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Gulîstan, Land of Roses

Zaynê Akyol
2016 | 86 min 10 s

Prizes and awards

  • Best Feature FilmMilano Film Festival 2016

  • Best New Talent From Québec/CanadaRIDM 2016

  • Spirit & Audience AwardEBS International Documentary Festival 2016

  • Primer Premio Tiempo de HistoriaValladolid International Film Festival 2016

  • Selection AwardDoc Alliance 2016

  • Best Kurdish DocumentaryDuhok International Film Festival 2016

  • Jury's PrizeTrento Film Festival, Italy 2017

  • Jury AwardLake Como Film Festival 2017

  • Jury Prize & Circolo Amerindiano AwardDiritti a Todi, Human Rights International Film Festival 2017

THE FILM


LONG DESCRIPTION


About the PKK


About Kurdistan

Trailer

Promotional Materials

Team


ZAYNÊ AKYOL
Director
Biography
Photo
Photo : Elif Uzun


ZAYNÊ AKYOL

Zaynê Akyol is an award-winning filmmaker of Kurdish origin who was born in Turkey and raised in Quebec. She studied at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communications, concentrating on film. In 2009, Akyol produced her first short documentary, Isminaz, which won the Jury Prize in the Radio-Canada International Roots competition. Akyol completed her degree by winning the René Malo Chair/National Film Board of Canada award for most promising documentary filmmaker. In 2010, she followed up with her medium-length documentary, Iki Bulut Arasinda (Under Two Skies), which won the Jury and People’s Choice awards at the Festival Vidéastes Recherché(e)s, as well as the Vox award at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois festival before touring the international festival circuit. Exile, immigration and expectation are at the heart of Akyol’s first film essays, which alternate between Quebec and Turkey.

Balancing practice with theory, Akyol is currently completing her master’s degree in Communications, concentrating on “film and moving images.” Her research focuses on creative and relational issues in documentary film, which she frequently encounters in her own filmmaking efforts. As part of her research, Akyol is producing a memoir entitled Shared Relation and Creation in Documentary Filmmaking. In 2012, Akyol devoted herself to writing her first feature documentary, Land of the Roses: My Name Is Gülistan, whose script-in-progress was selected from among 4,400 projects for the Doc Station (Berlinale Talents) at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film is now being released as Gulîstan, Land of Roses. With this highly personal look at the daily lives of women fighting in the ranks of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) against ISIS, Akyol addresses some of the political issues she occasionally lectures on. Akyol says this allows her to not only stay connected to her Kurdish roots but to also contemplate the state of the world at a time of increasingly global conflicts. The film is a co-production between Canada and Germany.


SARAH MANNERING
Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Dominic Berthiaume


SARAH MANNERING

Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in Cinema from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2010 and began her career in film as a coordinator at micro_scope, an independent feature-film production company. She eventually began producing films and founded her own production company, Colonelle Films, with partners Geneviève Dulude-De Celles (development) and Fanny Drew (administration, production). The company supports up-and-coming filmmakers and focuses on projects backed by a strong and singular creative vision. To date, Colonelle Films has produced seven shorts and three feature documentaries. These films received awards and have screened at various international festivals, including Sundance, Rotterdam, and TIFF, and was nominated at the Gala du Cinéma québecois and the Canadian Screen Awards.


FANNY DREW
Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Dominic Berthiaume


FANNY DREW

Fanny Drew studied at HEC Montréal, where she completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2008. She worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) before entering the world of producing as a production manager at Périphéria Productions. Her diverse experience gave rise to a new goal: to found her own production company. In 2012, she co-founded Colonelle Films with partners Geneviève Dulude-De Celles and Sarah Mannering. The company supports up-and-coming filmmakers and focuses on projects backed by a strong and singular creative vision. To date, Colonelle Films has produced seven shorts and three feature documentaries that have screened at various international festivals, including Sundance, Rotterdam, and TIFF, and received awards at the Gala du Cinéma québecois and the Canadian Screen Awards.


