Malatya Film Fest to host movies about Middle East
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Malatya Film Festival gives a Lifetime Achivement Award to Münir Özkul. This year Özkul’s daugther, Güner Özkul (L) has received the award on behalf of her father. The festival is preparing to show the films of John Sayles (L).Organized with the support of the Malatya Mayor and the Malatya Apricot Research and Development Foundation this year’s Malatya Film Festival will host different events, panels and discussions from Nov. 9 to 15, according to an announcement at a press conference held at the Marmara Hotel on Oct. 22.
The festival committee president and Malatya Vice Mayor Murat Çağrı Erdinç revealed this year’s festival program at the press conference and announced the main theme of the festival along with jury members.
The festival organizers bestowed a lifetime achievement award to Münir Özkul. As the actor is still in the hospital, his daughter Güner Özkul has received the award on behalf of his father.
Festival President Kayhan Kırmızıgül, International Film Coordinator Nesim Benyoca, festival Consultancy Member and cinema writer Alin Taşçıyan and Malatya Municipality Vice President Selin Pilten attended the press conference as speakers.
Speaking at the conference Erdinç said this year’s theme will be “Middle East and Peace.” “There have been many developments around us in recent times. Outside the country and the region have been affected because of these developments,” Erdinç said. Because of this festival organizers have chosen to hold the festival under the theme “The Middle East and Peace.” “People are fighting for their own political ambitions. We would like to emphasize the importance of the arts and culture and also the cinema in terms of criticizing war,” Erdinç said.
This year’s Malatya Film Festival will feature more foreign films. There will be movies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Korea, China and Iran at this year’s festival, he said. “We would like to make Malatya a film plateau for directors and producers.”
Last year a total of 130 films were included in the festival and this year organizers hoped the number would rise to 150 movies. The festival has also begun accepting applications for short films and will continue to do so until the Sept. 16 application deadline. The festival has slowly been gaining recognition among international film fests thanks to its quaint location and rosters of noteworthy films.
The festival is being held for the third time this year and will continue to host a national short film competition.
The national short film competition was organized to support and encourage short film production among young directors. The winner will receive a prize of 5,000 Turkish Liras during the festival’s award ceremony.
Malatya will welcome film stars, directors and movie aficionados for the festival from Nov. 9 to 15. Last year the Short Film Jury Special Prize went to “Toros Canavarı” (The Monster of Toros).
Lifetime achievement awards
Along with Özkul, the third annual Malatya Film Festival also announced they would award a lifetime achievement award to Türker İnanoğlu.
Özkul, a longtime star in Turkish movies and TV series, was the subject of a book by cinema writer and researcher Ali Can Sekmeç.
Receiving the award on behalf of Özkul, his daughter Güner Özkul said: “If my father was here he would say ‘It is very important to bestow life achievement awards to artists while they are alive.’” Özkul also thanked the festival team.
The lifetime achievement awards will be given to the artists during the opening ceremony of the festival, which will take place at Malatya Congress and Culture Center on Nov. 15.