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Jeremy Colson

Jeremy Colson's festival coverage.

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Visiting Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Kathmandu, Neasden and more.


Istanbul Film Festival opens tomorrow celebrates 30 year anniversary

BANGKOK ~ The 30th Istanbul Film Festival will take place during April 2-17. With approximately 150, 000 participants last year
Istanbul Film Festival is again the biggest cinema event of Turkey and once again offers rich content.

Some 230 films in 21 sections will be shown in the festival. A  wide-ranging programme composed of special retrospectives exclusive to the 30th year includes new films premiered in January at Sundance and in February at Berlin, Golden Tulip International and National Competitions as well as The Film Award of The Council of Europe (FACE). Documentaries and children’s films will also be screened.

The Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV),  unites cineastes of Istanbul with the most successful and prestigious films of the world, star actors and directors for 30 years, and promises two weeks full of cinema.

The programme of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival was announced at a press cocktail at Pera Palace Hotel. IKSV Chairman of the Board of Directors Bülent Eczacıbaşı, Akbank CEO Ziya Akkurt, Assistant General Director of Cinema and Copyright of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Hüseyin Ülger and Istanbul Film Festival Director Azize Tan were among those who attended.

“The Istanbul Film Festival is like a school which dates back 30 years...”

Bülent Eczacıbaşı, said the festival is like a school which dates back thirty years: “In the summer of 1982, the feast which was inaugurated in the scope of the Istanbul Film Festival has contributed a lot to raise a generation of filmmakers and audiences...

“Like a school we went tirelessly for years and which has a semester of two weeks, it presented us various dimensions of the art of cinema and of life itself; it also offered different ways of seeing which has helped us shape our own adventure. During the past years and with the film festival, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts also experienced “a thirty years like a film”.

Ziya Akkurt, Akbank CEO, said that the festival has been instrumental in fostering a universal cinema culture in Istanbul: “For 30 years the most distinguished works of cinema are coming together with the Turkish audience by means of this great organization. How did a modest activity titled “cinema days” many years ago exceede[d] the boundaries of a city and embrace[d] the entire world?

“The first factor of this success is the passionate audience who filled the theatres since the very first day. Yet, the second factor is the hard work behind this organization. I want to thank to the architect of this unique organization, that is the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

The 30th Istanbul Film Festival will commence with an opening ceremony at Lütfü Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre on the night,
tomorrow, April 1st.

Tickets have been on sale since March 19t and continue to be available from the box offices of Atlas and Beyoğlu in Beyoğlu, Rexx in Kadıköy and through Biletix sales

Festival screenings will take place at 7seven movie theatres:
Atlas, Beyoğlu AFM Fitaş 1 ve 2, Beyoğlu, Nişantaşı CityLife Cinema (City’s), Pera Museum theatres in Beyoğlu and Rexx in Kadıköy.


This year, the Istanbul Film Festival will present the Cinema Honorary Awards to four great names in Turkish cinema. Director Yusuf Kurçenli, cinematographer Ertunç Şenkay, and the unforgettable duo of Turkish cinema, Metin Akpınar and Zeki Alasya will all receive awards at the Opening Ceremony . Yusuf Kurçenli’s classic Blackout Nights and Zeki Ökten’s Raindrop, starring Zeki Alasya and Metin Akpınar, will be screened during the festival.  

The film philosopher Bela Tarr, who influences contemporary and independent cinema, will be in Istanbul to receive his Cinema Honorary Award at the opening ceremony of the festival. The director's last film Turin Horse will be screened in the "World of the Festivals" section.

The festival is celebrating its 30th year with many new projects.
including the publication of a commemorative book which acts as an important
archive. In this book titled 30: 30 Years from 20 Directors” the
role of the festival in our personal histories is told by 20 directors
who grew up and discovered cinema with the festival. Aside from the texts of
20 directors
of recent international success, all of whom write on
an inspiring film they saw during Istanbul Film Festival
, the book includes
evaluative pieces of local and international critics on the relationship between
directors’ art and their choice of film, as well as interviews about the 30-year
journey of the festival.

The photos of 20 directors, shot by photographer Muhsin
in different spots at Emek, Atlas, Beyoğlu, Sinepop and Yeşilçam
theatres in Beyoğlu is being exhibited at Atlas Arcade. 

The book can be purchased at festival venues and IKSV Design
beginning tomorrow. 

