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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




• 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 music composer Erdem Helvacıoğlu. Nathan Larson focused mainly on the creation process and the artistic and aesthetic qualities of film music, whereas Helvacıoğlu will concentrate on the usage of music and sound design in films, mixing, arrangement and the more technical phases of the process. The Contemporary Music For Film - The Subtle Art Workshop was at Salon İKSV at 12.00. Larson stated that he has a punk rock background and added: “There are two schools actually when you consider cinema. The first approach works as classical music composing as we are used to in Hitchcock films. The second and newer approach that we follow includes electronic music habits. For example, I can use stringed instruments while working on a soundtrack. But I always used those instruments on an electronic background.” During the workshop, the guests emphasised the “symbiotic” relationship between sound and musical composition.

• FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT GET ENOUGH MUSIC IN THE WORKSHOP Film music composer Nathan Larson and Turkish contempo and electronic music composer Erdem Helvacıoğlu were joined by Nina Persson, the world famous, multi-platinum selling singer of the The Cardigans and A Camp, to give an exclusive concert under the band name 777. The concert was at Salon İKSV at 21.00.

• “FILMING REVOLUTION” Istanbul Film Festival held a roundtable discussion with key filmmakers, scholars, archivists, and historians, to hash out the main hurdles and to perhaps illuminate the most creative solutions they have encountered to the challenges of filming revolution. Khaled Fahmy, Orwa Nyrabia, Agnes Devictor, director Hanan Abdalla, Morad Ben Cheikh, Andrei Zagdansky, and academician Alisa Lebow participated to the meeting. Round Table: Filming Revolution was at Pera Museum at 16.00. At the round table meeting, guests had an enlightening conversation on effects of Arab Spring on this geography and what it tells us.

• THREE MEN IN THE FAMILY Director Caner Erzincan’s film focuses on three men of a family living in a small town by the border. Snake in the New Turkish Cinema section was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 11.00 with the participation of the director Erzincan. Answering the questions, Erzincan stated: “Yes, there are Kurdish people in the film. But it results from my choice of place. I am from there. We don’t focus on a special nation in the film. We tried to reflect that capitalism has gone forward even to rural areas and it has effects on individuals.”

• REVOLUTION FROM THE EYES OF WOMEN Director Hanan Abdalla looks at the Egyptian Revolution from a different angle and tells the story of four women, Wafaa, Suzanne, Shahinda, and Bedriya, through the protests on Tahrir Square. In the Shadow of a Man was screened at Pera Museum at 11.00 with the participation of the director Abdalla. “I don’t believe in objectivity. However, I should say that even if you are not objective, you should also not be judgemental. We considered the characters in the film as examples to various situations. However, what we really wanted to focus on was gender issues in Egypt.” stated Abdalla.

• BACK HOME FROM EXILE The film is the story of the return of a family, which was forced to migrate and left their homeland three generations ago, to their village. Director M. Tayfur Aydın participated to the screening of The Trace at Atlas Sineması at 13.30. On the grandmother character in the film, Aydın stated: “Actually, this was one of the most difficult barriers of the film... It is impossible to find an actress above the age of forty, who speaks Kurdish. Someday, we met with her in Diyarbakir and immediately I decided who would play the character.”

• BETWEEN FICTION AND REALITY FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A DOCUMENTARIST Hail focuses on a couple who projects their real life to the silver screen. Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson will be present for the screening. The film is on the fine line between reality and fiction. The screening was at Fitaş 1 at 13.30. On the main characters of the film, director Courtin-Wilson stated: “We met with Daniel when he was released out of prison... He told me his story, I got very interested in what he had to say. Then we became close friends and I decided to reflect his story on the silver screen.”

• WHAT YOU DEMOLISH IS ACTUALLY THE WALL OF FEAR! First feature documentary on Tunisian Revolution, No More Fear is premiered at Cannes. The documentary combines images from the protests overthrowing 24 years of dictatorship of President Bin Ali and starting the Arab Spring and key people of the revolution. Director Mourad Ben Cheikh was present for the screening at Pera Museum at 13.30. The audience drew attention to title of the film and to fearless characters who risk everything. Ben Cheikh stated: “Think of the character seen in the darkness. He did not want his face to be seen at first. But even this single person changed his mind when we were about to complete the film. He thought that he wished he was seen in a recognisable way. Even this single example is enough to show that there is no fear in Tunisia anymore...”

