Join us for the screening of Gulîstan, Land of Roses, directed and developed by Kurdish-born Canadian filmmaker Zaynê Akyol. The film will be showcased within Shirin Neshat’s exhibition, building on the themes of displacement, migration, and geopolitical conflict. In addition to the screening of the film, Akyol will provide an introduction and be available for a Q&A following the film.
This film is programmed to coincide with the premiere of Akyol’s most recent film ROJEK, which is screening at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival.
Neshat and Akyol came together in conversation earlier this spring and the recording can be watched here: Creative Conversations: Shirin Neshat and Zaynê Akyol.
This documentary travels deep into the mountains and deserts of Kurdistan, where armed female guerillas from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) defend Kurdish territory against ISIS. These women share their most intimate thoughts with filmmaker Zaynê Akyol, resulting in an immersive audience experience. By offering a window into this largely unknown world, the film exposes the hidden feminist face of a revolutionary group united by a common vision of freedom.
Zaynê Akyol received a BA in Communications, specializing in Cinema from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), where she was awarded the prize for most promising documentary filmmaker by the René Malo Chair, associated with UQAM and the National Film Board of Canada.
In 2010, Akyol released the documentary, Iki Bulut Arasinda (Under Two Skies), which won prizes in Canada before touring internationally. She went on to direct her first feature documentary, Gulîstan, Land of Roses, which draws a human portrait of Kurdish women guerrillas fighting against Daesh (the Islamic State). Completed in 2016, the film was widely celebrated, earning more than 80 international festival nominations as well as 12 awards, including the Doc Alliance at the Locarno Film Festival.