International Antalya Film Festival kicks off

International Antalya Film Festival kicks off

ANTALYA – Anadolu Agency
International Antalya Film Festival kicks off

Legendary Turkish actress Türkan Şoray (C) hands over the Lifetime Achievement Award statuette to renowned international artist Catherine Deneuve (R) from France. AA Photo

The 52nd edition of the International Antalya Film Festival kicked off on Nov. 29 in the southern province of Antalya. 

Turkish actors Tarik Ünlüoğlu, Gülşen Tuncer, Ipek Karapınar and Begum Birgören, as well as British actor Jeremy Irons and American actress Kathleen Turner, were among those who participated in the festival’s opening parade.

International Antalya Film Festival kicks off

DHA Photo

“Traditional film festivals are organized in various parts of Turkey. But Antalya is on the way to host one of the world’s biggest film festivals. Our goal is no longer only to organize a film festival but to make Antalya one of the centers of the world’s cinema industry. With this purpose, the festival has lots of renewals; the Film Forum, the Antalya Film Support Fund, the short film selections in the national and international competition categories, the documentaries selection, the midnight film screening for thrillers, mastermind classes, panels and a special screening of Yılmaz Güney’s film ‘Umut’ [Hope]. The Antalya Film Festival is very comprehensive for the first time,” said Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel, the head of the festival.

Referring to former Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi, who was killed on Nov. 28, Türel also noted such pleasing events as the festival were overshadowed by the death of peace ambassadors like Elçi as well as the drama of refugees escaping from war and poverty. 

“We have pains everywhere from Paris to Ankara, from Diyarbakır to Aleppo because of terror. Our only hope is telling people about love and humanity via art. This is why cinema and music needs the message of love, peace and humanity. We need peaceful films to end wars. Antalya will be the city of peace and friendship,” he said.

International Antalya Film Festival kicks off
AA Photo

Awards presented

In the opening gala of the festival, Turkish artists Ayşen Gruda, Erden Kıral and Kayhan Yıldızoğlu were awarded with Lifetime Honorary Awards.

Gruda said, “Let the entire world hear: I receive this award for baby Aylan, who left us even before attending school because of his ambitious politician aunts and uncles,” referring three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian migrant who died as he and his family were attempting to reach Europe. 

Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to renowned international artists Catherine Deneuve from France, Britain’s Jeremy Irons and American Kathleen Turner.

The opening film of the festival was “Uzaklarda Arama” (Not Far Away), directed by veteran actress Türkan Şoray. She was present at the screening of the film. 

A total of 88 films will be screened during the festival, until Dec. 6. The festival organizers said, “41 of 88 films have Turkey as their country of origin while 47 are international pictures.”

Ten international titles will compete for the Golden Orange awards.

Among them are Danish director Jeppe Ronde’s “Bringend;” a Serbia-Germany co-production, director Gorap Radovanoviç’s “Enclave;” Swedish Alexandra-Therese Keining’s “Girls Lost;” Turkey-Hungary co-production, Mustafa Kara’s “Cold of Kalandar;” an India-France co-production, Neeraj Ghaywan’s “Masaan,” a Germany-Iraq co-production Şevket Emin Korki’s “Memories on Stone;” Russian Natalya Kudryashova’s “Pioneer Heroes;” a Turkey-Germany-France co-production, Özcan Alper’s “Memories of the Wind;” an Italy-Switzerland-Germany-Albania-Kosovo-France co-production, Laura Bispuris’ “Sworn Virgin” and Palestinian Hani Ebu Essed’s “The Idol.” 

The festival, which was previously the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, will deliver a 50,000-euro cash prize to the best film. Statuettes will be delivered also in the Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Music, Best Actress and Best Actor categories.