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Istanbul festival fortnight has opened

The International Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, has kicked off with Charles Dance's film Ladies in Lavender.
The festival will run April 2nd to 17th, 2005.

The Festival will show approximately 170 films from 62 countries. Among these films will be some brand new films that participated in world-acclaimed festivals last year and were appreciated and greatly honoured with awards, as well as unforgettable cinema classics and masterpieces from the masters of cinema.

Opening the festival LADIES IN LAVENDER :
from Charles Dance, starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Daniel Brühl, Natascha McElhone, Toby Jones, David Warner... Two lonely, elderly sisters are swept away with the charm of a young stranger they find lying unconscious, washed up on the beach after a fierce storm, who they welcome as a houseguest. As the two sisters become quite fond of the mystery stranger who turns out to be a gifted violinist from Poland, suppressed jealousies, old sibling rivalries, and unfulfilled dreams of love surface up, only to steer their lives off of their orderly track. The lively performance of Daniel Brühl as the mysterious stranger is one of his best since Goodbye, Lenin!


The General will be the first “Special Screening” in Istanbul Film Festival on April 7th, Thursday at 19:00 hours at Atlas Movie-Theater, sponsored by AKBANK CULTURE AND ART CENTER. The great stone-face of silent comedies, Buster Keaton, both directed and played the leading role in The General. Akbank Chamber Orchestra will accompany the screening with the music of Carl Davis.

The second “Special Screening” will be The Son of the Sheik known as the last and best film of Rudolph Valentino – the “Latin king of silent films". This silent classic directed by George Fitzmaurice realized with the sponsorship of ABACI KÝMYA on April 12th, Tuesday at 21:30 hours at Cemal Reþit Rey Concert Hall. The Sarband Ensemble will accompany this silent classic played with traditional Turkish instruments such as bandir, zither and kamancha.


There are 2 new sections in the program of Istanbul Film Festival this year: “Dark Face of the Future: Dystopia” and “Coming of Age”.

Dark Side of the Future: Dystopia

One of the surprise festival sections is titled the “Dark Side of the Future” featuring films themed around the “dystopia” concept – a source of inspiration for many thinkers, authors and directors alike. One these films will be THX1138, the first film of George Lucas who created the Star Wars. The version that will be screened at the Festival was renovated last year and was re-edited by the director in 2004. Another film under this section will be Terry Gilliam’s science-fiction classic, Brazil. The renovated version was launched in Berlin Film Festival in February 2005. After that, the International Istanbul Film Festival will be the second festival screening the renovated version. Moreover, Ridley Scott’s legendary film Blade Runner that was chosen by The Guardian as the best science-fiction film of all times, and Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece Week-end will also be screened under this category. Meanwhile, please note that Godard’s latest film completed in 2004, Our Music,
is also included in the festival program.

Coming of Age

There is a special section in the festival that is reserved for the youth this year. The toughest part of being young is not being understood by the grown-ups. The films in this section depict the problems, recreations, dreams and joys of youths and adolescents, living in their own worlds with their own values and particular set of rules. Some of the striking films to be screened in this category are: The Holy Girl produced by Pedro Almodovar and directed by Lucrecia Martel, whom you would recollect from the previous festivals with her La Cienaga, and Maria Victoria Menis’s Little Sky.


This year, the International Istanbul Film Festival also hosts short films. The “Hisar Short Films Selection” will take place at Boðaziçi University Mithat Alam Film Center from April 18th to 22nd, 2005 as part of the Istanbul Film Festival.

“The Best Short Films” produced in 2004 are selected by Reha Erdem, Atilla Dorsay, Yeþim Ustaoðlu and Derviþ Zaim for the “Hisar Short Films Selection” that is expected to carry successful Turkish short films and Turkish short film-makers to international festivals and production centers. For more information on “Hisar Short Films Festival” please visit


The first female director ever to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival with the Piano, Jane Campion, and one of the most impressive actors in the history of cinema, Harvey Keitel, will visit Istanbul for the Film Festival. Jane Campion will chair the jury of the International Golden Tulip Competition. She will be in Istanbul throughout the second week of the festival, and Harvey Keitel will arrive on April 14th. Jane Campion and Harvey Keitel’s Piano will be screened on April 15th, Friday at 19:00 hours at Emek Movie-Theater. Please note that, before the screening, they will meet with the audience. What’s more, Harvey Keitel will receive at the Closing Gala scheduled for April 16th, Friday night “The Life-Time Achievement Award”.

