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Turkish Film Festivals
The Istanbul International Film Festival (Turkish: Uluslararası İstanbul Film Festivali) is the first and oldest international film festival in Turkey, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), a non-profit organisation. It is held every year in April in movie theaters in Istanbul, Turkey. The Istanbul International Film Festival was first organized in 1982, within the frame of the International Istanbul Festival as a "Film Week" consisting of six films. The theme of the films participating in the Festival was limited to "Arts and Cinema", to keep the event within the context of the International Istanbul Festival. In 1988, government inspectors forced the withdrawal of 5 of 160 films that were to be screened at the festival. Jean-Jacques Beineix's Betty Blue and Vedreba (The Supplication) by Tengiz Abuladze were among these five works. Vedreba was being blocked on the grounds that it was "anti-Islamic" and cuts from the other four films were demanded because of erotic scenes. Upon the notification by the censorship board that certain films on the program were to be banned, the then president of the Golden Tulip Jury, Elia Kazan, organised a protest march with the participation of Turkish filmmakers. The Turkish Ministry of Culture subsequently issued a decree holding all international film festivals exempt from censorship. Currently the Istanbul International Film Festival, whose aim is “to encourage the development of cinema in Turkey, to help Turkish cinema attain international recognition and to promote films of quality in the Turkish market, has also introduced international institutions and organizations like EURIMAGES to the Turkish market.
The Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Turkish: Antalya Altın Portakal Film Festivali) , held annually since 1963 in Antalya, is the most important national film festival in Turkey. The event, jointly organized by the Foundation of Culture and Arts in Antalya (Antalya Kültür Sanat Vakfı, AKSAV) takes place in the autumn months at the Antalya Cultural Center (Antalya Kültür Merkezi, AKM). Since 2005, the festival is accompanied by the International Eurasia Film Festival. The cultural activities like concerts and theater plays, which started to take place in the 1950s at the historical Aspendos Amphitheatre, formed headstone of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival today. These events held in the summer months under the honorary patronage of Dr. Avni Tolunay, found ever increasing interest of people and became traditional until the beginning of 1960s. In 1963, the festivities turned into a film festival with the initiation Dr. Avni Tolunay, who became the mayor of Antalya that year. The festival starts with a parade in the city of Antalya in the evening of the first day. The opening ceremony takes place at the Konyaaltı Amphitheatre or in Antalya Cultural Center in presence of national and international film celebrities invited. At this ceremony, honorary awards are presented to cinema people for their contribution. The award ceremony takes place in the closing night at the historical Aspendos Amphitheatre, which holds around 7,000 people. In case of bad weather conditions, the award ceremony is transferred to the Glass Pyramid Sabancı Congress and Exhibition Center, which provides seating for an audience of 2,500 only.
Adana Altın Koza International Film Festival (English: The Golden Boll) is a film festival of Adana, that was held 17 times since 1969 and took place every year since 2005. The event is organized by the Greater Adana Municipality and takes place in June. Beginning from 2006, the scope of the festival is broadened to an international dimension within the framework of the cinema in Mediterranean basin countries. The festival, taking its name from cotton boll, the traditional crop grown in the region, includes national feature films along with international short subjects (since 2006) and student films of young Mediterranean filmmakers (from 2008 on). The 15th edition of the festival will be held between June 2 - 8 2008. The Altın Koza Film Festival was organized for the first time in 1969 jointly by the Adana Cinema Club, Adana Municipality and the State Films Archives under the simple name "Film Festival". The event recurred until 1973 uninterrupted. However, in 1974 it came to an end, discontinuing 18 years long. In 1992, the festival was revived with its 6th edition and was held until 1997 under the name "Altın Koza Culture, Arts and Film Festival". Due to earthquakes occurred in 1998 and 1999, and later because of economical reasons, the festival could not be continued for seven successive years. In 2005, the Altın Koza Festival resumed with its 12th edition. In 2009, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, the festival published a catalogue prepared by Burçak Evren and edited by Candan Yaygın on the recipients of its honorary awards in its past editions.
