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Istanbul Film Festival gets set for 30th anniversary

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News | 3/10/2011 12:00:00 AM |

The 30th Istanbul Film Festival will be organized from April 2 and 17. Apart from competitions, panel discussions and other events, the festival will screen 230 films from all around the world in 22 categories. This year's program was announced at a press conference Wednesday with the attendance of festival officials. Last year’s edition drew 150,000

Turkey’s largest film event, the Istanbul Film Festival, will mark its 30th anniversary with a program that includes 230 films when it kicks off at the beginning of next month.

“We will present 230 films in 22 sections as well as cinema courses and panel discussions,” Istanbul Film Festival Director Azize Tan told a press conference Wednesday at the city’s Pera Palas Hotel.

The festival, which will be organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, or İKSV, from April 2 to 17, has made contributions to a generation of filmmakers and audiences by presenting the most striking examples of Turkish and world cinema, said İKSV Director Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

Last year’s edition drew 150,000 people.

Despite the excitement of the festival’s 30th anniversary, Eczacıbaşı said there was some room for sadness. “It makes us very sorry that [Beyoğlu’s] Emek Movie Theater, which was home to the festival for many years, is now closed. It is very important to keep this movie theater alive. We hope that film lovers will [return] to this movie theater at next year’s festival.”

Ziya Akkurt, general director of main festival sponsor Akbank, highlighted the importance of the universality of the festival, and said they had been sponsoring the festival for seven years. He also added that this year, Akbank would organize 10 galas as well as various activities and establish a press center.

[HH] Festival program

Tan said 12 films would compete in the Golden Tulip Competition, which was begun last year in memory of Bülent Eczacıbaşı’s uncle, Şakir Eczacıbaşı, who was one of the founders of the festival and the former director of the İKSV.

Tan also said the Human Rights Competition would be organized in collaboration with the European Council and added that 10 films would be shown in the competition.

As part of the events, Tan said they restored an old Turkish film every year; this year’s restored film will be director Memduh Ün’s “Üç Arkadaş” (Three Friends), dated 1971.

Noting that an entire generation of filmmakers had grown with the festival over the past 30 years, Tan said: “We have asked 20 directors from this generation to choose films that have impressed them. We will screen these films in the festival. We have also prepared a book in which these directors talk about the Istanbul Film Festival. The book also features articles of the festival founders, film critics and photos from the festival. The festival will also be home to a unique project which will together two leading figures of cinema and music world. French director Claire Denis and British rock band Tindersticks will share the same stage on April 11. Films from young directors and children films will also be shown at the festival.”

[HH] Honorary Awards

The festival will also present its Cinema Honorary Awards to four big names in Turkish cinema, director Yusuf Kurçenli, director of photography Ertunç Şenkay, and two unforgettable actors, Zeki Alasya and Metin Akpınar.

Awards will be presented to the artists at the opening ceremony on April 1 at the Lütfi Kırdar Exhibition and Congress Center. Kurçen’s film “Karartma Geceleri” (Nights of Blackout) and Zeki Ökten’s “Güle Güle” (Good Bye), starring Alasya and Akpınar, will be screened at the ceremony.

Tickets for the 30th Istanbul Film Festival will go on sale March 19. Festival films will be shown at the Atlas and Beyoğlu movie theaters, Beyoğlu AFM, Nişantaşı City’s theater, the Pera Museum and Kadıköy’s Rexx Movie Theater.

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