• DELTA IN BOTSWANA What do prophecy, memory and traditional beliefs mean to man who lives way beyond them? The River Used to Be a Man focuses on the issue. Director Jan Zabeil was present in the screening at Fitaş 1 at 16.00 for the Q&A! Let us recall that Alexander Fehling from the international competition jury has the leading role of the film.

• A JOURNEY FROM ISTANBUL TO KARAMAN Directors Tamer Yiğit and Branka Prlic tell the story of the new generation in Turkey who wants to get rid of the burden of their ancestors and live the life as they want. Karaman was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 16.00 with the participation of the directors.

• AT ISTANBUL AFTER THE PREMIERE IN ROTTERDAM! After “On the Way to School”, Orhan Eskiköy and Zeynel Doğan are in the festival programme with another film adapted from a real life story, but this time with the story of the director Zeynel Doğan’s family. Voice of My Father was screened at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of the directors. Voice of My Father had won two awards at 5th Meetings on the Bridge. You can reach the special interview with the directors here . Apart from the directors, producers Özgür Doğan and Gülizar Doğan participated to the screening. Director Doğan accepted the similarities to his previous film and added: “Even though there are similarities, the theme we focused on the first film was language. However, in this film we draw attention how religion and faith separate people.”

• AN OSCAR NOMINATED PRODUCTION IN “DOCUMENTARY TIME WITH NTV” Terraferma awarded in festival was Academy Awards nominee for Italy this year. The film focuses on moral choices as well as standing upright in traditional societies. The documentary was screened at Fitaş 4 at 19.00 with the participation of director Emanuele Crialese. Director Crialese: “Europe discusses immigrants as a crisis... But I want to say that I did not want to put that in front of people. I think what is important is to understand effects of these significant events on people. I made the film in a way that can be understood even by an eight-year-old. Press bombards us with fear on all of us. People are scared that immigrants will steal their jobs. First they have to define what their real fear is.”

• YOUNG SAVAGES FROM SCANDINAVIA Based on real events Savage looks for an answer to the question “Why?” but goes deeper: Why do we try to understand the evil? We will see Kim’s effort to run away from the evil in his blood. The screening will be at 19.00 at Fitaş 1 with the participation of Martin Jern and Emil Larsson. Director Jern stated: “Our first plan was not to work on the idea... We were going to make a film and what happened in here where it is not far away from both I and Emil live has intrigued us. This is also important for our personal history!”

• SOTIRIS AND DORA AGAINST THE WORLD Interrogation officer Sotiris decides to forgive the entire wretch who suffers from the blows of misfortune. He even takes the risk and commits a murder. Dora learns about the murder and their ways cross after this incident... Unfair World was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 19.00. Antonis Kafetzopoulos, one of the lead actors, participated to the screening for Q&A. Kafetzopoulos spoke on the economical problems in Greece while answering questions of the audience: “Every film or work made in Greece is identified with the crisis. But not everything is related to this. If we look at this film, director Filippos Tsitos was going to make the film in Germany. The film was going to take place there and there was going to be German characters. Then we adapted the story into Greece and this story came out.”

• UNEASINESS AT CAUCASIAN MOUNTAINS Premiered in Locarno Film Festival, The Loneliest Planet with Gael Garcia Bernal as the leading actor struck the audience with significant use of space and striking performances. Director Julia Loktev participated to the screening at Atlas Sineması at 21.30. The film is competing for Golden Tulip in the International Competition... Loktev stated: “This is a story of a couple who travelled in a country where they don’t understand the language. This is exactly the reason we don’t use subtitles for the Georgian parts. I wanted the audience to feel what the couple feels!”

• FIVE PEOPLE IN A BARN In his first feature film on “xenophobia,” director Oğuz Çiçek tells the story of Orhan who lives his life on high plateau of Trabzon after his wife has been murdered. The Other Way was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 21.30 with the participation of the director and set crew. Çiçek: “This film is a detective story not focusing on the murder. The audience should watch the film considering this. Above all, I should mention that we made the film with great sacrifice. This is a story of Trabzon. Each actor took part voluntarily in the film. I want to thank everybody!”

