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Istanbul Film Festival

The largest, most established and most influential film event in Turkey, the Istanbul Film Festival has over the past 30 years, presented Istanbul audiences with a total of more than 3,250 films, showcasing the cinema of 103 countries, and attracting a total audience number of 3,150,000. With an audience of 150,000 in 2011, it is also considered the biggest Turkish film festival. Established in 1982 as a film week, and accredited by FIAPF in 1989, the Festival aims at encouraging the development of cinema in Turkey and promoting films of quality in the Turkish market. As such, the Festival incorporates the Meetings on the Bridge platform, and within the frame of this programme, a competitive Feature Film Project Development Workshop that was initiated in 2008, and a Work-in-Progress sidebar in order to support the Turkish film industry and Turkish film professionals. In 2015, the MoB began to accept submissions from neighbouring countries.

The Istanbul Film Festival features an International Competition (limited to films on arts and the artist or literary adaptations) with a monetary award of a total of €25,000 as its grand prize the Golden Tulip. Showcasing Turkish cinema as the most active promotional, international platform in Turkey, the Festival features a National Competition, A National Documentary Competition, and a Human Rights in Cinema competition endorsed by the Council of Europe. The festival each year screens around 200 feature films, and takes place in April.



31. Istanbul Film Festival Daily: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow



• PLANS FOR THE FESTIVAL WEEKEND ARE MADE! While the second weekend of the festival has already come, festival audiences bought their tickets yesterday for a Saturday and Sunday full of festival films. Before the weekend, yesterday was full of screenings with the participation of their directors.

• WHAT YOUNG ROMANIAN MASTER TELLS The stories in the second film of director Adrian Sitaru are based on his own experiences. Best Intentions with the participation of the director Sitaru was at Atlas Sineması at 13.30. “I placed my point of view not only in my main characters, but also to the others outside... For me, this is a way to involve the audience to the story and a kind of narrative I wanted to try” stated Sitaru on his camera technique reflecting the point of view of the character.

• FRANCOIS VAN HEERDEN GETS LOST IN SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS South African Beauty met with the festival audience. Director Oliver Hermanus revealed the moral structure of South Africa. The screening was at Fitaş 4 at 16.00 and Hermanus was there for a Q&A. Hermanus stated that he had great time in this city, which he visited for the first time. To a question regarding how he came up with the subject of the film, he said, “Actually, I’m not so sure! I was in Paris, far away from home, Cape Town, when I decided to start shooting this film. But I think home had a very solid place in my mind that I decided on this topic.”

• ROMAN’S SEARCH WORTHY OF OSCARS With his first film, Karl Markovics tells us about Roman’s past who is out of reformatory and his search of his mother, who left him to the orphanage. The screening of Breathing, Austria’s Oscar nominee, was at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of actor Thomas Schubert. 19-year-old actor was a guest of the festival thanks to the Easter holidays: “Since Karl is an actor himself, he is a great director... Therefore he could direct our acting and behaviour based on the screenplay in a wonderful way.”

• AN AMAZING FILM BY THE DIRECTOR WITH HONORARY AWARD In the multi-awarded film, Ali Özgentürk, who received the “Cinema Honorary Award” at the opening ceremony of the Istanbul Film Festival, focuses on the effects and the tragedy of migration from village to the big city. The Horse was screened with the participation of director Özgentürk at Beyoğlu Sineması at 19.00. On his film, Özgentürk said: “This film was shot during the September 12 military coup period. While I was editing the film, three people came inside and inquired about me. They said ‘You have to come with us!’ I went with them... And I never returned. I was in prison for nine months. I was never interrogated, therefore they never told me what my crime was. While I was in prison, Zeki Ökten completed the editing of The Horse, after I finished the rough cut. Later on, the film was selected to the Cannes Film Festival. However, they also wanted Yol by Yılmaz Güney in the competition. As a result, they left us out the competition since there could not be two films from Turkey in the competition. Yılmaz competing in Cannes was a source of pride for me. After the Cannes Film Festival, they released me. I still don’t know why I was imprisoned!”

• ROAD STORIES BY THE BULGARIAN YOUNG MASTER Alienated art student Kamen and Avé hitchhike across Romania... Awarded in festivals, Avé will be screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 21.30 with the participation of director Konstantin Bojanov. After the screening, director answered the questions of the audience: “After this film was premiered in Cannes, I decided not to travel from one festival to another. Because I wanted to focus on my new screenplay. Of course I could not turn down Istanbul’s offer. I am addicted to journeys. I travelled more than fifty countries. But I cannot compare the scenery of Bosporus Bridge to anywhere... I won’t go to another festival after Istanbul.”