30th Year Special Section: “30 Years in Film”

The Festival programme includes a selection of films screened in the 30-year
history of the festival. Nineteen films selected by 19 directors
for the 30th Year book will be screened as part of a special section. Prepared
by 19 directors raised by the Festival, this section will present cineastes with
the opportunity to watch the films of the great directors they have discovered
in the Istanbul Film Festival once again. The Festival’s six-year sponsor
Digiturk is sponsoring the “30th Year Special” Section with the
Moviemax Festival channel.

Films to be screened under “30 Years in Film” include:

The Cry / Michelangelo
(Zeki Demirkubuz’ selection); · Autumn Sonata
/ Ingmar Bergman (Yeşim Ustaoğlu’s selection);
· Wild Strawberries
/ Ingmar Bergman (Pelin Esmer’s selection);
· Bad Blood / Léos
Carax (Durul and Yağmur Taylan’s selection);
· The House of Mirth/
Terence Davies(Çağan Irmak’s selection); 
8½ / Federico Fellini
(Uğur Yücel’s selection);
· Edmond / Stuart Gordon (Ümit Ünal’s
· The Lacemake / Claude Goretta(Handan İpekçi’s
· Ballad of Narayama/ Shohei Imamura (Kazım Öz’
· Blue / Derek Jarman (Aslı Özge’s selection);
· Stranger than Paradise / Jim Jarmusch (Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun’s
· Wanderers of the Desert / Nacer Khemir (Tayfun
Pirselimoğlu’s selection);
· The Wind will Carry Us / Abbas
Kiarostami (Seyfi Teoman’s selection); 
A Short Film about Killing/
Krzysztof Kieslowski (Reis Çelik’s selection); 
Shoah / Claude
Lanzmann (Derviş Zaim’s selection);
· The Swamp / Lucrecia Martel
(Reha Erdem’s selection);
· Blood Wedding / Carlos Saura
(Serdar Akar’s selection);
· Mephisto/ Istvan Szabo (Hüseyin
Karabey’s selection); and
Andrey Rublyov / Andrei Tarkovski (Semih
Kaplanoğlu’s selection).

Under this section of the festival, Derviş Zaim's selection, a monumental
film, Shoah's director Claude Lanzmann, will be the
festival's guest for a special conference. The New York Times
sdescribed the director as: "one of the names that changed the world's point
of view to Holocaust
", Claude Lanzmann, will attend a special
conference at Salon on April 10, Sunday at 14:00.


The most special surprise for the 30th year of festival is the “30 Years
in Film”
blog that unites festival audiences from the past and the present.
In the 30th year blog, launched in February, audiences have a chance to share
memories from the festival, exhibit old tickets and photos, discuss friendships
formed due to the festival and directors they had a chance to hear. The blog is
already attracting great attention and will remain active until the end of
the festival.


The festival will also host a unique project by bringing together two
leading names of cinema and music. One of the most original auteurs of
French cinema, Claire Denis, and a British rock band she frequently works
with for her films, Tindersticks, will come together on stage for the
very first time with a concert titled “Claire Denis Film Music
. The world premiere of the cine-concert project of
Claire Denis and Tindersticks will take place on April 11t at
the Fulya Art Centre.

International Competition

In the “International Competition” section, 12 films that have
received attention from film circles, dealing with themes of art and artists or
literature adaptations, will compete for the Golden Tulip. The
International Competition Golden Tulip Award, has been presented in
memory of Şakir Eczacıbaşı since last year and will be supported with the
25.000 Euros award by the Eczacıbaşı Group. The director of the winning
film will receive 10.000 Euros, the company which will distribute the film will
receive 10.000 Euros, and the remaining 5.000 Euros will be given to the film
that received Special Jury Award.

International Competition films will be screened during the second
week of the festival for the audience and international jury. Claire Denis
is the Jury President.

Tran Anh Hung, who directed The Scent of Green Papaya and
The Bicyclist, competes for the Golden Tulip Award with the film
adaptation of Norwegian Wood. Adapted from the novel by Haruki
Murakami, the film is about love, death, loss of innocence, heartbreak, and
sexual awakening. It takes place at the end of 1960 and is the first masterpiece
of the author to be adapted to film. Tran Anh Hung will come to Istanbul
to participate in the festival.

Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stharne Nilsson’s Sound of
won the Young Critics’ Award at last year’s Cannes and is an urban
situational comedy about love, madness, and music... The protagonist of the film
is a police commissar who hates music, and he is after music terrorists who use
the city as an instrument.

