Establishing a caliphate was the ultimate dream of members of the Islamic State, currently detained in prison-camps. ROJEK encounters members of the Islamic State from all over the world, as well as their wives detained in prison-camps, who are sharing a common dream: establishing a caliphate.
Nominated for Editing
Nominated for Directing
Nominated for Sound
Nominated for Cinematography
Original Title: Rojek Director: Zaynê Akyol Country: Canada Year: 2022 Duration: 128 min Producers: Zayne Akyol, Sylvain Corbeil & Aubrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre

SPECIAL SCREENING: 14th of October (5 PM) and 15th of October (5:40 PM). Conversation with director Zaynê Akyol (Canada) and cinematographer Arshia Shakiba.

The filmmaker Zaynê Akyol gives them a voice, trying to trace the beginning, the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIS) through their personal stories. At the same time Rojek draws associations between their stories and their consequences through contrasting tableaux shots, showing a still burning devastation of the land and its inhabitants, all implicitly questioning the sustainability and longevity of peace. Confronted with the fundamentalist beliefs of the jihadists, the film attempts to trace the beginning, the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIS) through their personal stories. These conversations are the thread along which the documentary evolves, intertwined with various sequences depicting current, post-war Syrian Kurdistan. ROJEK offers an intimate gaze at an unknown reality, testifying of pivotal moments experienced by the actors of this conflict.The film tackles how this ideological war is only the beginning of a new kind of threat.

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Through Akyols interest in images and politics create great scenery seen through female faces. With her distinctions in education as well as her nominations and win from previous works we see a new unseen side to politics and ideologies through curious eyes.

Graduated from the École des médias at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Zaynê Akyol received the award for the most promising documentarist, at the end of her bachelor’s degree, from the René-Malo Chair, in association with the National Film Board of Canada. She also finished a master’s degree with a cinema concentration, basing her research on relational and creative matters in documentary. Balancing practice with theory, Zaynê directed her first feature-length documentary, Gulîstan, Land of Roses in 2016, which depicts Kurdish women fighters in war against Daesh (the Islamic State). This personal work is noticed by several international festivals, and it collects more than 80 selections, 50 nominations and 12 awards, including the prestigious Doc Alliance Award given at Locarno Film Festival.

"I am not a politician and neither a preacher for any ideology. I am a filmmaker trying to understand a particular situation and to be a subjective observer."


Gulistan, Land of Roses (2016)