The Flying Broom, Women's Film Festival is an annual event celebrating women's contributions to filmmaking. It is organized by an Ankara-based Turkish organization, was established by Halime Güner in 1996 to fight and raise awareness for women's human rights. The event began in 1997. The Flying Broom Women's Film Festival team is headed by Ayşegül Oğuz and Didem Baltacı. Other members of the festival's team are Sibel Astarcıoğlu, and Uğur and Ürün Güner. The festival gives out the Bilge Olgaç Honorary Award and the Lifelong Achievement Award. It is the only women's film festival in the world to give out the Fipresci Award. The 2005 festival was held from the 5th to 12th of May 2005. The opening night ceremony presenters were Müjde Ar and Mahir Günşiray. Sevda Ferdağ was presented the Lifelong Achievement Award by Müjde Ar, her co-star in Ağır Roman. Former Lifelong Achievement Award winners are Sezer Sezin (2003) and Suzan Avci (2004). The Bilge Olgaç Honorary Award was given to Jeyan Ayral Tözüm - film and stage actress and Sevin Okyay - film critic, journalist, TV presenter, author and the Turkish translator of Harry Potter. The theme of this year's festival was love. Greta Garbo was remembered with a special section on her centennial birthday. The nominees for the Fipresci Award included very popular films like Sally Potter's Yes, Mania Akbari's 20 Fingers, Keren Yedeya's Or, Lucile Hadzihalilovich's Innocence, and Agnès Jaoui's Look at Me. The winner of the Fipresci Award was To Take a Wife by Ronit and Schlomi Elkabitz of Israel.
The Ankara International Film Festival is a film festival, organized by The World Mass Media Research Foundation and accredited by FIPRESCI, which has been held in Ankara, Turkey since 1988. The 22nd Ankara International Film Festival was a film festival held in Ankara, Turkey, which ran from March 17 to 27, 2011. Films were screened at Batı Movie Theater, Büyülü Fener Kızılay, Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center and the Goethe Institut Ankara, and the Street of Art events took place across the city. Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski was the guest of honor at the festival which included a retrospective of his work. This edition of the Ankara International Film Festival, organized by The World Mass Media Research Foundation and accredited by FIPRESCI, opened with a gala on the evening of March 16 at the Ministry of Education Assembly Hall, at which the foundation special awards were presented, and the Emre Kartarı Jazz Band performed film music.
The festival concluded with an awards deremony on March 27 at the Ministry of Education Assembly Hall, at which Derviş Zaim, whose film Shadows and Faces (Turkish: Gölgeler ve Suretler) won the top award, announced "I will try to live up to this honor and I will continue making films that take risks". A total of 620 films were submitted to the competition and screening sections of this edition of the festival
The Festival on Wheels (Turkish: 16 Gazici Festival) is an annual film festival, organised by the Ankara Cinema Association based in Ankara, Turkey, which has beem held since 1995. Its mission is to present outstanding examples of cinema to film enthusiasts in different cities around Turkey and to introduce Turkish cinema to the rest of the world.
During its first 16 iterations the festival has visited the cities of Ankara, Artvin, Baku (Azerbaijan), Bursa, Çanakkale, Drama (Greece), Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Kars, Kayseri, Malatya, Mersin, Ordu, Samsun, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and T’blisi (Georgia). The festival has held an International Competition since 2007 which currently awards a First Prize of €10,000, a Second Prize of €5000 and the SİYAD (Turkish Association of Film Critics) Prize, as well as the Audience Award - a prize determined by the votes of the public and awarded to a short film screened in the festival.
The festival also puts on a programme of workshops to which it invites a number of filmmakers from Turkey and overseas.
Broken Angel (Turkish: Meleğin Sırları) is an adaptation of the novel 'Windy City' - Ruzgarli Sehir, the film tells the real life story of Ebru, a Turkish girl who came to America in the 1980s and fell prey to the the life she saw in the movies and on TV. It is produced by Warner Bros. and was released on 14 March 2008. Broken Angel shows that life for a foreigner is not always the Hollywood life, especially when you do not speak the language. As she is slowly swallowed by the realities, only one boy, a deaf artist, can reach her and save her life. The film also debates American-Turkish relations and the perceptive image of Turks in the U.S. and vice versa. Broken Angel premiered in Istanbul and Izmir.
Climates (Turkish: İklimler) is a 2006 Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The film charts the decline and possibility of renewal of the relationship of a professional Istanbul couple, İsa and Bahar, played by Ceylan and his wife Ebru Ceylan. It was Ceylan's first film shot on High-definition video. The film features long takes of head shots, and poetic landscapes. The dialogue has long silences during which casual sounds are highlighted, such as the sound of a woman drawing on a cigarette. The film was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and won the FIPRESCI Award there. At the premiere in Cannes, Ceylan was widely criticized, as the HD format was considered inappropriate for his poetic, long take style. Later critics were generally more favorable. Critic Michael Phillips chose the film as the best film of the year and as the third best film of the decade. The film begins as a beautiful story - ancient ruins, a couple in love. a nice man about 40 years old walking with his beautiful wife. What could be more romantic? Quiet walks along in the ancient places that are shrouded in mystery amidst lovely nature. Antiquity has disappeared from the earth's face and there are many reasons. The aura of things left in ruins from the first frame of the film hints at strained relations. The audience feels that the family boat is not merely leaky, but has a gaping hole. Climates is a film you want to watch carefully and silently aware of the close-ups alternating with beautiful scenery.