Michael Winterbottom’s last film The Trip is a feature
remake of the British comedy series with six episodes and is a gourmet road
story. Described as “The funniest thing on TV” by The Guardian, The
is the story of a man who becomes a guest food and drink newspaper
writer and who chronicles his travels in the rural parts of Britain with his
friend. Leading actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play
themselves, as they did in the Golden Tulip winning, A Cock and a Bull
. Winterbottom's Killer Inside Me will be shown in Akbank
Galas section.

The Canadian director of Polytechnique, Denis Villeneuve also
competes for the Golden Tulip with the adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s famous play
Incendies. The film was an Oscar-nominee for the Best Foreign
Language film and received many awards from festivals last year. Starring
Lubna Azabal, who received the Best Actress award at Abu Dhabi, the film
is about twins on their way to Lebanon and an exploration of the darkest moments
of the civil war.

In his latest film The Mill and the Cross,Lech Majewski,
recognized by Festival followers for the 2001 production Wojaczekand
the 2008 production Glass Lips, examines the famous Flemish painter
Brueghel’s 1564 masterpiece “Calvary Road”, which depicts over 500
people. The production stands out with its cast and technical competence
and starts Golden Globe awarded Rutger Hauer, British actors Charlotte
and Michael York. Majewski is one of the directors
who will meet the audience at the festival.

In the International Competition, Turkey will be represented by Seyfi
’s Our Grand Despair, which also competed in Berlin this
February. Seyfi Teoman, who had a breakthrough with his first film Summer
, tells the story of a rare friendship in his last film, which is an
adaptation of Barış Bıçakçı’s novel.

Out of Competition

Juan, by the famous opera director Kasper Holten, is the
contemporary version of Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni and will be
screened out of the competition. The film tells the story of a heartless
libertine who both loves and hates women and who enjoys seducing and then
dumping his prey. Juan is enacted by the famous baritone Christopher Maltman,
who is accompanied by the Denmark Period Instruments Group Concerto

Chico and Rita, directed by Fernando Trubea, Javier
and Tono Errando, tells the love story of a talented pianist
and a beautiful singer and exotic dancer from Havana in 1948 to today’s New
York. The film includes pieces by American and Cuban legends John Coltrane, Nat
King Cole, Tito Puente and piano god Bebo Valdes, and is a wonderful opportunity
for cinephiles who want to enjoy Cuban music, streets, bars, clubs and cars of
Havana. Trubea's musical documentary Calle 54 made an impact, El baile
de Victoria
and Thief was shown in the festival.

Actor / director John Turtorro’s last film Passion will
be screened out of competition and is a musical journey taking place in
the streets of Naples... The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film
Festival and is a semi-documentary, semi musical blending performances of
amateurs and professionals with archival footage and portraying the music of
Naples and the city itself.

Wim Wenders is carrying the ultimate art of the German Choreographer
that we lost in 2009 to 3D. This feature-length dance film portrays the
exhilarating and inimitable art of this great German choreographer who died in
the summer of 2009. Inviting the viewer on a sensual, visually stunning journey
of discovery into a new dimension right onto the stage of the legendary
ensemble, the film also accompanies the dancers beyond the theatre, into the
city and the surrounding industrial landscape of Wuppertal – the place that was
the home and centre of Pina Bausch’s creative life for more than
35 years.

National Competition

The “Turkish Cinema” section of the Istanbul Film Festival is
sponsored by Efes just like the previous 23 years. In this
section, where films produced in Turkey during 2010-2011 come together, there
are 46 fiction and documentary films under titles National
Competition, New Turkish Cinema,
and Documentaries.

The best film, selected by the jury from the films in the National
Competition section will receive the National Competition Golden Tulip
and 150.000 TL award by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best
and Best Original Score awards will also be presented
at the Istanbul Film Festival National Competition. The Ministry of Culture
and Tourism
will present 50.000 TL to the Best Director, and
10.000 TL for the Best Actor and Actress. Also, the Jury Special
will be supported with a monetary award for the first time in 2011 and
the winner will receive 30.000 TL.

Efes continues to give a $30.000 award to the director whose
film is chosen by the International Federation of Film Critics
, to be used toward their next film. The FIPRESCI award of
National Competition is presented in memory of Onat Kutlar.

The jury of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival National Competition Golden
is headed by Reha Erdem, one of the most important directors of
the Turkish cinema.


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This is the diary of a festival ambassador travelling throughout Asia and elsewhere around the world.  Festivals covered include: Bangkok, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, London, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Neasden and more


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