‘!f Istanbul unites!’ in Turkey and abroad
ISTANBULThe !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will take place from Feb. 18-28 in Istanbul, and on March 3 and 6 in Ankara and İzmir. Launching this year with the slogan, “!f Istanbul unites!” the festival will treat audiences to the year’s best independent cinema with the most talked about and award-winning films, provide a fresh alternative to Istanbul’s entertainment and nightlife with !f Music Parties, and take film screenings to 50 different locations in 33 cities through its digital broadcast network, !f².
The Galas section hosts films celebrated at the world’s major festivals from Toronto to Venice, Cannes and Sundance. This year’s selection includes films by Gaspar Noé, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Jean-Marc Vallée, Davis Guggenheim, and Maïwenn, among others.
Known for legendary videos he shot for Radiohead and Muse, as well as his acclaimed documentaries “Joy Division” and “Patience (After Sebald),” Grant Gee will screen his newest film, “Innocence of Memories,” inspired by Turkey’s Nobel Laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk’s “Museum of Innocence,” after its world premiere in Venice.
Nine films will compete in the festival’s international competition section !nspired, open to directors who have directed their first or second film, after which the jury will select 2016’s most inspired director.
The jury responsible for selecting the recipient of the $10,000 prize is comprised of prominent members of international and Turkish film communities, including director, screenwriter, and actress Desiree Akhavan, MoMA film curator Joshua Siegel, actress and film editor Dounia Sichov, Turkish actor and screenwriter Mert Fırat, and Cinema Scope magazine editor and publisher Mark Peranson.
Turkey’s nominee this year is “Veşartî/Hidden” directed by Ali Kemal Çınar. Shot in black and white, the Kurdish-language film handles bold realities of feminist issues, the role of women in traditional Turkish and Kurdish societies, and the ways in which the government deals with them.
In addition, a jury of the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) including Münir Emre Göker, Gözde Onaran and Vecdi Sayar will decide a Special Jury Award.
Eight films from Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Iran, Switzerland, U.K., U.S. and Turkey will compete for this year’s Love & Change award, launched two years ago and designed to showcase activist films from around the world.
This year’s Love & Change Competition jury unites experts from the documentary and art world. The jury that will select “the year’s most creative intervention” includes director and screenwriter Adam Curtis, whose latest film “Bitter Lake” will be screened this year at the festival; contemporary artist, art critic and writer Şener Özmen, and documentary producer Philippa Kowarsky.
Home: stories of Turkey with no borders
!f Istanbul’s “Home” section looks at the last year in Turkish cinema and brings fresh, new and alternative voices together. This year’s section includes the following films:
Esen Işık’s first feature film “Köpek” (The Dog) follows four characters on a normal day in Istanbul.
Ceyda Torun’s first feature “Kedi” (Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul) is great chance to see feline residents of central Istanbul neighborhoods like Galata, Cihangir, Feriköy and Kuzguncuk. Nine Istanbul cats take us around the city as humans around them narrate the cats’ stories and the roles and perceptions of felines in the metropolis.
Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Mustang,” nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, follows five orphaned girls living with their grandmother and uncle in the Turkish town of Inebolu.
In “Born in Adana,” 93-year-old Antrarig Teghararian tells the true story of his father trying to survive in 1915, travelling from his hometown Diyarbakır to Aleppo and then to Adana.
“Dying Breath” puts us in the shoes of the people waiting for their sons, fathers, husbands, at the gate of the mine, just after the Soma mine disaster. In “Bossless,” the workers of Kazova factory stand their ground for a fair life.
“Daddy’s Girl” is an autobiographical first documentary by director Melisa Üneri about her separation from her Turkish father, who raised her by himself in Finland.
In “Meral, Kızım” (Meral, My Daughter), we see Meral, following an accident, returning to live with her traditional parents where she is confined to her bed while recuperating.
!f Istanbul in 33 cities and 50 locations
!f Istanbul’s pioneering alternative film distribution and sharing project !f² will reach more than 40 different locations this year from Abu Dis to Kyrenia.
!f² will take five films being screened in Istanbul on the last three days of the festival between Feb. 26 and 28, to 33 cities, 50 locations and 15,000 people.
Q&A sessions with directors following the screenings in Istanbul will be broadcast live, and participants in these cities will be able to watch the conversation and ask questions to the directors. “Speed Sisters,” “Into the Forest,” “Sonita,” “Paradise” and “Mustang” are the movies that will be screened this year within the scope of !f² in 27 cities in Turkey as well as Abu Dis, Kyrenia, Gyumri, Jerusalem, Yerevan and Ramallah.
David Bowie tributes and music parties
In memory of legendary artist David Bowie, remastered copies of the cult science fiction film, “The Man Who Fell to Earth” and the revolutionary vampire movie, “The Hunger” will be screened for the first time in Turkey within the festival’s “David Bowie is…” section.
!f Istanbul will also host Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 classic “Funeral Parade of Roses” in one of its signature sections, !f cult.
For film buffs open to creativity and new experiences, the “Dark & Edgy” section comprises everything from bleak and disturbing productions to the year’s most talked-about fantastical and avant-garde films. Two films from emerging directors from Turkey will be screened as part of this year’s “Ceset” (Nekro) and “Naciye.”
Other films in this section will include “Yakuza Apocalypse,” “Turbo Kid,” “Kung Fury,” “Der Nachtmahr” and “The Invitation.”
Other sections at the festival will include Special Screenings, Rainbow, !f music and Shorts from Turkey. This year, !f Music parties will be organized at Babylon’s new space in Bomonti, Şişli.
Screenings will be held at Beyoğlu Fitaş, Cinemaximum Nişantaşı City’s, Cinemaximum Kanyon, and Cinemaximum Budak movie theaters in Istanbul; Ankara’s Cinemaximum Armada and İzmir’s Cinemaximum Konak Pier.
For further information visit www.ifistanbul.com/en.