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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 13, 2011

• MEETINGS CONTINUE ON THE BRIDGE Workshops start in the third day of 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 Feature Film Development Workshop will start at 9.30 in French Cultural Center.

• SEARCH HAS ITS WORLD PREMIERE Search, which is shown under “New Turkish Cinema” section, will be screened at 11.00 in Beyoğlu. Deniz Çınar will attend the screening.

• WORKSHOP FROM MICHELLE DANNER Acting coach Michelle Danner comes to the Festival for a one-day detailed seminar for actors, directors, and screenwriters. Titled The Golden Box, the seminar will take place between 10.00 and 12.00. There is an attendance fee.

• THE STORY OF A WOMAN Aydın Orak’s The Legend of Rebellion will be screened in Pera at 11.00 with the participation of the director.

• WALK WITH ITS DIRECTOR Walk can be seen at 13.30 in Beyoğlu. Director Shiar Abdi will attend the screening.

• A DOCUMENTARY OF INTRANSIGENCE The documentary Film Against All Odds, which tells the production story of Reis Çelik’s 2005 film Intransigence, can be seen at 13.30 in Pera, with the participation of Çelik.

• HAIR THROUGH ITS CREW’S EYES Tayfun Pirselimoğlu’s latest film Hair will be screened at 16.00 in Atlas. The film’s screening will be attended by Pirselimoğlu and the film’s actors.

• LUKE EVANS COMES TO ISTANBUL Luke Evans, the star of Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood, comes to Istanbul for the screening of his latest film Tamara Drewe. This funny, very sexy, quite contemporary, lively comedy directed by acknowledged director Stephen Frears, can be seen at 16.00 in Fitaş 4.

• FRANCE’S IMMIGRATION POLICIES Hands Up, which protests France’s immigration policies through children who experience its consequences, is an entertaining and moving film. Romain Goupil, the director of the film that will be screened at 16.00 in Fitaş 1, will answer questions from the audience.

• THE WORLD’S FIRST TEMPLE With a backdrop that examines widespread beliefs, Göbeklitepe–The World’s First Temple, takes the viewer back 12,000 years from today, to Göbeklitepe, 15 km off from the southeastern Turkish town of Şanlıurfa. It will be screened at 16.00 in Pera. Director Ahmet Turgut Yazman will attend the screening.

• A STORY OF CRIME AND REDEMPTION Winner of the Torino FIPRESCI prize, Small Town Murder Songs tells the story of crime and redemption of an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town. Director Ed Gass-Donnelly will attend the screening at 16.00 in Beyoğlu.

• TOLL BOOTH IS AT THE FESTIVAL A feature debut film written and directed by Tolga Karaçelik, Toll Booth tells a story of miscommunication, isolation and desperate alienation via a conflict between a father and his son. The film in the National Competition line-up can be seen at 19.00 in Atlas with the participation of Karaçelik.

• MUSIC TAKES OVER ALEXANDARIA Microphone, which is the first feature film to be shot entirely on Canon 7D camera, is a musical journey that travels through Egypt’s multi-cultural port city Alexandria. Director Ahmad Abdalla and actor Khaled Abol Naga will answer audience’s questions following the screening at 19.00 in Fitaş 1.

• LÉOS CARAX COMES TO ISTANBUL Léos Carax, the director of Lovers on the Bridge, visits Istanbul for the screening of his other cult film Bad Blood. Lead by his fetish actor Denis Lavant, Juliette Binoche and Michel Piccoli also take part in the film. The screening, which will be attended by the director, will take place at 19.00 in Beyoğlu.

• MOTHERS WANT PEACE My Mother Wants Peace speaks of the life and struggles of the Peace Mothers Initiative members to bring peace and to reunite with their children. Director Aziz Çapkurt will attend the film’s screening at 19.00 in Pera.

• 30TH YEAR WILL BE CELEBRATED IN ESMA SULTAN The 30th year of Istanbul Film Festival is celebrated in a special evening in Esma Sultan. Plaques will be given in the evening. The cocktail reception to celebrate the 30th Year of the Festival will start at 20.00 in Esma Sultan.

• LYNCH AND COEN TOGETHER A little bit of Twin Peaks and a little bit of Coen Brothers… The result: Nobody Else But You, a brilliantly offbeat French thriller about a crime writer investigating the death of a TV star who believed she was the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. Scriptwriter and director Gérald Hustache-Mathieu will attend the screening at 21.30 in Fitaş 4.

• SARIKECILILER FOLLOW THEIR ANCESTORS’ STEPS The latest film by Yüksel Aksu, the director of Ice cream, I Scream, Last Nomads of Anatolia: Sarıkeçililer tells the story of Sarıkeçililer. Sarıkeçililer are the last representatives of the nomadic life style in Anatolia and for centuries have migrated incessantly following the traces of their ancestors between suitable regions each season, just like the cycles of mother earth. Aksu will attend the screening, which will take place at 21.30 in Beyoğlu.

• DEAD SOULS In Deadsouls, Murat Özçelik tell his own story. Özçelik was jailed at the age of 17 while he was a high school student and was seriously injured during the military operation, which was organized in Ulucanlar Prison in 1999, where ten people were killed. The film will be screened at 21.30 in Pera with the participation of director Özçelik.