• BROKEN DREAMS WITH DESTROYED HUT Mentally ill Martin and little immigrant Viktor are the two central characters of the third and latest film by director Hans Weingartner, who was present for the screening of the film. Hut in the Woods was screened Fitaş 4 at 21.30. On his main character Martin, Weingartner said “Martin is a weird man who has problems with where he works. Therefore he escapes to the forest. I worked around this character during the film. The characters in the film are the backbones of my film”.

• 736-HOUR-LONG PERFORMANCE AT MoMA SHOWN IN THE FESTIVAL Controversial artist Marina Abramovic, who uses her own body as the basic material in her performances, forces the limits of the body and mind for more than forty years. In Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present, director Matthew Akers shows us Abramovic’s performance in her retrospective exhibition in New York. The film was screened at Fitaş 1 at 21.30 for those who wanted to witness the background of the performance, which is accepted as the pinnacle of her artistic career, and ask questions to director Akers after the screening. Akers said: “I did not have a clue about performance art before I shot the film. I wish Marina was here too. She is in Spain right now. It would be great to be in Istanbul, where I admired, with her!”

• BIRDS OF FOREIGN LAND ONCE MORE! Within the “Turkish Classics Revisited” project under Special Screening and the sponsorship of Groupama and collaboration of the Istanbul Film Festival, Halit Refiğ’s unforgettable work Birds of Foreign Land was restored by the academicians of Mimar Sinan University Film-TV Centre. Defined as “Contradictions in reality itself” by Halit Refiğ, the film was screened at 21.30 at Atlas Sineması.


• SECOND WEEKEND OF THE FESTIVAL It will be a week tomorrow since the festival begins. Second Saturday of the festival offers a day full of panels, Q&As, and presentations.

• A LIFE WITHOUT WORDS IN NICARAGUA! Sign language teacher Tomaso is very determined to teach the first words to Dulce Maria and his brother Francisco, who are deaf-mute from birth. The TRT audience will remember Adam Isenberg’s show “Adam’s Logbook”. The first feature film by Isenberg, A Life Without Words will be at Fitaş 1 at 16.00 with the participation of the director and Senem Tüzen, the producer.

• OTHERS IN THE NEIGHBOUR Second documentary of director Christos Karakepelis focuses on illegal immigrants working on recycling of waste metal in Greece. For those who want to watch these lives, not away from Istanbul at all, and to meet with the director Karakepelis, the screening of Raw Material will at Beyoğlu Sineması at 16.00.

• FROM REFORMATORY TO THE MORGUE Director Karl Markovics was not only nominated for the Academy Awards from Austria but also won many awards from festivals. If you want to witness Roman, who was released on probation from the reformatory in order to work at a morgue, search for his past, the screening of Breathing will be at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 16.00 with the participation of the lead actor Thomas Schubert.

• TROUBLE IN FANTASY LAND This production in the “Mined Zone” section of the festival draws attention both with its theme and its production process. Drama director Jerry leaves everything behind and establishes a village, but not everything goes the way he expects. Director Wim Vandekeybus will be our guest with Monkey Sandwich at Atlas Sineması at 19.00.

• WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE SHORE ACROSS? Istanbul Film Festival does not turn a blind eye to what happens in our neighbour and therefore meets with the audience with the section “What’s Happening in Greece?” Dogtooth was the messenger of the new movement for the festival audience. Director Yorgos Lanthimos will be a guest of the festival with his second feature film Alpis after the first film nominated to the Oscars. Director Yorgos Lanthimos and scriptwriter Efthimis Filippou will be present for the screening at Fitaş 4 at 21.30. Filippou is also the scriptwriter of L in the same section. Filippou and Lanthimos will be at a panel discussion on Greek Cinema on Sunday at 13.30 at Salon.

• MARINA FROM NEW YORK TO ISTANBUL! Controversial artist Marina Abramovic comes to mind when performance art is mentioned, and the performance, respected by everyone, during her retrospective exhibition at MoMA and the preparations are the subject of Matthew Aker’s documentary. Director Matthew Akers will be at the screening of Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present at Fitaş 1 at 21.30.

• GLOBALIZATION PANEL FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE “GLOBALIZATION TRILOGY” Micha X. Peled director of the trilogy, which was screened in its entirety in a single day for the first time in Istanbul Film Festival, will talk about the relationship between globalisation, economics, politics, money, human life, and film-making during the panel at Akbank Sanat at 16.00.

• SATURDAY WITH BitamBiöğrenci... BitamBiöğrenci will meet with the students with three screenings on Saturday. The first screening will be In Orange at Akbank Sanat at 13.30. The second screening, Frogs and Toads, will be again at 13.30 at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s. The last film the students will watch will be Raw Material in the “What’s Happening in Greece?” section at Fitaş 1 at 16.00. Director of the film Christos Karakepelis will be at the screening.