Istanbul Tales - (Turkish: Anlat İstanbul) is a 2005 Turkish drama-anthology film, directed by Selim Demirdelen, Kudret Sabancı, Ümit Ünal, Yücel Yolcu and Ömür Atay, which tells 5 interconnected stories set in modern day Istanbul based on the fairytales Snow White, Cinderella, Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. The film is about Istanbul relating tales which are not merely fairytales but tales that mirror life in Istanbul itself. The film, which went on nationwide general release on March 11, 2005, won several awards including Best Film at the 24th International Istanbul Film Festival. The film also won an award for Yelda Reynaud as Best Actress at the 2005 Istanbul International Film Festival, Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Bangkok International Film Festival, Best Actress for Idil Üner at the Ankara International Film Festival, and Jury Prize for Artistic Expression at the 2005 MedFilm Festival in Rome. Screenwriter Ümit Ünal is a Turkish film director, screenwriter and author. Born in 1965 in Turkey, he is the screenwriter for eight Turkish feature films. His first feature film as a director was 9 which won many awards in various film festivals and was the Official Turkish Entry for the 2003 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He currently works as a freelance director/writer, living in Istanbul and London.
Times and Winds - (Turkish: Beş Vakit) is a 2006 Turkish drama film directed and written by Reha Erdem which premiered in the United States on January 11, 2008. It is about a small village in the mountains overlooking the sea where people struggle to survive on a daily basis. Their lives, like those of their ancestors, follow the rhythms of the earth, air and water, of day and night and the seasons, with days divided into five parts by the call to prayer. Childhood is difficult and a father typically has a preference of one son over the other. Ömer, the son of the Imam, is such a victim of his father's dislike and he wishes for the death of his father. When his wish is not granted he begins to look for ways to kill him as a twelve year old boy might think of with his friend Yakup. Yakup seeing his father sexually interested in his teacher also develops a hatred of his father in the same way and as the children grow up they are riddled between guilt and love and hate for their fathers. It won Best Turkish Film at the Istanbul International Film Festival in 2006, Best Turkish Film at the Adana Golden Boll Film Festival in 2006, Young People's Award at the International Mediterranean Film Festival Montpellier in 2006, Special Mention for Photography at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in 2006, Best Picture. Best Director and Best Cinematography at the Cinema and Film Critics Association - 39th Turkish Cinema Awards and the Best Director at the Bucharest Film Festival among others. Director Reha Erdem, born in 1960 in Istanbul, Turkey is an award-winning Turkish film director and screenwriter.
The Bandit - (Turkish: Eşkıya) is an award-winning 1996 Turkish film written and directed by Yavuz Turgul and starring Şener Şen and Uğur Yücel. According to the director the film, which is about a Kurdish bandit who comes to Istanbul after serving a 35-year jail sentence, "blends fairy tale elements while carrying the notion of reality within a fictional story". The film was enormously popular in its native Turkey where it drew in 2.5 million viewers and in Germany where it won a Bogey Award. It was Turkey's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 69th Academy Awards. After serving a 35-year jail sentence, Baran (played by Şener Şen), a bandit, is released from prison in a town in eastern Turkey. When returning to the home village he witness the fact that the world has changed dramatically during those years, with the village itself underwater after the construction of a dam. Then he also finds out that the person who masterminded the betrayal that brought him to jail was Berfo (Kamuran Usluer), a friend who had once been closer to him than a brother. In order to snare Keje, Baran's girlfriend, Berfo seized his best friends gold and had Baran arrested by the gendarmes on Mountain Cudi. Then Berfo purchased Keje from her father against her will, and disappeared. "Turgul's narrative imbued with sorrow weaves in elements of American action films and pays great attention to detail while relying on the tradition of legends found in eastern literature." - Rekin Teksoy ~ Turkish Cinema.
Destiny (Turkish: Kader) is a 2006 Turkish drama film produced, written and directed by Zeki Demirkubuz. Starring Vildan Atasever as a bar singer who is in love with a somewhat unstable criminal. The film, which went on nationwide general release across Turkey on November 17, 2006, won awards at film festivals in Antalya, Ankara, Nuremberg and Istanbul, including the Golden Orange for Best film, Best director for Zeki Demirkubuz and Best actor for Ufuk Bayraktar. At the Ankara Film Festival
it won Best actress for Vildan Atasever, Best director for Zeki Demirkubuz and Best supporting actress for Müge Ulusoy. At the Nuremberg film festival it won Best film award (Jury - Audience). Uğur played by Vildan Atasever is a bar singer who is in love with a somewhat unstable criminal, Zagor played by Ozan Bilen. Her father is seriously ill and her young mother is emotionally distant. Bekir played by Ufuk Bayraktar is a young man who runs his father's business. He becomes infatuated with Uğur after she visits his shop one day. After a series of violent incidents and mishaps occur in Istanbul, both Uğur and Zagor disappear. After Zagor is landed in prison some time afterward, Uğur reappears and asks Bekir to help her. Meanwhile Zagor is transferred to a prison in Sinop. Uğur tries to trace Zagor who has escaped from prison as Bekir tries to trace Uğur.