• THE SIYAD PARTY The “Critical Night” party, organized exclusively for the Festival will be hosted by Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD). It will start at 22.30 Gazino Beyoğlu.
• A MAGNIFICENT NIGHT CELEBRATING THE 30TH YEAR The 30th year of the Istanbul Film Festival was celebrated at a special cocktail party at the Marmara Esma Sultan. The evening started with a speech by IKSV President Bülent Eczacıbaşı who said, “We are proud that this festival, which, with its openings, closings, competitions, colorful guests, discussions and the 16-day-long exciting film marathon both allows for quality productions to be screened and creates opportunities of support for new productions in Turkish cinema, has reached its 30th year.” Eczacıbaşı thanked everyone who has supported the Festival throughout its history. He also presented representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Beyoğlu Municipality, Festival’s main sponsor Akbank, IKSV’s official accommodation sponsor The Marmara Hotels and Residences, and theme sponsors Groupama, Colin's, NTV, CNN Türk, Sabah Daily, Efes, and Moviemax.

Festival Director Azize Tan thanked “unnamed heroes” of the Festival and presented plaques of appreciation to executives from movie theatres, which have housed the festival for the past 30 years turning Beyoğlu into a festival center, with plackets of appreciation.
LABOR AWARDS FOR THOSE BEHIND THE SCENES The 30th Year Special Evening ended with the giving of awards to veterans that remain behind the scenes and who go unnoticed. “Labor Awards” recipients were: Yekta Kara, who prepares the sequence of all opening and closing ceremonies of the Istanbul Film Festival, Atilla Dorsay, who is one of the pioneers of film criticism in Turkey and one of the Festival’s advisors, Corporate Communication Representative Nilgün Mirze, Zeliha Kaya, who is responsible for the Festival’s protocol and ticketing, Gökhan Pamukçu, who is the Festival’s machinist operator and a real cinema veteran, Sara Berker, who has been responsible for guests’ hospitality for the past 10 years, Ali Sönmez, who was assistant director of the Festival for 16 years, Vecdi Sayar, who was the artistic director of the Festival for 13 years, and Hülya Uçansu, who labored for the Festival for 24 years, 17 of which she had been the Festival director.

• SEARCH WITH TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES Search, which is shown under “New Turkish Cinema” section, had its premiere. Fırat Çınar, the leading actor and brother of director Deniz Çınar, said that they were unable to realize some scenes and details in the scripts due to technical and financial difficulties.

• “THIS WAS NOT A SEPTEMBER 12 STORY” Shiar Abdi, the director of Walk, and the film’s crew answered questions by the audience following the film’s screening. The director said that they had financial difficulties because the film, the shooting of which took six weeks, was a period piece.

• WORKSHOP WITH MICHELLE DANNER Michelle Danner, who has worked with leading actors such as Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Penelope Cruz, and James Franco and who has founded the Edgemar Arts Center, organized a one-day seminar titled The Golden Box for actors, directors, and screenwriters.

• “MY SON DID THE EDITING” The documentary Film Against All Odds, which tells the production story of Reis Çelik’s 2005 film Intransigence was screened in Pera with the participation of the director. Taking stage with his son, Çelik said, “I did not know what to do. My son told me to leave this one to him; he took it and did the editing.”

• “I DEPICT DEATH” Director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, actors Ayberk Pekcan, Nazan Kesal, and Rıza Akın attended the screening of Hair, which competes in the National Competition. Pirselimoğlu said he was making a trilogy and he depicted death in each film. He added, “I remind viewers that our body is mortal.”

• “FREARS TRUSTS HIS INSTINCTS” Luke Evans, the star of Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood, came to Istanbul for the screening of his latest film Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears. Speaking after the screening, Evans said working with Frears was an interesting experience. “He trusts his instincts,” he added.

• “IT WAS NOT EASY TO FIND CHILD ACTORS” Director Romain Goupil attended the screening of Hands Up in Fitaş Movie Theater. Explaining they had a difficult time finding child actors, Goupil said, “We then started looking for a child actor in Eastern Europe. We placed an ad in the newspaper that read we were looking for a young Chechen girl. But this little girl lived not in Paris but in Milan. It was all like it is in the movies.”

• “RELIGION WAS A MEANS FOR TELLING CONFLICTS” Attending the screening of Small Town Murder Songs, director Ed Gass-Donnelly said, “I wanted to create a certain level of tension by using wide angles, by not employing close-ups, by relaying landscapes with all their grandeur. This is just the story of a man, who, in his personal journey, holds on to religion.”

• THANKS TO THE ISTANBUL AUDIENCE Director Ahmad Abdalla and actor Khaled Abol Naga attended the screening of Microphone. Following the screening of the film, which in its second screening was again applauded for a long time, Abdalla said they were very happy that the audience in Istanbul liked the film a lot.

• LÉOS CARAX IN ISTANBUL Léos Carax, the director of Lovers on the Bridge, is in Istanbul for the screening of his other cult film Bad Blood. Speaking before the screening, Carax said, “When I was flying in, I realized that I was 50 years old and that I had done this film when I was 25. In other words, in the first half of my life… I have not seen it since it was finished but I do remember what was in it.”

• THE STORY OF SARIKECILILER Yüksel Aksu’s film Last Nomads of Anatolia: Sarıkeçililer was screened at Beyoğlu Movie Theater. The film’s crew represented Aksu, who could not attend due to the shooting of his next film. Attending the meeting on behalf of Sarıkeçililer Foundation, Pervi Savran, who introduced herself as “mother nature,” said, “We are a group of people who love nature, stars, and even all the bugs in the nature.” She invited everyone in the theater to protect the nature.

• ONE OF THE BIGGEST SCANDALS IN BRITISH HISTORY Director Jim Loach’s debut feature film Oranges and Sunshine, competes for the FACE Award given in the Human Rights Competition. Attending the screening, Loach said, “Eight years ago, I had a conversation with a woman named Margaret Humphreys in Nottingham. What she told me simply spellbound me. At that moment, I knew I was going to turn what she had been telling me into a film. Oranges and Sunshine is that film.”

• SIYAD PARTY The “Critical Night” party, organized exclusively for the Festival by Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD), was held at Gazino Beyoğlu.



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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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