PATHS, 11min., Iraq, War/Drama
Directed by Azhin Kawa
In August 2014 Isis attacks the city of Shingal and the villages surrounding it, while Haider and 21 members of his family are escaping the terrorists, something happens that drastically changes the course of their lives. in a double narrative fractured storyline, Haider must choose a path.
Get to know the filmmaker:
What motivated you to make this film?
The strongest basis for any good movie is its story. A
strong subject and an effective message is my main
motive for producing this film. Telling a tale that stems
from people's actual lives is not easy. My motive for
filming this story is to demonstrate people's decisions that
impact their entire life, and the assassination of humanity
and especially Kurds in the name of religion, politics,
culture and many other reasons regardless of any human
• From the idea to the finished product, how long
did it take for you to make this film?
On a typical day, I was scrolling around social media when I
came across this heartbreaking article. It truly touched me. I was
very sad to see the father's pain after his decision, I told my
friends about the case, and together we decided to adapt it into
a movie, After speaking with the real family and obtaining their
consent, we began writing the script. We were able to get two
funds for the best pitch, the Gothenburg Film Fund and the
Duhok Film Fund.
The production process took 136 days in total.
- Eight days of brainstorming and two revisions of the script.
- Two months of preparation.
- We shoot for three days.
- Music and post-production took two months.
• How would you describe your film in two words!?
Circle of Pain
• What was the biggest obstacle you faced in
completing this film?
Whether the project is big or small, none of the processes are simple. There is
no stage that is without obstacles, but having a competent team behind you
always makes it easier. The first stage of finding ideas or having a concept
and converting it into a script is one of the stages I find the most challenging.
Finding the right cast for each role and adjusting to their shooting schedule,
however, proved to be the most challenging parts of this project because,
with the exception of the mother, father, and daughter, every other actor and
extra in the movie they had never appeared in front of the camera. It made
the work different and a little more difficult for me.
Another tricky time for me began in the editing room when we started
explaining the story of the movie and attempting to develop a unique and
acceptable way to convey the story and cut the movie. It's true that we knew
how the movie would end out even before we started scripting it, but
alterations can occasionally be made in the editing room.
• What were your initial reactions when watching
the audience talking about your film in the
There aren't enough words to describe how I feel about how the
viewers responded to the feedback videos, but I find it to be very
rewarding. On the one hand, I am really pleased with the viewers'
reactions and kind words. Although it is difficult to witness so much
suffering in just 11 minutes, but this is only one of the tragic stories
that we Kurds see and experience on a daily basis.
In our Kurdistan, there is laughter, joy, success, and a joyful existence,
yet there are numerous post-war remains. Every day, we learn about
the anguish of the post-war survivors and attempt to heal our wounds.
Paths team is thrilled with all the feedbacks, and excited to be able to
share this narrative with you through distinctive performances and
• When did you realize that you wanted to make
I don't want to give traditional answers like "I've been passionate about
filmmaking since childhood," because I didn't know there was a field
called cinema with the complexity and brilliance I know now. But I was
very passionate about photography, I loved my camera, and I loved
experimenting with colors. I could create a stunning image with colors
even though I didn't have a drawing hand
Then I discovered cinema and got obsessed with watching movies. I
don't go a single day without seeing a movie. I love creating my own
world. Creating my own universe, one that is entirely mine down to the
minute detail, is something I can only do through cinema, in my opinion.
When I was 15 years old and went to the movies for the first time with
my father, I noticed how the crowd responded to the movie and decided
.this was the world I wanted to live in.
• What film have you seen the most in your life?
There are few films I've seen it more than once, Your first seeing of the
film focuses on the plot and the characters, you don't get to observe
the film's beauty in detail, therefore you need to watch it again. One of
the films I've watched more than a few times is (Incendies) by Denis
Villeneuve and films of my favorite director Alejandro González
A filmmaker is frequently want to know more and ready to learn as
much as he can, so you continually want to soak in as much as you can,
but because there are so many movies, you often find time to see your
earlier ones again.
In watching films I enjoy watching films of all genres and eras, but my
favorites are vintage and black-and-white films, which have a unique
sense that you can only get in old films.
• What other elements of the festival experience
can we and other festivals implement to satisfy
you and help you further your filmmaking
Every film festival has its unique program and manner of operation.
One of the sections I want to see at every film festival is the film
marketing area, where you can network with filmmakers, publishers,
producers, and others. Having panels and seminars on any topic in
cinema, for example, provides the visitors a lot of attention. Yet taking
part in this lovely festival has its own charm, and I'm glad I was able to
experience it this year.
• You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway.
How has your experiences been working on the
festival platform site?
Film Freeway has offered a very wonderful facility and help to artists
that beautifully defines each of the festivals that you see and you can
receive the essential information from it, I unexpectedly discovered
this lovely festival and enthusiastically chose to participate.
• What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is generally morning; I set a wonderful breakfast
table with the best coffee, and I have several favorite foods.
My task has been made more difficult by Kurdistan's richness of food.
Dolma is a fantastic Kurdish meal that I really enjoy. I also enjoy
Sawar, and I enjoy seafood, but not all types.
• What is next for you? A new film?
We'll start working on another picture when Paths is finished. In
fact, I have two really beautiful ideas, and I'm confident it will be a
strong script, but I need to attempt to acquire the required funds
before we begin construction with my powerful special crew.