YANICK LÉTOURNEAU
Producer – Executive Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Rémi Duperoux


YANICK LÉTOURNEAU

Yanick Létourneau is CEO of Periphéria, a director-driven film production company that he co-founded in 2000, and which collaborates actively in co-productions with Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Létourneau is currently producing X Quinientos, a fiction feature by Juan Andrés Arango, in co-production with Septima (Colombia) and Machete (Mexico), as well as the feature-length documentary MTL New Wave, directed by Érik Çimon, and the début feature by Sophie Fortier, Exil au Far West. He recently completed production of Gulîstan, Land of Roses  by Zaynê Akyol, co-produced by mîtosfilm (Germany) and the NFB. He is developing the feature-length films Passover, directed by Daniel Schachter and co-produced with Toronto-based Six Island; The Mercy of the Jungle, a drama by Rwandese filmmaker Joel Karekezi, in co-production with Néon Rouge (Belgium) and Tact (France); the philosophical comedy 12 Frames/Second, directed by Martin Laroche; and Roman Ruins by Meryam Joobeur, co-produced with Cinétéléfilms (Tunisia) and mîtosfilm (Germany).

Yanick Létourneau is an ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen) member and a past participant in the Cannes Producers Network, Rotterdam Lab, TransAtlantic Partners, and Producers Lab Toronto. He sat on the boards of directors of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM, 2011–2015) and Hot Docs (2004–2012) and has been on the Doc Québec board since 2001. He has also been a member of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) advisory committee since 2014.


MEHMET AKTAŞ
Producer – Executive producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Rémi Duperoux


MEHMET AKTAŞ

Screenwriter and producer Mehmet Aktaş is the founder and director of Berlin-based mîtosfilm, a distribution and production company that specializes in international co-productions. Born in Turkey in 1966, Mehmet grew up in Istanbul and has been living in Berlin since 1995. Some of the most well-known films of his successful career as a writer-producer include Bahman Ghobadi’s No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009), winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at  Cannes, and Song of My Mother by Erol Mintaş, which won the Best Film award at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Mehmet co-wrote the script for Hisham Zaman’s Letter to the King (2014), which won Best Screenplay at the Amanda Awards (Norway). He also produced and wrote the script for Shawkat Amin Korki’s Memories on Stone (2014), winner of the Abu Dhabi festival’s Best Film from the Arab World award and the UNESCO Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Memories on Stone was the official Iraqi entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.


NATHALIE CLOUTIER
Producer (NFB)
Biography
Photo
Photo : Sophie Quevillon


NATHALIE CLOUTIER

Nathalie Cloutier studied Arts and Letters and collaborated on a number of theatre projects early in her career. But after participating in the 1998‒1999 edition of the TV show La Course destination monde, she made a turn towards filmmaking.

In 2003, Nathalie came to the NFB as a production coordinator and worked with teams in Studio A, the International Co-Production Unit and French Program’s Quebec Studio. She later went back to school, studying to be a producer in the documentary program at the Institut national de l’image et du son. After completing the program, she returned to the Film Board, where she has been a producer since 2010.

Nathalie has been involved in producing a number of interactive experiences, including the website The Hole Story Interactive, which accompanied the film The Hole Story, by Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie; Here at Home, a multi-award-winning website about homelessness; and You, Me, and the Charter, an interactive project directed by Jérémie Battaglia and Vali Fugulin, in collaboration with Urbania magazine.

In addition to her work in interactive productions, Nathalie has also produced and co-produced a number of feature documentaries, including Ariel, by Laura Bari, The Wind at My Door, by Pierre Goupil and Rénald Bellemare, and Little Big Girls, by Hélène Choquette. In 2015, she launched three documentaries that distinguished themselves on the national and international scenes: Ève Lamont’s The Sex Trade; Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan’s The Wanted 18, which premiered at TIFF; and Sophie Deraspe’s The Amina Profile, whose world premiere was at the Sundance Film Festival.