• CUT ONCE MORE Cut competing in the “International Competition” category focuses on a young filmmaker who aims to change the world through cinema. Director Amir Naderi adapts a cinema manifest to the silver screen with the actor Hidetoshi Nishijama playing the young filmmaker who resists to physical pain by his love for cinema. The film was screened at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 21.30 with the participation of the director and the actor, as well as Turkish producers Engin Yenidünya, Murat Eken and Jozef Amado. Answering the questions of the audience, Naderi: “This film made by an Iranian in Japan with Turkish money is the result of ten years of work. Cinema is not dead but I can smell it. Independent films cannot meet with the audience, because great studios and multiplexes are preventing them. The hero of the film resists that.” When Naderi said “I did not let anyone to speak Nishijima who plays the main character in the set in order to take the best out of my actors”, the Japanese actor replied: “It was like hell. Even saying hello to anyone on the set was forbidden. First they thought I was crazy, then everybody accepted that it was Amir’s method.”

• A VIRTUOSO AT FESTIVAL THEATRES Director Bertan Başaran carries Barbaras Erköse, who worked with significant names of Turkish Classical Music, to the silver screen. Erköse turned his clarinet into a means of self expression while performing his music... The rest of the story, Can’t Live Without You, was screened at Pera Museum at 21.30 with the participation of Bertan Başaran.

• TODAY AT “MEETINGS ON THE BRIDGE” Do you have a project on children films or scripts? Don’t miss the panel discussion with the participation of Fleur Winters, professionals and TV planning director of Cinekid Children’s Film Festival with awarded Holland children films, producers, directors, and scriptwriters, organised with the cooperation of Eye Film Institute Netherlands. Panel Discussion: Children’s Films? Why Not! was at Akbank Sanat at 14.30! Ahmet Boyacıoğlu drew attention that there are not children’s films in Turkish Cinema. “There is a potential of approximately fifteen millions viewers, but we don’t do anything for children. There is a young population who needs children’s films. We hope that children’s films will be made with the support of Ministry of Culture and Tourism.”

• BitamBiöğrenci MEETS WITH MAGIC Multi-awarded The Magicians by Joram Lürsen met with the students within social responsibility project BitamBiöğrenci by İKSV. The film screening was at Akbank Sanat at 11.00 for those who wanted to see the film with the students.


• GOODBYE IRAN! Director Mohammad Rasoulof focuses on an Iranian woman in the film. He shaped the whole story on the Iranian lawyer and her efforts to find visa out of the country with a dark expression. Goodbye will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 11.00 with the participation of director Rasoulof.

• A HARSH STORY FROM THE SWEDISH YOUTH The film is about Kim’s efforts to escape from evil in his blood in Scandinavia where crimes become trivialised. Will Kim succeed? Savage will be screened at Fitaş 4 at 11.00 with the participation of directors Martin Jern and Emil Larsson.

• KADİFE ANA AT FESTIVAL THEATRES There are only two things that matter for the main character Kadife Ana: Sustaining her breed and protecting the safety of her son... Out of competition screening of Velvet will be at Beyoğlu Sineması at 11.00 with the participation of director Erdoğan Kar.

• A JOURNEY FROM ISTANBUL TO MUĞLA 800 Km Hurdles is the story of two disabled friends who travelled from Istanbul to Muğla on a motorcycle and a passenger basket. The film will be screened at Pera Museum at 11.00 for those who want to see the film with the director Murat Erün.

• IT IS HARD TO WAIT FOR A DELAY Maria leaves her father on a bench far away in the suburbs due to economical problems. However, she regrets what she has done on her way home and looks for a shelter for his father. Screening of the “International Competition” film Delay will be at Fitaş 4 at 13.30 with the participation of producer Sandino Saravia.

• FRENCH TEACHER TO VILLAGERS! In the summer of 1998, villagers wait for the first foreign English teacher of the village. But they confused the French tourist Julie, who finds herself there by mistake... Screening of the One Day or Another will be at Beyoğlu Sineması at 13.30 and there will be a Q&A with the participation of director Ali Vatansever.

• TWO SPECIAL SCREENINGS AT PERA! There will be two consecutive screenings at Pera Museum after 13.30. Life as a Fable a Narrative and Tell Me-Tattoos/Laments/Stories will be screened. Director of “Life...”, Hüseyin Karabey and directors of “Tell Me”, Uğraş Salman and Mehmet Sait Tunç will be present for the screenings.

