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16th London Turkish Film Festival Opening Gala

The Opening Gala for the 16th edition of the London Turkish Film Festival took place last night at the Empire Leicester Square, an enviable setting and historical location with strong ties to British cinematical history.  

With the red carpet rolled out and crowd congregating with curiosity, everyone waited with anxiety for the arrival of the talent - most notably Sener Sen, soon-to-be winner of the Golden Wings Lifetime Achievement Award, Cagan Irmak, director of the opening film "Sleeping Princess" (world premiere). 


Upon arrival of the stars, they were mobbed from all fronts having to rush inside the cinema, which they were continually mobbed for photographs, interviews and autographs (as can be seen in the photo above). 

The award ceremony quickly ensued with a brief introduction from the festival's director, Vedide Kaymak and a member of the selection committee, founder/director of SCI-FI London, Louis Savy.

The Golden Wings Digiturk Digital Distribution Award, a very important and unique award that provides 30,000 pounds towards the distribution and marketing of the winning film was won by Honey (Bal) directed by Semih Kaplanoglu. The award was received by the film's cinematographer, Baris Ozbicer with a simple thank you. (above)

The Golden Wings Lifetime Achievement Award, a much anticipated award, went to the legendary actor, Sener Sen. The whole room stood up, clapped and whistled animatedly and Mr Sen proved, once again, his great comic timing by making the whole room laugh uproariously in quick succession, cracking joke after physical joke. (above)


Finally, the director of the film that would have its' world premiere and have the honour of opening the film festival, Cagan Irmak was called on stage to introduce his film.  As can be seen above and in left to right order, he brought actress Aysenil Samlioglu, producer Esi Gulce, actress Sevinc Erbulak and actor Genco Erkal. 

He told how the idea for the film came about; from a song by the Turkish band Redd, who also appear on the film.  And that he hoped people would enjoy it and invited everyone to party after the film. 

More information about the festival at




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About Tania Martins

Tania Martins

Filmmaker. Student. Blogger. Film Critic. Festival Organiser. Freelance Cameraperson. Explorer. Longboarder. WELCOME!


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