends approached me after the film was released and were nice to me again.


S.I.: I won the Award for Best Supporting Actress for my role in BEFORE SNOWFALL – as the first Kurdish actress, and as the first 16 year-old in Norwegian history. The other nominees were renowed actresses from Norway, so I didn't expect to win the award at all. I have received many requests from Turkish broadcasters for different series, but so far I have not accepted any of them. It's important to me to only participate in high quality projects. Also, I would prefer to continue acting in Kurdish productions. In my private life I've realized that people see me differently now, in a positive way. My family is very proud of me, too. At the moment, I want to finish high school first and see which opportunities come up later.