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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.



IFF APRIL 14, 2011

• AWARDS TIME IN MEETINGS ON THE BIRDGE The winners will be announced at Meetings on the Bridge, the sixth of which takes place this year and which aims to create a platform for the cinema industry to meet. The awards ceremony, which will start at 19.00, will take place in Cezayir.

• A BRIDGE OF FILMS BETWEEN ITALY AND TURKEY Italian Chamber of Commerce and Roma MedFilm Festival will hold bilateral meetings in Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center under the scope of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival. The meetings aim to improve cooperation opportunities between Italian producers and Turkish film acquisition and distribution companies and Turkish television channels.

• HOPE AGAINST ALL ODDS! Selim Güneş’s film White as Snow, in the National Competition, will be screened at 11.00 in Atlas. Through a day in the life of a small struggling child, the film recounts separations, yearning, anticipation, longing, regrets, and hope despite everything. The screening will be attended by director Güneş.

• LIVING SIDE-BY-SIDE LIKE BROTHERS In his first documentary Haliç Golden Horn, Erden Kıral, who became one of the most important names of Turkish cinema thanks to his films On Fertile Lands, A Season in Hakkâri and Mirror, sets out from the idea of “living together in peace.” Kıral will attend the screening at 11.00 in Pera.

• MANCHEVSKI COMES TO ISTANBUL Milcho Manchevski’s Mothers, which was Macedonia’s Oscar nominee, will be shown at 13.30 in Atlas. Through devoted, nonchalant, loving, “missing” women, Manchevski highlights the delicate relationships of truth and fiction, drama and documentary; he questions the nature of reality. Director Manchevski will attend the screening.

• SOMERSAULTS FOR ONE’S DREAM Somersaults without Wings will be screened at 13.30 in Beyoğlu. The film is the feature debut of scriptwriter Savaş Baykal, whose short films had earned awards. The film, which is screened under the “New Turkish Cinema” section, deals with the struggle of a young person holding onto life, chasing his dreams. Baykal will attend the screening of the film.

• THE OTHER CLAN Children of Cono Ahmet, which retells how one of the most extreme clans of Turkey was alienated and became unruly will be screened at 13.30 in Pera, with the participation of its director Ömer Can.

• CROSSING WITH ITS DIRECTOR Directed by Selim Demirdelen, co-director of Istanbul Tales, and also responsible of numerous commercials and the TV series Bıçak Sırtı, The Crossing tells the story of Güven, a manager at an accounting firm. It can be seen at 16.00 in Beyoğlu Movie Theater.

• A FILM OF LOYALTY Farewell is the directorial debut of Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD) member and film critic Necla Algan. The film observes daily life on the train route and its environs with a sense of love and gratitude for this historic railroad. It will be screened in Pera at 16.00 with the participation of Algan.

• OUR GRAND DESPAIR HAS ITS TURKEY PREMIERE Seyfi Teoman, who acclaimed with Summer Book, relates the story of a friendship that is hard to find nowadays in his latest film Our Grand Despair, which competed at Berlin Film Festival in February. Participating in both the National and International Competitions, the film will have its premiere at 19.00 in Atlas with the participation of Seyfi Teoman.

• A STORY OF MUSIC, LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND DETERMINATION The Piano in a Factory, which tells the heart-tugging story of Chen, a worker who has been laid off recently from a steel factory, will be screened at 19.00 in Fitaş 1, with the participation of producer Jessica Kam. Set in northeastern China where everything is covered by snow most of the year, this story of music, love, laughter and determination will melt your hearts.

• SOULS’ STRUGGLE In her latest documentary Nurdan Arca focuses on the Alevi-Bektashi perception of people, human beings as “souls”, disregarding their differences of gender, race, religion or language, preserving for centuries the culture of living side by side with those who are dissimilar. It also depicts the dissenting nature of Alevis who have often been subject to oppression and tyranny. The screening of the film will take place with the participation of Arda at 19.00 in Pera.

• THE YEARS MUCH DISCUSSED FILM IS IN COMPETITION Press tells what a group of journalists at Özgür Gündem newspaper, striving to report the infringements of human rights in Diyarbakır, go through during intense clashes in the first half of the 1990s in Turkey through the experiences of the 17-year-old Fırat. Press can be seen at 21.30 in Atlas. Director Sedat Yılmaz will attend the screening of the film, which is competing under both “National Competition” section and “Human Rights in Cinema” section.

• A STRIKING INTEPRETATION OF MODERN SLAVERY I am Slave, which depicts modern-day slave trade and one woman’s fight for freedom, can be seen at 21.30 in Fitaş 4. Inspired by real events, the film is competing in the “Human Rights in Cinema” section. Director Gabriel Range will attend the screening.