DENIS McCREADY
Producer (NFB)
Biography
Photo
Photo : NFB


DENIS McCREADY

Denis McCready has been working in the Quebec film and television industry since 1996. He started off directing commercials for music channel MusiquePlus before becoming head of advertising for MusiquePlus, MusiMax, Super Écran and Canal Indigo. The early 2000s saw McCready working with independent production companies, where he gained experience as a production director, line producer, and producer of documentaries, documentary series, and dramas.

No stranger to technical and creative challenges, McCready has produced low-budget auteur documentaries on subjects as diverse as dance, music, the environment and child trafficking, as well as big-budget documentary series dealing with science, exploration, and war. He has overseen shoots both in Canada and abroad, many in locations that are hard to access (the Arctic, NASA, the Russian space program) or dangerous (the Atacama and Mojave deserts, the giant Cave of Crystals in Naica, Mexico). He oversaw the production of hundreds of special-effects sequences for the series Mars Rising and produced and wrote the serious game L’or du golfe for the ICI Radio-Canada website. McCready has delivered HD programs for major broadcasters, including National Geographic (US and international), Discovery (Canada, US, Latin America), History (Canada), ARTE (France/Germany), NHK (Japan), CBC, Radio-Canada, Canal D, and Télé-Québec. In addition, he’s worked on a number of official international co-productions (Canada-France, Canada-Mexico).

McCready won several awards as the producer of Chercher le courant (including the RIDM Audience Choice Award and Gémeaux Award for Best Documentary: Society) and Bas! Au-delà du Redlight (NFB Colin Low Award at DOXA). The films he’s produced have screened at many international festivals, including Hot Docs, Visions du réel, the International Festival of Films on Art, NXNE, DOXA, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), and the Vancouver International Film Festival. He has also produced two documentaries directed by Ian Jaquier: L’or du golfe, with Kevin Parent, and Kanata: Aujourd’hui la colonisation, as well as the powerful documentary MTL Punk: La première vague, by Érik Cimon and Alain Cliche.

McCready is currently Executive Producer for the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio. Previously, he worked on many NFB short and feature-length documentaries and interactive projects as a producer for the Documentary Studio and the Institutional Program.


Colette Loumède
Executive Producer (NFB)
Biography
Photo
Photo : NFB


Colette Loumède

Colette Loumède began her career at the Coop Vidéo de Montréal, a group that has had a significant impact on Quebec cinema. Alongside Robert Morin, Lorraine Dufour, Jean-Pierre St-Louis, Louis Bélanger and others, she learned every aspect of the film trade long before becoming the veteran producer she is today.

Currently the head of the French Program Documentary Studio at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Loumède is known for producing documentaries that stand out for both their subject matter and artistry. Her productions have screened at many of the world’s top festivals, including Hot Docs, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Berlin International Film Festival, Visions du réel, Sundance, and the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM).

Loumède’s work is driven by a desire to produce films with meaningful content by auteurs intent on addressing the important issues of the day. She has worked with Serge Giguère, Richard Desjardins, Patricio Henriquez, Hugo Latulippe, Benoît Pilon, Sophie Deraspe, Zaynê Akyol, Claude Demers, Jean-François Caissy and many other contemporary Quebec directors.

Over the course of her career, Loumède has collaborated with a wide range of groups and people. She was responsible for analyzing documentary projects for SODEC, Quebec’s public film-financing body, and founded and led the documentary program at the Institut national de l’image et du son de Montréal (INIS), Quebec’s foremost professional cinema training institute. She is actively involved with the Documentary Network, RIDM and other festivals across multiple genres, and has regularly served on panels, juries, and many domestic and international platforms devoted to promoting auteur documentary.

