Documentarist ready to hit the road

Documentarist ready to hit the road

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Documentarist ready to hit the road

A 'Documentarist' poster is seen in this photo, featuring Turkish actress Serra Yılmaz.

More than 90 documentary films will come to the screen in six different Istanbul venues during Documentarist, the “Istanbul Documentary Days,” between June 1 and 6.

The guest of honor of the event this year will be of one the most famous documentary makers of our time, Alan Berliner, who will take the audience on a guided tour through the sounds, images, themes, and storytelling strategies that have helped define his filmmaking career for more than three decades.

During a master class to be held on June 2 at Akbank Sanat, Berliner will show examples from his films that help the audience understand both the risks and rewards of using one’s own life as a “living laboratory.” Berliner’s master class will also focus on the process of editing, using clips from his films to illustrate how he creates compellingly dynamic montages from the compilation, collage, and counterpoint of a wide variety of personal, poetic, historical, archival, and musical sources.

A Berliner retrospective will also be organized at the event. His films including “Cousin Once Removed,” “Wide Awake,” “The Sweetest Sound,” “Nobody’s Business,” “Intimate Stranger” and “The Family Album,” will be screened.

The guest country of this year’s Documentarist is Brazil, and a selection of Brazil’s most popular documentaries over the last 15 years will be on the screen. “Bus 174,” “Estamira,” “Elena” are among these award-winning documentaries of Brazilian cinema. There will also be short section to screen director Glauber Rocha’s films.

Irena Taskovski, the founder of London-based Taskovski Films, one of the largest documentary making and distribution companies in Europe, will give a conference as part of the event.

Documentaries from festivals

The “International Panorama” section of the festival will bring together films from Nepal to Colombia, India to Palestine, Poland to Chile and the U.S. to Lebanon. It will screen documentaries that have been highlighted in other festivals such as Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian, Toronto and Berlin. “Wrong Time, Wrong Place,” “To the Wolf,” “Hippie-Hippie Matala! Matala!” and “Adieu Istanbul” are some of the documentaries in this section.

The “Old Age” section will present the audiences documentaries including “Not Without You,” “The Japanese Quince Tree” and “Ramin” are some the films. The “In Memoriam: Chris Marker, Herz Frank, Les Blank” section will feature films by these three big names of documentary cinema, who died in the last three years. Marker’s “One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich,” Frank’s “Ten Minutes Older” and Blank’s “Gap-Toothed Women” will be screened as part of the festival.

“The Woman Has No Name,” “The World We Consume” and “Turkey Panorama” are among the other sections of the festival.

Documentary making in Turkey

Turkey has enjoyed a considerable increase in documentary filmmaking in the past decade. The country’s leading film festivals now place a bigger emphasis on documentaries and, thanks to the Internet and social media, it’s easier to access documentaries and reach out to documentary filmmakers. Benefitting from the inexpensive technology of digital filmmaking, it’s easier for filmmakers to produce low budget documentaries. Despite these developments, there is still a lot to do when it comes to producing documentaries, from financing to distribution and industry networks.

As a side event of the festival, a panel titled “A Difficult Love Story – Making Documentaries in Turkey” aims to explore the problems documentary filmmakers face in Turkey today, possible solutions, as well as observations regarding contemporary trends and changes in documentary filmmaking in the country.
“Panel: Women and the Political Sphere,” another side event at the festival, the audiences will hear presentations by Hazal Halavut and Özlem Denli with Gülnur Elçik’s moderation. They will talk about women’s struggle for freedom through the binaries that are forced upon women in the public and private spheres and terms such as home, love, body, organization and politicization.

Besides Akbank Sanat, the venues of Documentarist are the French Cultural Center, the Dutch Chapel, Aynalı Geçit, SALT Beyoğlu, Bahçeşehir University, the Dimitries Antemir Romanian Cultural Center, Istanbul Saint Joseph Lycee, IFEA, Sismanoglia Megaro and the Goethe Institute.