• I FLEW, YOU STAYED “We talked about my father with my nana secretly. My grandfather did not want us to talk about him. He used to use swear words for him. After a while, I started not talking about him as if he never existed...” National Competition film I Flew, You Stayed by Mizgin Müjde Arslan will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 16.00. You can reach the special intervier with Mizgin Müjde Arslan here .

• PARTICIPATION TO FACE FROM FRANCE A family man, Marécaux and his wife were arrested together with twelve people for sexual harassment of children in 2001 in a small French village called Outrea. Marécaux does everything to prove his innocence. Guilty by director Vincent Garenq will be at Fitaş 4 at 16.00.

• SICILIAN VISITORS OF “HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE CINEMA” Director Emanuele Crialese tells the story of fisher family which takes an Ethiopian woman and her child into their homes after they were rescued from a wrecked ship. The film will be screened at Fitaş 1 at 16.00 with the participation of director Crialese.

• AN AMAZING ANIMATED FILM! Screening of the gripping animation considered as “one of the most creative and poetic French films of the year” by LePoint the magazine will be at Beyoğlu Sineması at 16.00. Director Jean-François Laguionie will participate to the screening of The Painting and answer questions. Besides, students will watch the film within the BitamBiöğrenci project.

• WAITING FOR THE EARTHQUAKE Waiting is a document made with the aim of noting down on the history “in today’s world where we forget or are made to forget everything quickly” with Bülent Öztürk’s words and keeping the memory alive. The documentary will be screened at Pera Museum at 16.00 with the participation of director Öztürk.

• INSIDE AND WHAT’S HIDDEN IN IT Director Zeki Demirkubuz focuses on the existential problems of the individual around the character created based on “Notes from the Undergroud” by Dostoevsky. Inside will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of the director Demirkubuz.

• TWILIGHT ZONE AT THE FESTIVAL! The main theme of the film involves transformation of Marina from a high class social worker to femme fatale after she was raped. Director Angelina Nikonova and actress Olga Dihovichnaya will participate to screening of Twilight Portrait at Fitaş 1 at 19.00.

• A DOCUMENTARY VISIT TO THE NEIGHBOURS 1+8 is a documentary on Turkey and her eight neighbours. By visiting the eight borders of Turkey, we meet different lands and people. For the screening at Pera Museum at 19.00, directors Angelika Brudniak and Cynthia Madansky will be present.

• A CALL FROM THE ISLAND Whispers of Dead Zone is the first feature film by Fırat Çağrı Beyaz. The film aims to have a creative artistic call not only for the audience in Turkey and Cyprus but for the whole world for the peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem. Director Beyaz will participate to the screening at Beyoğlu Sineması at 21.30.

• MASTER CLASS FROM THE HEAD OF JURY Head of Jury for the “National Competition”, Nuri Bilge Ceylan will give a master class. Director will share his perspective on cinema with participators at his Master Class: Nuri Bilge Ceylan at Salon İKSV at 16.00 by using clips from his film “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”, which garnered several international awards.

• DISCUSSION ON VAN AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE The panel discussion, Van Earthquake-Art in Ruins, with Bülent Öztürk, director of “Waiting”, and a number of speakers: Zozan Özgökçe (VAKAD), Şennaz Uzun (Van Çocuk Evi-Van Children’ House), Feryal Öney (Kardeş Türküler) moderated by documentarist Elif Ergezen, member of the documentary advisory board of the festival. The panel discussion will be held at Pera Museum at 16.00.

• TOWARDS THE END OF “MEETINGS ON THE BRIDGE” There will be two events at Akbank Sanat today within the programme of “Meetings on the Bridge”. Workshop On Project Development, And Preparing For The Best Pitch will be between 09.30 and13.00 while Turkey - Holland Co-Productions will be between 14.30 and 16.30. At the end of the day, award ceremony for the “Meetings on the Bridge” will be held at Netherlands Consulate at 19.00.


• JULIO’S NOVEL Main character Julio goes to a job interview but he doesn’t get the job. Afterwards he decides to write his own novel. Bonsai premiered in Cannes in the “A Certain Glance” category will be screened in Istanbul. The film will be at Atlas Sineması at 11.00 with the participation of the producer Nadia Turincev. The film will be also screened at Fitaş 1 at 21.30 with the participation of Turincev.

