Independent films to hit the road in three cities

Independent films to hit the road in three cities

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Independent films to hit the road in three cities

The 11th editon of !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival will screen award-winning films by Turkish and foreign directors. There will also be various events such as workshops and parties within the scope of the festival.

The 11th !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival will be organized this year in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.

The festival will take place between Feb. 16 and 26 in Istanbul’s AFM Fitaş Beyoğlu, Maçka G-all, AFM İstinye Park and AFM Caddebostan Budak, between March 1 and 4 in Ankara’s Cepa and between March 2 and 4 in İzmir’s Balçova Kipa.

The festival will bring together the year’s most talked about award-winning independent films and directors with audiences. It will also feature various parties and workshops.

This year !f Istanbul celebrates the fifth year of the !f Inspired International Film Competition designed to award new directions in cinema. Open to emerging directors from around the world, “!f Inspired” aims to highlight films that show technical innovation, bold narrative and courageous storytelling. The competition program will be judged by a jury of prominent members of the international and Turkish film community, who will select the year’s “Most Inspired Director.”

The competition program will be judged by a jury headed by Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu and also includes the Egyptian filmmaker, actor and activist Khaled Abol Naga, Mark Adams, chief critic for Screen International, American writer-director Jonathan Cauoette, and Andrea Picard, curator of the Wavelengths section of the Toronto Film Festival.

The competition carries a $15,000 award for the “Most Inspired” director.

The films in competition will be “Two Years At Sea,” documenting the solitary existence of a man who lives in isolation in the middle of a forest; “You Hurt My Feelings,” which tracks the growth of a relationship over four seasons; “Nana,” a brilliant love letter to the childish underside of objects and how the world is being sculpted through the eyes of a child; “Machete Language,” a film of poetic terrorism, moving between eulogia and anathema; “Innocent Saturday,” which depicts the Chernobyl tragedy on its 25th anniversary; “Gandu,” which is described as a “rap-musical,” but if so it’s a kind that has never been seen before; “Sur la Planche,” a striking Moroccan debut about a young woman’s struggle to break free; and “Back To Stay,” a coming of age story, a poignant study of loss and how it affects people differently, and a character-based film that achieves deep psychological and emotional insight.

In addition to its international jury, the competition will also be evaluated by members of Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD). The winning film will be given the SİYAD Best Film Award. The jury consists of Okan Arpaç, film critic for Digitürk Magazine, Özge Özdüzen, film critic and editor for Yeni Film Magazine, and Yeditepe University lecturer Ayla Kanbur, who is also a film critic for Antrakt film newspaper and Yeni Sinema magazine.

Also, the latest titles from acclaimed independent directors, as well as award-winning recent festival favorites from Toronto, Cannes, Sundance, London and more will be screened under the title “Hit Films.”

Rupert Everett to receive ‘Cinema for a Better World’ Award

Independent films to hit the road in three cities

The acclaimed British actor Rupert Everett will attend the 11th !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival, where he will be honored for his contributions to cinema.

The “Cinema for a Better World” award aims to recognize individuals who have contributed via cinema toward a world in which no one need compromise the truth of who they are.

In Istanbul, Everett will also present a special screening of the Turkish film “Zenne Dancer,” which is based on the real life story of Ahmet Yıldız, a 26-year-old gay man who was murdered by his father in an “honor killing.” The film is ground-breaking because it is the first time issues like gay rights and a culture of secrecy around sexuality have been addressed in mainstream Turkish cinema.

Everett was in Istanbul filming a television documentary on Lord Byron when he became aware of the murder of Yıldız and publicly condemned it.

Everett first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell’s play and subsequent film “Another Country” as an openly gay student at an English public school set in the 1930s. He has also appeared in “Dance with a Stranger,” “Hearts of Fire with Bob Dylan,” “Pret a Porter,” “An Ideal Husband,” for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” the critically acclaimed, worldwide smash hit “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Shrek” and “St. Trinians,” to name but a few.

Last year Everett took to the West End stage in the commercially and critically acclaimed “Pygmalion.” He is currently in pre-production writing, producing and directing a movie about the last years of Oscar Wilde’s life, in which he will also play the starring role.

Tickets for the 11th !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival will be on sale starting Feb. 3.
Further information about the festival can be reached at

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