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Istanbul Film Festival's blog


The most comprehensive and established international film festival in Turkey. Screens more than 200 films of various genres, and has an extensive Turkish features showcase, also a cinema professionals' platform. In 2011, the Festival celebrated its 30th year.


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31. Istanbul Film Festival's Winners

GOODBYE FESTIVAL! The awards of the festival were given out at the Closing Gala and Award Ceremony at Lütfi Kırdar. Memet Ali Alabora host the night. Here are the films awarded at the ceremony: “Golden Tulip International Competition Award” on behalf of Şakir Eczacıbaşı, The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev) Golden Tulip International Competition “Special Jury Prize” Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier) “Golden Tulip National Competition Best Picture...

Q&A with Belmin Söylemez at Istanbul Film Festival

Present Tense, a Golden Tulip National Competition film, is the debut fiction feature of Belmin Söylemez, who is renowned with her documentaries. The film is about an unemployed, lonely and unhappy woman who saves money in order to go to the United States. It bridges over the past, the future and today through coffee reading. Present Tense will premiere on Saturday, April 13 at 21.30 at Atlas Sineması. Interview: Ceyda Aşar - Your film in which you also tell about Is...

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

  YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL (12.04.2012) • GOODBYE IRAN! Director Mohammad Rasoulof focuses on an Iranian woman in his film. He shaped the whole story on the Iranian lawyer and her efforts to find a visa out of the country. Goodbye was screened at Atlas Sineması at 11.00 with the participation of director Rasoulof. Rasoluof stated: “It is difficult to make independent films in every part of the world. But it is even more difficult in Iran due to censors... Besides, there isn...

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

    YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL (11.04.2012) • PROGRAMMES WERE MADE IN ADVANCE There were a number of events in the festival yesterday. Festival audience who determined their priorities not to get lost in the programme had another amazing day! • MUSIC AND CINEMA WORKSHOP AT SALON A workshop was given by the acclaimed film music composer Nathan Larson, whose filmography includes a number of soundtracks, together with renowned Turkish contemporary and electronic mu...

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

    YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL • MORE EXTENSIVE PROGRAMMES FROM THE FESTIVAL EVERYDAY!!! Festival audience had another tiresome but enjoyable day. It was a day full of presentations and events! • PRESS MEETING WITH THE JURY National Competition Jury met with the press yesterday at 10.00, and afterwards the International Competition Jury was before the press at 11.00. During the press meeting with the moderator Azize Tan, Istanbul Film Festival director, questions w...

Q&A with Orhan Eskiköy&Zeynel Doğan at Istanbul Film Festival

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“This is not only a film. This is our last 30 years!” The duo who had a successful breakthrough with On the Way to School, creates a political effect again by taking off from their experiences. This time, we watch the drama of a Kurdish-Alevite family going through the effects of the Maraş massacre. Real characters again take part in the film as actors: the director himself, his mother and the voices of his invisible elder brother and father... We talked with the two direct...

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

    YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL(09.04.2012) • A FULL WEEK AGAIN!!! Second week of the festival presents a programme even more intense than the first day. • STREET DOGS FROM THE DIRECTOR WITH GOLDEN PALM Who remembers the street dogs exterminated in 1910 for the sake of modernisation? How is the life for street dogs today and how will it be in the future? Director Serge Avédikian looks for an answer to that question... Dogs Story was at 11.00 at Fitaş 1 with the pa...

Q&A with Veli Kahraman at Istanbul Film Festival

 “Mother tongue comes with birth!” Where is My Mother Tongue?, in the National Competition, is the first film by Veli Kahraman who worked as art director for many films in the sector. Kahraman’s parents play themselves in the film which follows the Zazaki language threatened with extinction, and resists use of language as a political tool. Where is My Mother Tongue? will be screened on Tuesday, April 10 at 13.30 at Atlas Movie Theatre. Interview: Ceyda Aşar - 09.04...

Q&A with Reis Çelik at İstanbul Film Festival

“Men are in the gloom!” Director Reis Çelik talks about his film, Night of Silence in the National Competition. In the film on child-brides, Reis Çelik is in obstinacy just like he was in İnat Hikayeleri. He puts such a strong actor as İlyas Salman and a beautiful young girl in the marriage room and never leaves the room. He makes us watch the film even without breathing for 90 minutes. The film returned with a Crystal Bear from Berlin Film Festival, and its journey in T...

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

YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL (08.04.2012) • WE HAD A LONG AND JOYFUL SUNDAY A gleeful Sunday with the festival continuing full-force and screenings becoming even more attractive with the participation of the directors. Besides a panel discussion and a film chat, directors met with their audiences again. • 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 ...

Interview with Raşit Çelikezer at Istanbul Film Festival

08.04.2012 Raşit Çelikezer director of Can, one of the movies in the National Competition section, talks about his movie and his excitement about the competition. Can premiered in Sundance in the “World Cinema” section as the first Turkish movie screened in the festival. Can is about problems of a couple, who cannot have children, and their distress in parenting to a child, who is not their own. - Your film is in the competition for the first time… How does it feel to ...

Interview with Muzaffer Özdemir at İstanbul Film Festival

09.04.2012 A protest against the massacre in nature! Muzaffer Özdemir known as an actor in Nuri Bilge Ceylan films is now a director. With his film, Home, that carries autobiographical tones he competes in the National Competition. He tells about the hydroelectric power plants (HPPs), capitalist destruction, violence of human beings, and destruction of nature through the eyes of his character, an architect, who travels back home and witnesses the change. - Can we read ...

