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jano   jano_rosebiani

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A self-taught Kurdish/American scriptwriter, director, producer, and editor spearheading a Kurdish New Wave cinema. Starting as a portrait artist and graphic designer, Rosebiani acquired his knowledge of filmmaking during his college years at NOVA in the mid eighties while managing movie theaters and making experimental videos for a public access television in Northern Virginia.

He is the winner of numerous international awards and has been listed in the top 35 world filmmakers in the book “Cineaste Uit De Schaduw” (Filmmakers from the Shadow) by Belgian celebrity photographer Kris De Witte, published by Open Doek film festival in Belgium in 2002.

Rosebiani’s film debut, Dance of the Pendulum (1995) was set in Hollywood, however his true calling was to bring the stories of his oppressed people to the big screen at a time when Kurdish cinema was still to be born –the only Kurdish film that had captured the attention of the West was Yilmaz Guney’s Palme d’Or prize winner, “Yol” (1982). In 2001 he folded his Burbank-based production house and headed to the liberated Kurdish region of Iraq (South Kurdistan) where he made his first Kurdish film, JIYAN (life).

Jiyan is the first film made in South Kurdistan. It’s about the aftermath of the infamous chemical attack of 1987, thus often referred to as ‘the Halabja movie’. It was nominated for the Tiger award at Rotterdam International Film Festival, and became a festival favorite, garnering high critical acclaim including four-star ratings by the Guardian and BBC World.

Rosebiani’s follow up to “Jiyan” were two documentaries, Saddam’s Mass Graves (2003) and Chemical Ali’s Anfal (2004) both depicting Saddam’s and his cousin Ali’s crimes against humanity.

His narrative features, "Chaplin of the Mountains" (2013) and "One Candle, Two Candles" (Êk Momik, Du Momik) (2014) are dubbed as groundbreakers, spearheading a new wave movement in Kurdish cinema for their controversial subject matter and experimental approach ("Chaplin"), and bold content and graphical depiction of the clash of the generations ("Candles"). Both films were released in the United States, opening in NYC to favorable reviews. "Chaplin" was chosen as NY Times critics pick, and "Candles" was selected as a candidate for the 2015 Golden Globes Award.

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