Istanbul Film Festival kicks off
The 38th Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), kicked off with an opening gala on April 4 at UNIQ Istanbul, bringing together stars and distinguished figures of Turkish cinema, as well as international guests like the French actors of the opening film “Edmond,” Thomas Solivérès and Lucie Boujenah.
The event will host 467 screenings of 186 films by 187 directors from 45 countries, as well as Q&As and festival talks with guest filmmakers, concerts, and other special events until April 17.
The gala saw the presentation of the Cinema Awards as well as the gratitude plaques to the representatives of the supporting institutions and organizations.
The Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award was given to Jak Şalom, a champion of collective film memory and film culture for decades, one of the founding members of the Turkish Cinematheque Association from 1965 to 1972, and the project designer and director of the ongoing Cinematheque/Film House project within the Kadıköy Municipality.
The first Cinema Honorary Award was presented to Göksel Arsoy, who produced and starred in more than 100 films and who made the first aviation-themed film of Turkish cinema. Arsoy was presented his award by Cinema Honorary Award-winning actress Suzan Avcı.
The second Cinema Honorary Award was presented to Selda Alkor, the irreplaceable actress of strong female characters in Turkish cinema known for portraying women who walk tall in life like herself, who starred in close to 100 films, and many TV series. Alkor received his Cinema Honorary Award from celebrated actress Nurgül Yeşilçay.
The Lifetime Achievement Award of the festival was presented to Şerif Gören, who started his career in Yeşilçam as an editor in 1962 and worked as assistant director in hundreds of films. As a director, he introduced many innovations to Turkish cinema through his use of special effects despite the technical difficulties of the era. Gören received his Lifetime Achievement Award from well-known actor Kadir İnanır.
[HH] Festival kicked off with ‘Edmond’
Following the opening gala, the festival kicked off with the screening of “Edmond,” the latest film of Alexis Michalik, the young genius, dramaturge, actor, and playwright known as “the prince of French theater.”
Michalik adapted and directed the film version of his blockbuster play of the same name which won numerous Molière awards. The film centers around a young playwright who finds fame early on just like Michalik himself.
Set in Paris in 1897 during the Belle Epoque, the film tells the creation story of his much beloved play Cyrano de Bergerac, which Edmond Rostand penned when he was experiencing a writer’s block. Lead stars Thomas Solivérès and Lucie Boujenah attended the opening ceremony of the festival.
This year a total of 52 films will be competing in the International Competition, Human Rights in Cinema, National Competition, the National Documentary and the National Short Film competitions.
Six debut feature fiction films from the Cinema of Turkey section will also be eligible for the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize, presented in memory of director and producer Seyfi Teoman. The winners will be announced at the 38th Istanbul Film Festival Award Ceremony April 16.