Interview with director Umit Unal at Istanbul Film Festival (8/4/2012)

Ümit Ünal, who competes for the Golden Tulip in the National Competition selection at Istanbul Film Festival, returns to films confined to a single space with The Pomegranate as he did in 9 and Ara. He fits justice, beliefs, injustice, fantastic elements, a surprising screenplay, revenge, and change into this small space. The Pomegranate will be screened on Sunday, April 8 at 13.30 at Atlas Sineması. Interview: Ceyda Aşar   - Your films 9, Ara and The Pomegrana...

Interview with Edgardo Cozarinsky at Istanbul Film Festival

An Argentine Istanbul writer… Memories of a lovelorn man, walking around Buenos Aires after a break up, unites with memories of world and cinema history. Poems praising the night are the music of the film. Screened within the “Challenging the Years” section of the Festival, Nocturnos addresses the audience on the point where literature and cinema come together. It is just like a sweet dream that leaves a short and temporary taste behind. Istanbul streets continue to inspire Edgardo...

Interview with Ann Hui at Istanbul Film Festival

Old age by the Oscar nominated film from Hong Kong… A Simple Life, Oscar-nominated film from Hong Kong which achieved great box office success in the Fareast, is essentially a family love film. Based on the real experience of the producer Roger Lee, the film tells the relationship between a film producer, Roger, and the servant of his family of 60 years. The film focuses on themes of old age, death, and love after the servant suffers a stroke and wants to move to a resting home. A Sim...

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

  YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL (06.04.2012) • 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 Inten...

Robert Wieckiewicz is in Istanbul, interview on 04.04.2012.

- In Courage, you had to act a man who was in essence a coward, and in In Darkness, your character is quite courageous in contrast. Their inner conflicts are so powerful. But how was the transition from to the other considering the small time between the two shoots? That’s my job and I find it more interesting to play various characters. I like to change, that’s why I am an actor. I am known in Poland for playing “though” guys. The director of Courage surprised me because...

31. Istanbul Film Festival Daily: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 06/04/2012

YESTERDAY AT THE FESTIVAL • TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF THE FESTIVAL As we are approaching to the end of the first week and to the middle of the festival, festival venues are full of screenings with the directors present. The festival audience met with the directors of highly anticipated films and asked their questions. • A DARK PROMENADE AT MIDNIGHT IN BUENOS AIRES Argentine director Edgardo Cozarinsky says: “There are day people and there are night people. Night people k...

Birgit Gudjonsdottir and 'Our Grand Despair'

 On April 17th, during the closing ceremony of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival (IFF), the award for the best DOP went to Birgit Gudjonsdottir for her work in the Turkish film, OUR GRAND DESPAIR (2011). Recently, I conducted an interview with the award-winning and highly accomplished DOP/Producer. Aside from working on widely known films such as THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) and GOODBYE LENIN! (2003), she has worked as DOP on a number of documentaries, most recently including IN THE BEGINNING ...

WHITE AS SNOW, an interview with Selim and Nur Gunes

One of the most memorable films I have seen this past year was the haunting and lyrical film WHITE AS SNOW (Turkey, 2010) by director Selim Gunes and producer Nur Gunes. This is an unforgettable experiment in storytelling, disrupting our linear-prone conception of time in order to think in fragments. The mind doesn’t look back in time sequentially so why should a film that is retrospective? In this film about a poor young boy, Hasan, from the 1970’s, the viewer is forced to struggle through...

MOTHERS, Aruba review!

MOTHERS (2010) by director Milcho Manchevski screened at the 2nd annual Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) 2011. Here find a review of the award-winning film that saw its opening in Toronto at TIFF 2010, screened at Berlinale 2011, won the prize for best feature at Belgrade International Film Festival 2011 and thereafter traveled to Sofia (SIFF), Istanbul International Film Festival (IFF), Aruba (AIFF) and many others, continuing its international festival journey. MOTHERS, a rave review! ...

EVEN THE RAIN, with Juan Carlos Aduviri

 EVEN THE RAIN was directed by Iciar Bollaín and written by award winning screenwriter Paul Laverty. The film takes place in the village of Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2000. The premise was to make an epic film about Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. It is a fiction film in the style of a documentary about this film crew and its director, Sebastián (Gael García Bernal), and his producer (Luis Tosar) as they attempt to show Columbus, exploiter of the indigenous people of Bolivia...

AS IF I AM NOT THERE, INTERVIEW

    Interview with director Juanita Wilson   Director Juanita Wilson won the Film Award of the Council of Europe (FACE), presented in scope of Human Rights in Cinema competition with her film AS IF I AM NOT THERE (Ireland, Bosnia, 2010). I interviewed with Juanita Wilson at the Marmara Taksim Hotel in Taksim Square on the 20th floor with a stunning view of Istanbul surrounding us. Juanita spoke passionately about her film that has now traveled around ...

Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Interview from Istanbul Fest!

INTERVIEW with director Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, SOUND OF NOISE (2010)   THE SOUND OF NOISE (Sweden, 2010) screened in competition at the 30th Istanbul Film Festival IFF. Co-directed by directors Johannes Starne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson, this film is a one of a kind experiment of music on film. Many have compared the lively inventive percussionists in the film to the traveling band STOMP but as Johannes explained, ‘well, maybe it’s a bit similar but our band will ...

30th IFF... THE CLOSING CEREMONY

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• FESTIVAL’S WINNERS ANNOUNCED The closure gala of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival took place at Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre. In the evening, which was presented by Mehmet Ali Alabora and broadcast live on NTV, the Golden Tulip International Competition Award was given to Egyptian director Ahmad Abdalla’s Microphone. In the International Competition, the Special Jury Prize was given ex aequo to Seyfi Teoman’s Our Grand Despair and Federico Veiroj’s A Useful Life. Th...

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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