The Duhok IFF is delighted to announce that it will for the first time assign the Yılmaz Güney Award.


Being a director, actor, screenwriter and author of novels, Yılmaz Güney dedicated many of his works to the plight of the Kurdish and ordinary, working class people in Turkey. Thanks to Güney, Turkish cinema was revolutionised and Kurdish cinema was born. Until today his personality and films have influenced filmmakers across the four parts of Kurdistan.


Yılmaz Güney was born in 1937 in the village Siverek near Adana in Turkey as the son of a simple farming family. He led the exceptional life of a man who never made a compromise. Güney was detained several times because of his socialist attitude, 17 years in total. While in prison, he wrote and produced his most successful films. In his screenplays, he included precise stage directions for his assistants to be carried out for him on set. His film SÜRÜ (The Herd) won the Golden Leopard in Locarno in 1978 and DÜŞMAN (The Enemy) received the Silver Bear at the Berlinale in 1980. Two years later, he made YOL (The Way) with the help of his assistant Şerif Gören who followed Güney's instructions. This film was awarded with the Palme d’Or in Cannes. In 1984, Yılmaz Güney died in exile in Paris where over 500.000 people from all over Europe attended his funeral.


Click here  to read the whole biography of Yılmaz Güney written by young Kurdish director Hüseyin Tabak.


The Yılmaz Güney Award is endowed with 10.000 USD and will be given to the Best Feature-Length Film in the International Competition.