• FOR A LONG AND JOYFUL SUNDAY Festival programme promises a wonderful Sunday to the audience. Don’t miss the screenings becoming even more attractive with the participation of the directors! Besides a panel discussion and a panel discussion from the festival events will meet with the audience.

• GAININGS OF THE JOURNEY WITH AVÉ Story of the relationship between 17-year-old Avé and alienated art student Kamen starting with a hitchhike and continuing with lies was adapted to the screen by director Konstantin Bojanov who was inspired from the real events... Avé creates new identities for both of them during the journey full of lies and we will see if the result will be love. Awarded in festivals, Avé will be screened at Fitaş 4 at 11.00 with the participation of director Bojanov.

• “NATIONAL COMPETITION” BEGINS Twelve films are competing in the “National Competition” category of the festival this year. The Pomegranate, one of these films, will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 13.30. Director Ümit Ünal invites the audience to question their idea of justice once more. Don’t miss the screening to see the film and meet with the director Ümit Ünal.

• FROM SUNDANCE TO ISTANBUL!!! Can premiered in Sundance Film Festival, which accepted a Turkish film to its programme for the first time. Can is in the “National Competition” section of Istanbul Film Festival. Director Raşit Çelikezer shows us the difficulties of a couple and what they go through when they decide to adopt a child. The film will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of the director Çelikezer.

• SECOND VISIT TO THE NEIGHBOUR WITH RAW MATERIAL When we leave our homes for cinema, probably most of us see those who collect waste materials in streets and next to waste mountains in front of our houses. Well who are they actually? Director Christos Karakepelis looks for an answer to this question from the shore across. The film will be screened with the participation of the director at Beyoğlu Sineması at 16.00.

• HAILS FROM AUSTRALIA This is the first feature film by documentarist Amiel Courtin-Wilson, in which lead actors Daniel P. Jones ile Leanne Letch play themselves. Hail, blurring the boundaries between cinema and life, will be screened with the participation of the director at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 16.00.

• VISITORS FROM CALCUTTA OF “DOCUMENTARY TIME WITH NTV” In this documentary by Phil Cox, India is presented from an angle that we never see before. Detective bureaus increasing in number in India are presented through dance and music by focusing on three criminal cases and the private lives of customers. The Bengali Detective will be screened at Fitaş 1 at 21.30 with the participation of Dennis Wheatley, composer of the soundtrack.

• WHAT THE REVOLUTION IN TUNUSIA TELLS US Unexpected winds of the Arab Spring resulted in unpredictable movements in many countries. Director Elyes Baccar shows the period between Tunisian People’s Revolution and expulsion of President Bin Ali, and he reflects the story of revolution and how it turned into a movement where all Tunisians played a part. Rouge Parole with the participation of the director Baccar will be at Pera Museum at 21.30. In order to look more closely to Arab Spring, there will be round table discussion parallel to the screenings in the “Filming Revolution” section. Filmmakers, academicians, archivists, and historians will participate to the meeting and handle the phenomenon from all sides. Round Table: Filming Revolution will be on Wednesday, 11 April at Pera Museum at 16.00

• EXPERIENCES OF THE SHORE ACROSS While Greek cinema redefines itself with surprising cinematographic experiments, “What’s Happening in Greece?” section of the Istanbul Film Festival hosts four Greek films. Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Alpis in the selection, and Efthimis Filippou, screenplay writer of both Alpis and L in the same section, will meet with the cinephiles with the Panel Discussion: What’s Happening in Greek Cinema? at 14.00 at Salon İKSV.

• CONVERSATIONS ON CINEMA Both of them are more important for the festival than they are every year... Murathan Mungan is the head of the Golden Tulip National Competition Jury, and Sevin Okyay was awarded with the Honorary Award of the 2012 Istanbul Film Festival... If you want to witness the conversation of these two on cinema within the festival, Murathan Mungan Meets Sevin Okyay at 16.00 at Salon İKSV.

• A WONDERFUL SUNDAY WITH THE YOUNG! BitamBiöğrenci project presents a Sunday with three films to students who have a week full of classes ahead. Death of a Superhero will be at 11.00 at Atlas Sineması. The second film In Orange from the “Kids’ Menu: Special Holland” section will be at 13.30 at Akbank Sanat. The last film meeting with the young within the project, The Field of Enchantment will be at 16.00 at Fitaş 1.

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About Istanbul Film Festival

The most comprehensive and oldest international film festival in Turkey. Established in 1982, it screens more than 200 films of various genres, and has an extensive Turkish features showcase. The Golden Tulip Grand Prize of the Festival has a monetary award attached.



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