• A SEXUAL KIND OF RECORDING Filmed using the video function of a digital photographic camera, imbued with the uncanny and packed with intense hues and violent forms, In the Woods is an existential fairytale. The screening of In the Woods, which will be attended by film critic, visual artist, and director Angelo Frantzis, will take place at 21.30 in Beyoğlu.

• AN ARABESQUE ARABEKS Arabesk from Streetsound to Massculture, which tells the story of emergence and development of arabesque music through the genre’s pioneers such as Orhan Gencebay, Ali Tekintüre, Muhteşem Candan, and Burhan Bayar, will be screened in Pera at 21.30 with the participation of directors Gökhan Bulut and Cem Kaya.

• BULUT FILM PARTY Bulut Film’s party for Our Grand Despair will start at 22.30 in Romeo&Juliet.

• SCREAM FOR THE FOURTH TIME Released almost 15 years after the original Scream, this sequel takes off 10 years after where Scream 3 had left off. Wes Craven directs this fourth installment as he did the previous three, claiming, “It will open a new chapter”, and the first of a new trilogy. Scre4m awaits those that cannot resist “Midnight Madness” at 24.00 in Atlas.

• THE MAD DUO AT WORK Swedish cinema’s offbeat duo Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson’s feature debut film Sound of Noise is competing for the Golden Tulip in the International Competition. A hilarious creative urban comedy about love, madness, and noisy drums, the film will be screened at 11.00 in Fitaş 4.

• JARMAN’S ‘BLUE’ IS STILL DARK Derek Jarman’s latest masterpiece Blue can be seen at 11.00 in Rexx. An amazing aural cut up of voices, Jarman’s amongst them, supplemented and punctuated by sound collage and glorious music, a combination of monologue and prose poem, woven together to a lyrical, almost song-like effect… This extraordinary cinematic experience is Aslı Özge’s choice for the line-up.

• BİR KADIN HİKAYESİ Spanish movie Amador, which tells the story of a woman, can be seen at 16.00 in Nişantaşı City’s. Peruvian actress Magaly Solier, who previously acted in Madeinusa and The Milk of Sorrow, is in the leading role.

• A BRIDGE OF FILMS BETWEEN ITALY AND TURKEY The meeting organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Roma MedFilm Festival under the scope of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival took place in Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center. During the event, Italian producers and Turkish film acquisition and distribution companies, as well as Turkish television channels held bilateral meetings aimed at improving cooperation opportunities.

• A RETICENT FILM Selim Güneş’s film White as Snow, which participates in the National Competition, was screened in Atlas Movie Theater. Director Güneş and the film’s crew attended the screening. “The directors’ personality gets reflected in their films. I am a reticent person. You, too, saw the reflection of this in the film,” said Güneş. He added, “I will continue telling stories that appeal to my heart.”

• “A WINDOW FULL OF NEW PROBABILITIES” Erden Kıral attended the screening of his first documentary Haliç Golden Horn. Kıral said, “Because the architectural fabric was destroyed, most of the filming had to be done at early hours in the morning or in the evening when the ugly structures could not be seen. The story of a multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-cultural Haliç was told by an Istanbulite Greek, whose face is never seen in the film and who exists like a phantom as a voice over.”

• “I TRIED TO DISPLAY THE NATURE OF REALITY” Milcho Manchevski’s Mothers, which was Macedonia’s Oscar nominee, was shown in Atlas Movie Theater. Manchevski said he was pleased by the fact that some viewers had doubts if the last part of the film was fictional or not. “This shows that we have succeeded in creating an art form which combines fiction and documentary. In the film, I tried to tell not the reality, but the nature of reality,” he added.

• “I MADE THIS FILM WITH ONLY 5 THOUSAND LIRAS” Savaş Baykal’s feature debut Somersaults without Wings was screened in Beyoğlu Movie Theater. Baykal and film’s leading actor Okan Koç answered audience’s questions after the screening of the film, which was shown under the “New Turkish Cinema” section. Baykal said he made the film with only five thousand Liras and that he did everything himself. Asked where he had the idea of making films, Baykal replied, “I have an issue. I made this film to enhance myself, because I have a responsibility to the world.”

• SLAVERY STILL EXISTS Gabriel Range’s FACE Award contender I Am Slave tells the real life story of a Sudanese young woman enslaved in London, thousands of kilometers away from her home. At the screening director Range said that “there are about 5.000 slaves in Britain as mentioned in the film. Most of them are forced to work with families of diplomats, who have diplomatic immunity. I really don’t know how to tackle this issue, but if through this film I have created awareness, then I am glad.”


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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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