Documentary makers to meet in Istanbul in June

Documentary makers to meet in Istanbul in June

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Documentary makers to meet in Istanbul in June Documentarist, Istanbul’s “Documentary Days,” will celebrate its 5th anniversary this year with screenings that cast light on the real agenda of the world. The honorary guest of the festival, which will run June 1-6, will be one the most important documentary filmmakers of our time, Heddy Honigmann.

As well as retrospective screenings of the director’s best-known films, including “Metal and Melancholy,” “O Amor Natural,” “The Underground Orchestra,” and “El Olvido,” the festival will host a “cinema class” taught by Honigmann.

Apart from bringing together well-known documentary filmmakers, directors and festival organizers, the event is a significant meeting point for Turkish and international documentary filmmakers. This year’s festival program will include a number of different categories. One focus area of the festival is reflected in the category “Arab World: The Winds of Change,” featuring films on the Arab region, which has become the most politically dynamic region in the world.

Another section focuses on the hard times Turkey’s neighboring country of Greece is experiencing “Greece: Neighbor’s (Bad) Fortune.” The films in a third section, “Documenting Memories,” will address the relationship of memory to documentary films. Films on the synergy between music and cinema are grouped under the section titled “Music Documentaries.”

This year in these and other sections of the festival a total of 90 films will be shown. Apart from the newest award-winning films, which had their world premieres at such festivals as the Berlinale, IDFA, DOK Leipzig, Thessaloniki, CPH:DOX and Jihlava, classics such as “Step Across the Border” stand out among the offerings at Documentarist 2012.

Students films on screen

In a special section, attendees will have the chance to see films made by students of one of the most respected film schools in Europe, Prague’s FAMU, and to meet special guests from the school. The event promises a whole week full of workshops, panels, discussions, special screenings, and exhibitions.

The Documentarist New Talent Award, which has been sponsored since 2010 by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul, will be given for the third time to talented new directors directing their first or second documentaries. The festival will also host the second round of the Creative Documentary Development Workshop, taught by John Appel and Jeroen Berkvens. The first round of the workshop, which aims to provide international production resources for seven previously selected and developed Turkish projects, took place in March 2012. At the end of the workshop, some of the projects will be invited to various international festivals.

This year Documentarist is supported by the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Institut Français de Turquie, the Consulate General of Greece, the Dimitrie Cantemir Romanian Cultural Institute, the Goethe Institut, the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, Anadolu Kultur, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Armada Hotel. The festival’s venues include Akbank Art, the Institut Français, Aynalı Geçit, SALT Beyoğlu and the Romanian Cultural Institute. The full program for the festival will be announced on May 15. For further information, please visit