!f Istanbul presents awards
ISTANBULThe 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival closed on Feb. 27 with an award ceremony during which the “!f !nspired Competition,” “Love & Change” and the “Shorts from Turkey Audience” awards were given out.
This year’s !nspired jury selected “Kaili Blues” director Bi Gan from China and “Hidden” director Ali Kemal Çınar from Turkey as the year’s most inspiring directors. Çınar’s Kurdish-language feature thus became the first film from Turkey to win the !nspired Award.
“The prize will be shared between two films that draw upon the past to make sense of the present and chart an unknown future. Films that are formally daring in their use of poetry and folklore and in their playful confusions of identity and time. We don’t recall ever encountering films quite like these in Chinese and Kurdish cinema, and so we’ve decided to award the prize to both ‘Kaili Blues’ and ‘Hidden,’” said the jury members when announcing the award.
For the festival’s Love & Change competition, which celebrates activism in cinema, the jury selected Italian director Pietro Marcello’s film blending fiction, magical realism, poetry and documentation, “Lost and Beautiful,” as the year’s most creative intervention.
Reading a statement on behalf of the jury, jury member Adam Curtis said, “Pietro Marcello’s film is a beautiful and romantic work of art. But it is also a powerful political film that makes you look again at how human beings exercise power over each other and the rest of the world. It is a stunning achievement.”
The ceremony also saw Turkey’s entry “Bağlar,” a documentary that tracks the fate of a basketball team in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, presented with the Special Jury Mention.
The Film Critics Association of Turkey (SİYAD) jury composed of Gözde Onaran, Münir Emre Göker and Vecdi Sayar for the !f !nspired Competition also awarded “Hidden” director Çınar.
Short fans pick ‘Azad’
The results of the Audience Award in the Shorts from Turkey section were also announced at the ceremony.
In the section of 17 shorts, Yakup Tekintangaç’s “Azad,” streamed online by 82,000 viewers in three days during !f Istanbul’s special screening last December, was selected as the best short film, while Gülistan Acet’s short “The Sin” placed second and Süheyla Schwenk’s “Meral, My Girl” placed third.
Concluding its Istanbul leg, the festival will be in Ankara and İzmir between March 3 and 6.