• A DAY IN ISTANBUL Five different characters have a day in Istanbul. On this day their lives intersect with each other and they affect lives of one another. To Better Days will be screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 11.00. Director Hasan Tolga Pulat will also participate to the screening.

• TWO SCREENINGS AT PERA! Turkish A+ will be screened with the participation of director Murat Bayramoğlu, and the Cemetery will be screened at Pera Museum with the participation of Mehmet Salih Çelik and Sevgi Akdaş. Film screenings will start from 11.00.

• SPECIAL SCREENEING AT PERA CONTINUE İmre Azem invites the audience to watch ever-growing Istanbul in her first feature film. Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits will be screened at Pera Museum at 13.30 with the participation of director Azem. • RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Director Joao Canijo reflects the relationship in a family and what they live because of one another in the Multi-awarded Portuguese film. Blood of My Blood will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 16.00!

• FEARFUL MOMENTS WITH A ROMANTIC DRAMA IN THE NATURE! Director Julia Loktev invites the audience to a journey in Caucasian Mountains. The Loneliest Planet premiered in Locarno Film Festival will be screened at Fitaş 4 at 16.00 with the participation of the director.

• DIYARBAKIR FROM THE CAMERA OF THE DIRECTOR OF ‘AUTUMN’ We visit Diyarbakir with Sumru, who goes there for collecting laments, and we observe the city through the eyes of her. Future Lasts Forever will be screened at Beyoğlu Sineması at 16.00 with the participation of Özcan Alper. The film competes for FACE Awards supported by European Council.

• “INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION” AT NİŞANTAŞI While drama student Josephine works for being a better actress, we witness the change in her character. Cracks in the Shell will be screened at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 16.00 with the participation of director Christian Schwochow and lead actress Stine Fischer Christensen.

• DAMN THE DAMS! Number of hydroelectric power plants increase every day... Directors Osman Şişman and Özlem Sarıyıldız puts a light on how the village people were affected from the power plant. Damn the Damns will be at Pera Museum at 16.00... Students will also watch the documentary within BitamBiöğrenci project.

• SHIPS AT THE “NATIONAL COMPETITION” While Ali fulfils the wishes of his father involuntarily, he gets used to attribute meaning to coincidences and to collect signs of a life that will make him happier... Ships will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 19.00 with the participation of Elif Refiğ.

• THE RIVER USED TO BE A MAN In the “Mined Zone” section of the festival this film questions the idea of “distance” through a German man who floats around in the middle of an eternal delta away from the civilization. The film will be screened at Fitaş 1 at 19.00 with the participation of director Jan Zabeil and lead actor Alexander Fehling, who is a part of the international golden tulip jury.

• FROM OSLO TO THE COMPETITION... “International Competition” film Oslo, August 31st will be screened at Nişantaşı Citylife City’s at 19.00 with the participation of actress Ingrid Olava. Festival audience will remember Joachim Trier with “Reprise” awarded with Golden Tulip.

• ROMA PEOPLE AT PERA WITH MUSIC! The documentary works on the musical potential of Istanbul, looked for its unique style even abroad, through Romas, the centre of this potential. Romanistanbul will be screened at Pera Museum at 19.00!

• PRESENT TENSE AT ATLAS Director Belmin Söylemez tells the story of Mina who is an unemployed, lonely, and unhappy person. While every negative thing is around her, she makes her mind: She will go to the United States and starts her life from the scratch. Present Tense will be screened at Atlas Sineması at 21.30 with the participation of director Söylemez. The film competes in the “National Competition” category.

• WHAT THE IMMIGRATION ACT BRINGS New Immigration Law in Germany affected the women in the East unexpectedly. These women have a common issue despite their differences of age and face: To learn German. Ich Liebe Dich will be screened at Pera Museum at 21.30 with the participation of Emine Emel Balcı.

• HPPs AND WHAT THEY BRING There will be a panel discussion at Pera Museum at 16.00 about hydroelectric power plants which have been constructed at a number of places in Turkey. Don’t miss the discussion if you want to look at the issue from a professional angle with a cinematic approach! Panel: HPPs and Docs will be held with participation of documentarists Rüya Arzu Köksal, Umut Kocagöz, Özlem Işıl, Osman Şişman and Özlem Sarıyıldız with Can Candan as the moderator.


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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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