Valentina Cervi, one of the shining stars of the Italian cinema, will be in the Festival’s Golden Tulip Competition jury this year. The beautiful actress played the leading role in Peter Greenaway’s trilogy, The Tulse Luper Suitcases. Please remember that all three films of the trilogy will be screened in the Festival. Valentina Cervi will meet with the audience on April 10th, Sunday at Sinepop Movie-Theater right before the screening of her film.

The American producer Monty Montgomery, known as a man of extremes and many faces, a director, screenwriter and producer, will be the guest of the Festival this year.
Producer of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” TV Series, Monty Montgomery has also produced “Being John Malkovich”, David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” and Jane Campion’s “The Portrait of a Lady”. Monty Montgomery is in the jury of Istanbul Film Festival International Golden Tulip Competition.

Another note-worthy guest of the Festival will be the pioneer of the French "new novel" genre and creator of "ciné-novel", world-renowned author and director, Alain Robbe-Grillet. Under the “Tributes” section, 5 of his films will be screened. Alain Robbe-Grillet will meet with the audience on April 8th, Friday at 19:00 hours at Atlas Movie-Theater before the screening of The Beautiful Prisoner. This is where he will receive the “Life-Time Achievement Award”.

The opening film of the festival, Ladies in Lavender, directed by Charles Dance – one of the greatest Shakespeare actors in UK, will visit the festival this year. After the Opening Gala, he will meet with the spectators at the screening of Ladies in Lavender on April 3rd, Sunday at 21:30 hours at Emek Movie-Theater.

This year, approximately 120 guests will be honouring Istanbul Film Festival some of whom will be directors, actors & actresses, producers, festival representatives and members of foreign press.


In partnership with Boðaziçi University Mithat Alam Film Center, Istanbul Film Festival will be hosting a round table meeting titled “Balkan Cinema Confronts EU”.

Representatives from Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian cinema sectors will attend the meeting where the participants will elaborate on the problems in the Balkan cinema, creative contacts, distribution difficulties and cultural “customs”.

The Round Table meetings will convene in two sections on April 13th, Wednesday from 11:00 to 16:00 hours at Boðaziçi University Mithat Alam Film Center. The coordinators will be Bojidar Manov, the Vice-President of FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics); Atilla Dorsay, Representative of FIPRESCI Turkey and Hülya Uçansu, Director of Istanbul Film Festival.


This year, there will be Master Class meetings at the International Istanbul Film Festival where the audience will have a unique opportunity to hear and pose their questions directly to some of the most recognized names in the world of cinema.

Master Class with Jane Campion
April 9th, Saturday at 11:00 hours / Akbank Culture and Art Center

She manages so well to maintain her independent nature despite working with Hollywood artists. This “auteur” director will attend a Master Class with the movie-lovers on April 9th, Saturday at 11:00 hrs at Akbank Culture and Arts Center. Campion has already imprinted her memorable mark over the face of the history of cinema and through this master class, the audience will find a once-in-a-life-time chance to hear and converse with her as she elaborates on her views of the cinema.

Panel Discussion with Alain Robbe-Grillet
April 9th, Saturday at 14:00 hours / Istanbul Modern – The Arthouse

Alain Robbe-Grillet, one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century will attend a panel discussion with Atilla Dorsay on April 9th, Saturday at 14:00 hrs. at the Arthouse in Istanbul Modern. At 11:00 hrs before the panel discussion and at 16:00 hours afterwards, “Last Year at Marienbad” will be screened at the Arthouse.


As from April 7th, Istanbul Film Festival invites all movie-lovers for seven nights of gala events at Emek Movie-Theater.

Gala films are: Mike Leigh’s last film, Vera Drake, awarded the Golden Lion in Venice Film Festival in 2004, featuring a great performance by Imelda Staunton; The master of Hong Kong cinema, Wong Kar-Wai’s last film that took 5 years to finally come out : 2046; Garden State featuring Natalie Portman and Zach Braff; The best film that Woody Allen’s latest film, Melinda and Melinda.

One of the most remarkable gala films will be Eros co-directed by three master directors. Eros, in three sections, brings together the works of three directors: Wong Kar-Wai’s richly patterned, emotional, comic story; Steven Soderbergh’s twisted and deviant comedy and Michelangelo Antonioni’s philosophical meditation story on the great chasm between man and woman.


This year, there is a special section in the festival dedicated entirely to the Korean cinema that has taken a great step forward in the last decade and attracted considerable attention around the world. This year, there will be 9 challenging Korean films in the festival including Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Memories of Murder and Oasis. The festival also features 2 of Kim Ki-Duk’s latest films that were awarded the greater awards at Berlin and Venice Film Festivals: Samaritan Girl and 3-Iron.


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