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Istanbul International Film Festival announces juries

Istanbul International Film Festival announces juries and special programs to mark 25th edition

New section for women’s films also announced

ISTANBUL - The jury for the International Golden Tulip competition of the 25th International Istanbul Film Festival will be chaired by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, the accomplished French director known for his period films and in particular for his Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Gérard Depardieu.
Other members of the jury include: Prune Engler, director of the La Rochelle International Film Festival; Turkish director Reha Erdem; Nick James, editor-in-chief of “Sight & Sound” magazine; Makram Khoury, the Israeli actor who starred most recently in Steven Spielberg’s Munich; Italian writer Lidia Ravera; and Turkish actress Işık Yenersu.
The jury for the festival’s National Competition, which features a line-up of eight films, will be chaired by the acclaimed actress and singer Zuhal Olcay. She is joined by: Turkish director Reis Çelik; Giorgio Gosetti, director of the Venice Film Days; Turkish producer and assistant director Leyla Özalp; and film critic Daniela Sannwald.
In addition to jury awards there will be honorary awards for three big names in Turkish cinema. Erden Kıral, a director acclaimed for his work in the cinema of social realism and the two leading character actors Şener Şen and Şerif Sezer, will be given recognition at the festival’s opening night on Friday, March 31.
Later on in the tw-week festival the Radikal People’s Choice Awards will be made. A joint initiative of the Istanbul Film Festival and the Radikal newspaper, the awards will once again be given to the two films most popular with festival audiences of the National and International Golden Tulip competitions.
With a programme of more than 200 films from 42 countries, the festival is sure to have film enthusiasts flocking back to cinema screens. Alongside the cutting edge work that shone at top international festivals last year, the 20 sections of the programme include a number of memorable classics, selected masterpieces from virtuoso directors of film history, several documentary films and some original examples of animation cinema.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the festival, the organisers have also compiled a unique selection of films shown in earlier years.
Called Golden 25 International this commemorative section is exclusive to this year’s festival and presents 24 of the most memorable films screened at previous editions, many of which have since become cinema classics.
They includeWong Kar Wai’s 2046 (2005), Aki Kaurismaki’s Match Factory Girl (1991), Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1985), Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio and Fabio Carpi’s The Basileus Quartet (1983).
There is also a special commemorative section of award-winning Turkish Films of 25 Years, plus a section devoted to Turkish films that have won the Best Film of the Year Award in National Competitions since 1985. This section includes 24 films, ranging from Atıf Yılmaz’s Bir Yudum Sevgi (A Sip of Love), which won the Best Turkish Film Award in 1985, to last year’s National Competiton winner Anlat İstanbul (Istanbul Tales), co-directed by Ümit Ünal, Kudret Sabancı, Selim Demirdelen, Yücel Yolcu and Ömür Atay.
Special recognition is being accorded to the remkarkable conbtribution made to the festival over 25 years by French cinema. Not only is this year’s event being graced by the presence of celebrities such as Alain Delon and Isabelle Huppert, there is also a special section of screenings under the banner French Spring in which 12 of the newest and most popular films to come out of French cinema will be shown.
The section includes Bertrand Tavernier’s latest film Holy Lola; Philippe Garrel’s Regular Lovers, which won the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival; and Frankie, starring Diane Kruger in the lead role.
Underlining the distinct French flavour of this year’s festival, a section called A La Française’ will see the screening of 10 films featuring Isabelle Huppert. One of the most prolific actors in French cinema, Huppert has demonstrated her extraordinary talent both on the stage and the silver screen, making her a perennial favourite with directors.
This special section presents a chance to watch Isabelle Huppert star in the lead roles of films by acclaimed directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Maurice Pialat and Michael Haneke.
In addition to retrospectives, tributes and the bre-appearance of perennial sections there are also new sections.
One of them is dedicated to women. The seven films in this section draw attention to the various problems faced by women across the world. Keenl;y anticipated is S. Pierre Yaméogo’s Delwende, which won the Most Promising Young Director’s award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Deepa Mehta’s Water, the opening film of the Toronto Film Festival and winner of the Golden Kinnaree at the Bangkok International Film Festival last month; Karin Albou’s Little Jerusalem, which came away from Cannes with a Screenplay Award; and Jafar Panahi’s Offside, winner of the Silver Bear at Berlinale in February.
by Jeremy Colson

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