Festival on Wheels takes road in Turkey with movies in tow
In three Turkish cities including Ankara, Eskişehir and Sinop, the Festival on Wheels will present an impressive collection of cinema from different countries to audiences until Dec 8.The Festival on Wheels, organized by the Ankara Cinema Association, kicks off today in Ankara with the theme “For the Love of Cinema.” Screenings in the capital will run until Dec. 4. The festival will then begin its travels, stopping in Eskişehir between Dec. 3 and 7 and heading to the Black Sea province of Sinop between Dec. 5 and 8.
The Festival on Wheels has a long tradition of bringing an impressive collection of cinema from different countries to festival audiences every year. This year, the festival provides the chance to catch up on the very latest in world cinema. Poet and author Murathan Mungan is the festival’s guest of honor this year. “Three Doors Opening on Reality” is a selection of films chosen for the Festival on Wheels by Mungan. In his three chosen films, “Blow Up,” “The Conversation” and “Rashomon,” Mungan examines the human relationship with reality through the medium of film.
The festival’s Turkey 2014 section presents a line-up of inspiring material. Screenings will take place in the presence of the films’ directors and selected cast members. Among the films will be Erol Mintaş’s debut feature “Song of My Mother,” Derviş Zaim’s “Balık” (Fish), Tayfun Pirselimoğlu’s “Ben O Değilim” (I’m Not Him), Murat Düzgünoğlu’s “Neden Tarkovski Olamıyorum?” (Why Can’t I be Tarkovsky?), Kaan Müjdeci’s “Sivas” and Nesimi Yetik’s “Toz Ruhu” (Spirit of Dust).
All the films in the Turkey 2014 section will have English subtitles.
The festival will also screen a documentary by late actor Tuncel Kurtiz titled “E5: A Road to Death.” The documentary looks at the story of the legendary E5 highway, which became the primary link for people traveling between Turkey and Europe as labor migration took off in southeastern Europe. In the late 1970s, Kurtiz made the trip himself, setting out from Sweden with director of photography Gani Turanlı to film people on their way back to Turkey, some of whom traveled more than 2,000 kilometers. The 1978 production, which takes us through northern Europe to the Balkan Peninsula and beyond, serves as a stark reminder of how the region has changed over the decades.
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to catch up on some of the cinema word’s latest films, as the festival’s tradition of showcasing the best in world cinema continues in 2014. Some of these films include Andrey Zvyagintsev’s fourth dramatic feature “Leviathan;” “Blind Dates,” a romantic tragicomedy by Georgian director Levan Koguashvili; “Adventure,” a loose adaptation of the Dostoyevsky short story; “White Nights;” the Dardenne brothers’ latest film “Two Days, One Night;” sibling filmmakers Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz’s “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem;” Bent Hamer’s new film, “1001 Grams;” and “Triptyque,” co-directed by Pedro Pires and Robert Lepage.
Dipping into the archives
This year’s Festival on Wheels will hold a Deciphering Archive Footage Workshop in collaboration with the EYE Film Institute of the Netherlands. Led by Elif Röngen-Kaynakçı, an archivist at the institute, the workshop will address issues such as: how we interpret archival footage, how footage can be re-edited, how to use archive material and how to tie in fragments of footage.
“Cinema in Ottoman Times,” one of the special sections at this year’s Festival on Wheels, brings to light material from various archives filmed on Ottoman territory by different filmmakers between 1896 and 1922. Curated by Röngen-Kaynakçı, the films offer a vast diversity of insights into the Ottoman period, ranging from tourist-guide scenery shots to ethnographic observation.
Selected video art has often been featured in past editions of Festival on Wheels. This year, a special section is dedicated to the video work of prominent contemporary artist CANAN.
Titled “Awakening Tales,” the section comprises of three videos by the artist addressing the issues of social gender, power and violence.