15th 1001 Documentary Film Festival to open next week
Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan (center) speaks about the 1001 Documentary Film Festival at a press conference. The festival will feature a total of 76 films, 16 from Turkey and 60 from abroad.The 15th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival will begin on Sept. 26 with an opening ceremony to be held at Istanbul’s Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. The festival will present a total of 76 films, 16 from Turkey and 60 from abroad. The festival is Hosted by Beyoğlu Municipality and supported by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, German Films and the Culture Ministry, and will end on Oct. 2.
The festival has been organized for the past 15 years on the very limited budget provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, highlighting the indifference of the private sector toward documentaries, Documentary Filmmakers Union Chairman Hasan Özgen said, speaking at a press conference held Sept. 18 at the Tarık Zafer Tunaya Culture Center. “The reason we make documentary films is to widen our own documentary world and at the same time to suppress the increasing tension and anger in society. Documentary is a language we can use to understand and perceive the people next to us or those far away from us. We are organizing the festival for the 15th time this year and will continue to do so.”
There have been developments in the documentary film sector in recent years, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan said, inviting documentary lovers to the festival to see films that tell stories of things as diverse as daily life, world politics, wars and interpersonal relationships.
“We need to remember our history. The memory of a society is what people accumulate from their past.
We confront history in this festival. Heroes have been organizing this festival for 15 years in an unyielding manner. Documentaries are an important source of information and we will do our best to [support the festival],” Demircan said.
Last year 11,700 people attended the festival, festival committee chairman Mustafa Ünlü said. “We showed 74 films in five theaters last year and all of those theaters were full. The enthusiasm of a good documentary viewer never ends,” he said, adding that the festival did not include a competition.
Under the main theme “System error,” the festival will present the documentary films in its main screening program under the following seven themes, classified by seven colors: black, including stories about true life war, violence, social oppression and people who have experienced, suffered or resisted these; red, about the conditions of work and labor, workers and laborers; orange, with modern day stories from near and far; yellow, dealing with original approaches to history in cinema and documentaries; blue, including ordinary stories about extraordinary people and extraordinary stories about ordinary people; purple, with films about women in society, women in the family, women at work, women against violence, and violence against women; green, for films about the struggle for a sustainable world; and white, with films on art, craft and culture.
Twenty-five documentary film directors from France, Germany, India, Lebanon, Ireland, Palestine, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Argentina, Denmark and the Netherlands will be guests of this year’s festival. They will watch their films together with audiences and reply to questions in the “behind the documentary” section of the event.
The online film CEO and former president of the European Documentary Network, C. Cay Wesnigk, and the president of Expertdocs, Marijke Rawie, will share their experiences on a panel titled “The Documentary Market in Europe,” as part of the festival. There will also be a special exhibition for the 15th year of the festival.
Until Oct. 2, the 1001 Documentary Film Festival will screen films free of charge at the Tarık Zafer Tunaya Culture Center, the French Culture Center, the Nazım Hikmet Culture Center, Beşiktaş Municipality’s Ortaköy Culture Center and the Beyoğlu Municipality Youth Center.