Memories on Stone screened at UNESCO
The 8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) 2014 UNESCO Award winning film Memories on Stone (Bîranînên Li Ser Kevirî) from Iraqi Kurdistan/Germany was screened in the main auditorium at UNESCO's world headquarters in Paris on June 10.
The screening took place during the annual conference of States Parties to UNESCO’s 2015 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which coincides with the treaty’s 10th anniversary.
The film’s Iraqi-Kurdish writer/director Shawkat Amin Korki, writer/producer Mehmet AktaÅŸ, and Abbas Ghazali, also an Member of Parliament in Kurdistan, presented the film and participated in a Q&A before representatives from around the world, APSA Academy members including APSA Executive Chairman, Michael Hawkins and member of the 2014 APSA International Jury, Palestinian writer/director/actress Hiam Abbass.
Mr Hawkins outlined the unique collaboration between the two organisations since APSAs inception including the honour of acting under the auspices of UNESCO and the important APSA UNESCO Award which promotes and preserves cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of film in the Asia-Pacific region.
“As APSA enters its ninth year and UNESCO celebrates the tenth anniversary of this convention, it is timely to join together for a special gala screening of the most recent film honoured by our organisations,” he said.
“Memories on Stone, like previous winners, is not only an exceptional film but is also testament to the courage of filmmakers who take their often-controversial stories to the big screen without the support of big studios or government film agencies.”
Hawkins announced the first Jury appointments for the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Iranian actress Negar Javaherian, who starred in the APSA UNESCO Award-winning film The Painting Pool (2013), will be a member of the International Jury, while filmmaker Shawkat Amin Korki has been appointed as Chair of the APSA Youth Animation and Documentary International Jury.
Shawkat Amin Korki was the first representative from Iraqi Kurdistan nominated for an APSA for his debut film Crossing the Dust (2007). In 2011 he was a recipient of the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, a financial bursary supporting the script development of Memories on Stone, which has won multiple international awards since completion.
"UNESCO is delighted to host this screening of Memories on Stone,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“In today’s world, film can play a powerful role in fostering cultural diversity, and promoting mutual understanding, dialogue and peace. This is why UNESCO forged its link with APSA, which it sees as a most important cultural initiative, not just in the Asia Pacific region, but globally.”