On the Count of Zero (Turkish: Sıfır Dediğimde) is a 2007 Turkish mystery/thriller/drama film, written and directed by Gökhan Yorgancıgil. The film stars Oktay Kaynarca, Hazim Körmükçü and Damla Tokel as the main characters, but also includes the talents of Görkem Yeltan, Özge Özder, Semih Sergen and Riza Pekkutsal. The film tells the story of the young art student Aslı, through her desperate journey in the world of hypnosis in order to find the precious art book she has lost and her unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger in the world of hypnosis. The plot thickens with the parallel story of a mother reading fairy-tales to her son which are depicted as 3D animation renderings of traditional Turkish shadow puppeteering art. The parallel stories entwine to lead the characters towards the mysterious Burgaz Island through a journey into the ancient capital of the east - İstanbul. On the Count of Zero is the first Turkish film in the this genre. The film project was developed through the blog page Mahkum.net, which makes it the first film project to be developed online with the participation of Mahkum.net's followers on topics ranging from story ideas to casting decisions. The film was screened in 4 festivals in the USA and won 2 Special Jury Remi Awards in the 42nd Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival in the "Best First Feature" and "Theatrical Feature" contending for Grand REMI Award categories.
Distant (Turkish: Uzak) is a 2002 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Distant tells the story of Yusuf played by Mehmet Emin Toprak, a young factory worker who loses his job and travels to Istanbul to stay with his relative Mahmut played by Muzaffer Özdemir while looking for a job. Mahmut is a wealthy and intellectual photographer, whereas Yusuf is illiterate, uneducated, and unsophisticated. The two do not get along well. Yusuf assumes that he will easily find work as a sailor, but there are no jobs, and he has no sense of direction or energy. Meanwhile, Mahmut, despite his wealth, is aimless too: his job, which consists of photographing tiles, is dull and inartistic, he can barely express emotions towards his ex-wife or his lover, and while he pretends to enjoy intellectual filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, he switches channels to watch porn as soon as Yusuf leaves the room. Mahmut attempts to bond with Yusuf and recapture his love of art by taking him on a drive to photograph the beautiful Turkish countryside, but the attempt is a failure on both counts. At the end of the film, Yusuf leaves without telling Mahmut, who is left to sit by the docks, watching the ships on his own. The use of the word distant rather than distance shifts emphasis from the gap itself to the state of existence. While Yusuf is from the village, Mahmut lives in the city. Although they are able to bridge the geographical distance they remain emotionally and spiritually distant. Mahmut spends his days in the city trying to cope with loneliness and emotional vacuum. While the arrival of his cousin Yusuf should have filled in that hollowness it only proves to deepen for both of them. The film portrays the alienation brought about by increasing globalization and urbanization. This was to be the last film that Emin Toprak was to make, soon after the filming of Uzak was completed he died in a car accident, he was 28 years of age. The film won 17 awards and 2 nominations, including the Grand Prix and Prix d'interprétation masculine, shared by the two actors in the film at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
Wrong Rosary (Turkish: Uzak İhtimal) is an award-winning 2009 Turkish drama film directed by Mahmut Fazıl Çoşkun. A wonderful atmosphere from Istanbul, where a peculiar love story takes place: Musa falls for his neighbour, the Catholic nurse Clara. The story gets even more exceptional when Musa meets Yakup, who turns out to be connected with Clara. Different ambiances of a multi-religious and multicultural city. This is a story of sensuality, love and grief, growing in the anonymity of a big modern city. It takes place in present-day Istanbul, in Galata. Musa is a beginning muezzin (person who leads calls to Muslim prayers) who comes to the city for the first time in his life. He is assigned to work in a mosque and receives an apartment. Upon his arrival he meets his next door neighbour Clara, a Catholic nurse. She takes care of the older nurse, Sister Anna. Excitement and a simultaneously warm sensation emerge from this first encounter. In the beginning, the young muezzin is quite hesitant to confess to himself what is actually happening, but as time passes his love for Clara pervades his life. It won Best Film at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2009, Best Film at the 6th Crossing Europe Film Festival 2009, Best Balkan Film at the Sofia International Film Festival 2009, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Script at the 28th Istanbul Film Festival 2009, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress at the 16th Adana Golden Boll Film Festival 2009 and Best Actor - Jury Special Award at the TOFIFEST International Film Festival in 2009.
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