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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 06/04/2012


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 know each other. Their cities are just theirs.” Those who wanted to experience Nocturnos in Buenos Aires and ask questions to director Cozarinsky after the screening were at Atlas Sineması at 19.00. On his film, the director said: “Don’t expect any action in this film. Just try to perceive my observations with your own eyes. This is a production where poetry is harmonised with music.” On Istanbul: “I have been here in Istanbul three times. This is my fourth visit... I think discovering the city, which I find very close to myself, on foot is my favourite thing.”

• AN AWARDED SECOND FILM FROM ROMANIA Romanian films attract further attention each year, and the festival selection includes Best Intentions, a Romanian film by director Adrian Sitaru, his second feature after “Hooked”. Best Intentions was screened at Fitaş 4 at 19.00. Right after the screening, director Sitaru was there for a Q&A. “This is a film about losing your loved one,” said Sitaru. “What you are about to lose does not have to be a person, it can also be a thing that you love and feel close to. This why our main character got angry when his underwear were thrown in the opening scene.”

• FRIENDS OF BitamBiöğrenci PROJECT Michel Petrucciani by Michael Radford in the “Documentary Time with NTV” section met with the students once more. The film screening was at Fitaş 1 at 21.30 for those who wanted to watch the film on the world famous jazz pianist.

• DESIGN BIENNIAL ON THE HORIZON! The first screening of the film Urbanized in the “Special Screening” section of the festival was at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 19.00 as a pre-event of the Istanbul Design Biennial which will be held for the first time between October 13 and December 12, 2012. The first two films of the trilogy by the director Gary Hustwit, “Helvetica” and “Objectified”, will be screened at the biennial in addition to Urbanized. Before the screening, a cocktail was held at Istanbul Moda Academy with the participation of renowned designers and architects.

• WITH GRATITUDE TO THE SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE FESTIVAL! In the special cocktail gala held at Sait Halim Paşa Yalısı, plaques were presented to the institutions and organisations supporting the festival this year. İKSV Chair of Administrator’s Committee Talat Halman and Istanbul Deputy Governor Kazım Tekin presented the plaques to Deputy Secretary Kemal Fahir Genç on behalf of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, to Prof. Dr. Erman Tuncer on behalf of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, and to Ahmet Misbah Demircan on behalf of the Beyoğlu Municipality.
Sponsors, which have a great support to the festival, were also presented with plaques at the night. Plaques of 1000 Volt sponsoring “Meetings on the Bridge Work-in-Progress Workshop”, Melodika sponsoring “Meetings on the Bridge Film Development Workshop”, Groupama sponsoring “Turkish Classics: Revisited”, NTV theme sponsor of “Documentary Time with NTV”, Colin’s theme sponsor of “Young Masters”, Sabah Newspaper theme sponsor of “From the World of Festivals”, and Efes theme sponsor of “Turkish Cinema” were also presented by Talat Halman. The cocktail livened up with the joyous music of Aris Trio.


• DON’T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FESTIVAL WEEKEND! The second weekend of the festival is close! Buy your tickets in advance for a Saturday and Sunday full of festival films. But before the weekend, there will be another day 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. You can watch Best Intentions with the participation of the director Sitaru at Atlas Sineması at 13.30.

• FRANCOIS VAN HEERDEN GETS LOST IN SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS South African guests of the festival will meet with the audience with Beauty. Director Oliver Hermanus invites the audience to accompany the inner journey of the main character Francois and also shows us the moral structure of South Africa. The screening will be at Fitaş 4 at 16.00 and Hermanus will be there for a Q&A.

• ROMAN’S SEARCH WORTHY OF OSCARS With his first film, Karl Markovics tells the past of Roman who is out of reformatory and his search of his mother, who left him to the orphanage. The screening of Breathing, Austria’ Oscar nominee, will be at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of actor Thomas Schubert.

• 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 will be screened with the participation of director Özgentürk at Beyoğlu Sineması at 19.00.

• ROAD STORIES BY THE BULGARIAN YOUNG MASTER Alienated art student Kamen and Avé hitchhike across Romania... 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 Beyoğlu Sineması at 21.30 with the participation of director Konstantin Bojanov who will answer the questions after the screening.

• BROKEN DREAMS WITH DESTROYED HUT Marginalised Martin and little immigrant Viktor are the two central characters of the third and latest film by director Hans Weingartner, who will be present for the screening of the film. Hut in the Woods will be screened Fitaş 4 at 21.30 for those who want to see.

• 736-HOUR-LONG PERFORMANCE AT MoMA SHOWN IN THE FESTIVAL Marina Abramovic, who uses her own body as the basic material in her works and performances, forces the limits of 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 will be screened at Fitaş 1 at 21.30 if you want to witness the background of the work, and in case you have any questions, director Akers will be there for a Q&A.

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


• SECOND WEEKEND OF THE FESTIVAL. It will be the end of first week of the festival tomorrow. 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 the birth. The TRT audience will remember the programme “Adam’s Logbook”. The first feature film by director of the programme Adam 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 material in Greece. They are actually the lead actors of the giant wealth mechanism of the earth! 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 to 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, and 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 screenplay writer Efthimis Filippou will be present for the screening at Fitaş 4 at 21.30. Filippou is also the screenplay writer 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 come to mind when performance art is mentioned, and 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 with the participation of the director.

• 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. For those who want to watch the film with the student, the screening will at Fitaş 1 at 16.00. Besides the screening comes with a surprise! Director of the film Christos Karakepelis will participate to the screening and answer to questions.


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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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