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Istanbul Film Festival kicks off Saturday

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News | 3/31/2011 12:00:00 AM |

With a smorgasbord of 230 films from around the world, the Istanbul Film Festival will kick off its 30th edition Saturday with offerings in 22 categories.

With a smorgasbord of 230 films from around the world, the Istanbul Film Festival will kick off its 30th edition Saturday with offerings in 22 categories, as well as competitions, panel discussions and other events.

Running until April 17, the festival features a wide ranging program composed of special retrospectives exclusive to the 30th year that include new films that premiered in January at Sundance and in February at Berlin, Golden Tulip International and National Competitions, the Film Award of The Council of Europe, or FACE, documentaries and children’s films.

In the International Competition section of the festival, 12 films that received attention from film circles dealing with the themes of art and artistic or literary adaptations will compete for the Golden Tulip. This year, famous director Claire Denis will assume the jury president’s chair for the Golden Tulip International Competition.

The Turkish Cinema section of the film extravaganza will feature films produced in Turkey during 2010-2011. There will be 46 fiction and documentary films for the National Competition, New Turkish Cinema and Documentary sections.

The jury of the festival’s National Competition Golden Tulip is headed by Reha Erdem, one of the most important directors in Turkish cinema.

Also, the 12th Istanbul Biennial has organized a special selection with the collaboration of the Istanbul Film Festival, and the section titled “Untitled (Film)” will be a preview of the cinematic content of the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which will run from Sept. 17 to Nov. 13.

The festival will also present its Cinema Honorary Awards to four important figures in Turkish cinema – director Yusuf Kurçenli, photography director Ertunç Şenkay, and two unforgettable actors, Zeki Alasya and Metin Akpınar. Awards will be presented to the artists Friday night at the opening ceremony at the Lütfi Kırdar Exhibition and Congress Center.

For the occasion of the 30th year celebrations of the festival, a special book has been published. In the book, titled “30: 30 Years from 20 Directors,” the role of the festival in the contributors’ personal histories is told by the 20, who grew up and discovered cinema thanks to the festival.

The photos of the 20 directors shot by photographer Muhsin Akgün in different spots at the Emek, Atlas, Beyoğlu, Sinepop and Yeşilçam theaters in Beyoğlu will be exhibited in the Atlas Arcade until the end of the festival.

The most special surprise for the 30th year of festival is the “30 Years in Film” blog that unites all festival audiences from the past to the present. In the 30th year blog, launched in February at www.filmgibi30yil.com, festival audiences have a chance to share memories from the festival, exhibit old tickets and photos, discuss friendships formed due to the festival and recall the directors they had a chance to hear. The blog will remain active until the end of the event.

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