Images

Credits

Written and directed by
ZAYNÊ AKYOL

With
SOZDAR CUDÎ
ROJEN BÊRÎTAN
NUPELDA HEREKOL
ŞÎLAN DOXAN
SOZDAR CEMAL
AVAŞÎN ŞÎLAN
DEVRÎM CIZÎRÎ
EVÎNDAR DELÎLA
EDESSA AMARA
ZOZAN BOTAN
BÊRÎTAN DERÎK
AZER PEPULE
ADAR ARARAT
BERÇEM AMED
RONAK GEVER
ÊRÎVAN MAKO
AHMET RUBAR
FERIDE ALKAN
ROZA SILA NÛDA
NUJÎN DÊRÎK
BINEVŞ BATMAN
DURAN KALKAN
CUMA BILIKÎ
RÛBAR TEYÎ
MEDYA HUNER
VÎYAN DILARA
DAYAN EFRÎN
TAVÎN TÊKOŞÎN
BÊRÎTAN URFA
BÊRÎVAN SARYA
SERBEST ZAGROS
BÊRÎVAN DERSÎM
AXÎN KIÇÎ
HÊVÎDAR DEVRÎM
NUDA XEMGÎN
TÎRÊJ SERHED
BÊRÎVAN EFRÎN
ŞÎMAL DILSOZ
DELÎL CUDÎ
KENDAL AMANOS
XELÎL GEVER
SIMKO SORKÊW
DILBIRÎN GEWER
HEREKOL KIÇÎ

Director of Photography
ETIENNE ROUSSY

Editor
MATHIEU BOUCHARD-MALO

Assistant Director
PAMINA DITTMANN

Additional Images
ZAYNÊ AKYOL

Sound Man Turkey
VINCENT LAROCHE-GAGNON

Sound Man Kurdistan (Iraq)
ADEL TON

Additional Sound Recording
SHAHRAM AHMADIAN

Associate Producer
ZAYNÊ AKYOL

Production Managers Montreal
SARAH MANNERING
FANNY DREW

Production Manager Turkey & Iraq
SAID NUR AKKUŞ

Production Coordinator
CONSTANCE MALPEL

Production Accountant
PASCAL LAROSE

Production Assistants
JANNA HEINE
NIHAT NUYAN
ERDAL KIRIK
IMAD LEZGIN

Driver Kurdistan (Iraq)
SERDAR ALTÜRK

Script Consultant Canada
DIANE POITRAS

Script Consultant Germany
MEHMET AKTAŞ

Post Production Supervisor
Assistant Editor
ANDRÉE-ANNE ROUSSEL

Sound Design
OLIVIER CALVERT

Music Composer
CHRISTOPHE LAMARCHE-LEDOUX

Musical Excerpt From
“LE DINE” BY ELIF & REMZI

On-Line Editor (NFB)
YANNICK CARRIER

Technical Support – Editing (NFB)
PIERRE DUPONT
ISABELLE PAINCHAUD
PATRICK TRAHAN

Re-recording (NFB)
SERGE BOIVIN

Foley
LISE WEDLOCK

Foley Technician (NFB)
GEOFF MITCHELL

Graphic Designers
MARIE-CLAUDE MARQUIS
GABRIEL JASMIN

Marketing Manager
FRANÇOIS JACQUES

Assisted by
MICHELLE ROZON

Administrator
SIA KOUKOULAS

Production Coordinators
CHINDA PHOMMARINH
ISABELLE LIMOGES

Administrative Assistant
PASCALE SAVOIE-BRIDEAU

Technical Coordinator
MIRA MAILHOT

Line Producer
MÉLANIE LASNIER

Legal Consultant
RÉMY KHOUZAM

Insurance
GLOBALEX

Financial Services
BANQUE NATIONALE

Translations
ZAYNÊ AKYOL
T&S COOP
BERIVAN ALMAMİ
HATICE AKTAŞ

Executive Producers
YANICK LÉTOURNEAU
COLETTE LOUMÈDE (NFB)
MEHMET AKTAŞ

Producers
SARAH MANNERING
FANNY DREW
YANICK LÉTOURNEAU
MEHMET AKTAŞ
NATHALIE CLOUTIER (NFB)
DENIS McCREADY (NFB)

A Canada-Germany coproduction
with the financial support of the
Programme d’aide aux jeunes créateurs – SODEC

Produced by
PÉRIPHÉRIA
In co-production with
MÎTOSFILM
NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA

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Press Relations

  • Nadine Viau
    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745
    n.viau@nfb.ca

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.