!f Istanbul says ‘To Life!’
One of the innovations of the !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival this year is !f Fresh, which brings together films from the past year produced in Turkey or films about Turkey. It aims to be a showcase for innovative emerging directors bringing new stories about Turkey.
The films to be shown in !f Fresh are as follows: Salih Demir’s indie gem ”Cano,” based in Diyarbakır; “Snow,” written and directed by Emre Erdoğdu, about Turkey’s youth; “Anatolian Trip,” depicting an amateur rock group’s journey through Turkey in 2014 co-directed by Can Eskinazi and Deniz Tortum; Italian director Giulia Frati’s musical documentary “Istanbul Echoes” on urban transformation in Istanbul; Nejla Demirci’s 2017 TRT Documentary Award winning film “Confrontation,” based on people dealing with illness; Volkan Üce’s documentary “Displaced” about four young European Turks looking for their roots; and Mu Tunç’s “Arada,” which tells the story of two young people trapped in the city, torn between reality and dreams.
!f Istanbul’s Gala section also features the Turkey premieres of award-winning titles from festivals around the world that have been widely acclaimed.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread,” Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” Ai Weiwei’s “Human Flow,” Zambian director Rungano Nyoni’s “I am Not a Witch,” and British director Paul McGuigan’s “Film Stars Don’t Die” will also be seen for the first time in Turkey during the !f festival.
!f will present the first public screening of Metin Erksan’s “Time to Love,” a classic masterpiece in Turkish cinema, from a recently restored print by Mimar Sinan University’s Sami Şekeroğlu Cinema-TV Center.
“Time to Love” has influenced and inspired many directors in Turkey from Reha Erdem to Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
!f Istanbul’s “!nspired International Competition” section will showcase first or second-time filmmakers who take cinema in new directions.
This year’s films include Locarno winner Shevaun Mizrahi’s “Distant Constellation,” Iranian-Canadian director Sadaf Foroughi’s “Ava,” German artist and director Helena Wittmann’s second feature “Drift,” South African director Jenna Cato Bass’ “High Fantasy,” Swedish director Rojda Sekersöz’s “Beyond Dreams,” Brazilian director Joao Dumans and Affonso Uchoa’s “Araby,” Bertrand Mandico’s “The Wild Boys” and Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s “The Nothing Factory.”
Documentaries of the year compete
!f’s “Love & Change Competition” features films with an activist ethos, interested in issues of social change. This year’s Love & Change Competition will include Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous film “The Work,” Canadian director Laura Bari’s “Primas,” Serbian director Mila Turajic’s “The Other Side of Everything,” Till Schauder’s “When God Sleeps,” Simon Lereng Wilmont’s “Distant Barking of Dogs,” Paraguayan artist Paz Encina’s “Memory Exercises” and Ayşe Toprak’s “Mr. Gay Syria.”
“The Trial: The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov” will also be shown during the festival out of the competition.
In a first, the “!f²” section, which this year is in partnership with The New Film Fund, takes the “New f²” name and shows !f movies across Turkey and neighboring countries.
With the support of the Movies that Matter group and the Netherlands Consulate General, the “New !f²” will be showing the most up-to-date and exciting documentary and fiction films on a Saturday every month from Afyon to Batman, Ramallah to Nicosia, in 33 cities and 50 different locations, to 15,000 people. Q&As with directors will be broadcast live after these screenings.
For more detailed information, visit www.ifistanbul.com.