IKSV makes statement on Ara Güler documentary
ISTANBUL“The Eye of Istanbul,” a film featuring the life of world-renowned Turkish journalist and photographer Ara Güler, has not been included in the program of the upcoming Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).
Upon rumors the film had not been included in the program because of Güler’s close relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the IKSV made a statement on March 21 denying the rumors.
In the statement, the IKSV expressed its worry about the comments on the rejection of the film’s inclusion in the 35th Istanbul Film Festival, and continued:
“Turkish productions screened in the Istanbul Film Festival are watched by the festival administration together with a special advisory board and included in the program through voting. The Turkish Cinema Advisory Board includes Engin Ertan, Kaan Karsan and Nil Kural.
“Atilla Dorsay, Reha Erdem, Esin Küçüktepepınar, Murathan Mungan and Baran Seyhan, whose names were mentioned in the news by the press today [March 21], are on the Istanbul Film Festival Advisory Board. These advisory board members make various contributions to the festival but they have nothing to do with the selection of the films in the Turkish cinema section.
“As a result of evaluations before the festival, ‘The Eye of Istanbul’ documentary on Ara Güler, directed by Binnur Karaevli, was decided not to be included in the festival program. The advisory board members selected other films because they had a limited number of film selections. Just like every year, the board evaluated films without being prejudiced by [another individual] or institution.”
The documentary was recently awarded the Best of the Best at its world premiere during the Washington Independent Film Festival.
The film was screened for the first time during the Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival co-sponsored by the U.S. embassy in Turkey and the Turkish American Association of Washington D.C., and awarded the Best of the Best prize.