Rojek – Director Zayne Akyol

Director Zayne Akyol’s even handed and insightful documentary ROJEK places the viewer face-to-face with incarcerated members of the Islamic State from all over the world, as well as their wives  detained in prison-camps, who all share a common dream: establishing a caliphate. Confronted with the fundamentalist beliefs of the jihadists, the ROJEK attempts to trace the beginning, the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIS) through their personal stories. These conversations are the threads along which the documentary evolves, as it is 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. Director Zayne Akyol yeoman’s work in ROJEK brings us into the center of a dangerous and vexing question facing much of the world right now… is the ideological warfare we have all witnessed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, an historic anomaly or the beginning of a terrifying threat to our collective security?


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For more go to:

Canada’s entry 2024 Academy Award® Best International Feature

About the filmmaker – Zaynê Akyol is a Canadian filmmaker, producer and photographer. She went to Université du Québec à Montréal, where she obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Communication, with a specialization in film. In 2016, Zaynê released her first feature documentary  Gulîstan, Land of Roses, which was selected by 80 international film festivals with 50 nominations and won 12 awards, including the prestigious Doc Alliance Award given at Locarno Film Festival. Zaynê also started producing other filmmaker’s films, two of which are expected to be released in 2021. In her free time, she is a photographer whose exhibitions have been attended worldwide. Her latest documentary, Rojek, was Canada’s submission for the 2024 Academy Award® in the Best International Feature category.



100% on RottenTomatoes

“A deeply unsettling exploration of morality and terror.” – The Globe and Mail

“Rojek is a work of poetic inquisitiveness years-in-the-making. This absorbing and admirably even-handed documentary looks the beast in the eye to weigh the context, cost, and consequences of fundamentalism.” – POV Magazine

“Offers an insight into the seemingly impenetrable, monolith group and paints the extremist faction through its affiliates, who are – unlike their general perception by media and the public – distinguishable and diverse.” – Modern Times Review

“Kurdish fundamentalist extremists and Western cultures…faint possibility of finding co-existence. normalizes torture and murder in a burning hellscape of ancient repressive laws, fascinating, ugly, raw, and real; we need to know.” – Anne Brodie, What She Said

“Here is an astringent, devastating and truly extraordinary film that is hard work to watch, but entirely worth it.” – Leslie Felperin, Guardian

“It’s a truly disturbing doc, illuminating a mindset that is difficult to comprehend but that must be understood if there is to ever be anything close to an attempt at peaceful coexistence.” – Awards Daily

“Highly recommended. This is one of DOC NYC’s most important films.” – Unseen Films

“An unexpected look at a far-reaching current political issue and a film whose subject matter and rhythm create an impressive cinematographic object.” – AV Club