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Turkish cinema to take over London for two weeks

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 11/2/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The 16th London Turkish Film Festival, which aims to promote Turkish cinema to a wider audience, kicks off Nov. 4 with the world premiere of Turkish director Çağan Irmak's 'Sleeping Beauty.' Once just a three-day festival, the event now lasts a full two weeks. The lifetime achievement award, meanwhile, will be presented to long-time actor Şener Şen

The 16th London Turkish Film Festival, or LTFF, will open with the world premiere of Turkish movie-maker Çağan Irmak's “Prensesin Uykusu” (Sleeping Princess).

The festival will begin with a gala night at Empire Leicester Square.

The London Turkish Film Festival, which extends its scope every year in order to bring Turkish cinema to a wider audience via world-known figures in the cinema industry, will present the Golden Wings Lifetime Achievement Award to Turkey’s well-known actor Şener Şen during the gala.

The winner of the Golden Wings Digiturk Digital Distribution Award will also be announced during the festival, which has been supported by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. The winning film to be chosen by an international jury will be awarded with a prize of 30,000 pounds and have the chance for screenings throughout British and Irish movie theaters.

Semih Kaplanoğlu’s trilogy “Yumurta” (Egg), “Süt” (Milk) and 2010 Golden Bear Award winner “Bal” (Honey); Ferzan Özpetek’s Italian family saga, “Serseri Mayınlar (Loose Cannons); Selim Demirdelen’s multi-layered tale of fact and fiction, “Kavşak” (The Crossing); Çağan Irmak’s tragi-comedy, “Karanlıktakiler” (In Darkness); Reha Erdem’s popular film at world festivals, “Cosmos;” the Taylan brothers’ black comedy, “Vavien;” and U.S. director Theron Patterson’s tragi-comic film on Istanbul, “Bahtı Kara” (Dark Cloud), are the nominees for this year’s award.

The jury of the award is made up of well-known film critics, distributors, directors and festival directors from Britain, as well as an experienced filmmaker from Turkey, famous critic, journalist and translator Sevin Okyay.

The international figures attending include the founder and director of the Independent Cinema Office, or ICO, Catharine des Forges, Honorary President of the International Film Critics Association, or Fipresci, and President of the Federation of British Film Societies Derek Malcolm, who is also closely known by Turkish cinema writers, and SCI-FI-London Festival’s founder and director, Louis Savy.

As well as the films that will compete for the grand award at the festival, there will be selected new films in the festival program. All films in the festival will be voted by the audience and the most popular film will be given the People’s Choice Award.

Also, following the screenings, the audience will have a chance to meet with directors and artists.

Meanwhile, Özgür Uyanık’s “Resurrecting the Street Walker,” which was made in Soho, will be the first psychological-horror film to play at the London Turkish Film Festival.

The 15-day festival will also continue to support new talents by screening Selda Çiçek’s first film, “İncir Çekirdeği” (Not Worth), and “Kars Öyküleri” (Tales from Kars), which brings six directors together.

The festival venues will include the Empire Leicester Square, Apollo Piccadilly Circus and Rio Cinema. The festival will end on Nov. 18.

[HH] About LTFF

The London Turkish Film Festival was inaugurated in 1993 and since then, it has been an important event in the London cultural scene. The supportive role of Film London has also been a crucial factor in the development of the festival. In its 16th year, the festival has grown from a small three-day event to a full-scale film festival over two weeks.

The festival has always had an inclusive approach toward programming, meaning it has provided a platform in the U.K. for a new generation of filmmakers of Turkish origin who live and work in Western Europe. The festival has also featured a program of short films, giving an opportunity to young feature and documentary filmmakers.

Over its lifespan, the LTFF has screened nearly 250 feature, as well as 350 short and documentary films. The festival has also invited nearly 200 guests, including directors, producers, actors, and the makers of short films.

Panels and discussions have also featured as another key activity of the festival and have involved a wide range of participants from the international film industry.

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