Istanbul Film Festival turns 35

Istanbul Film Festival turns 35

Istanbul Film Festival turns 35 The Istanbul Film Festival is back to celebrate its 35th edition with a rich program ranging from the latest productions of world cinema to cult films, the latest Turkish films, new discoveries, masterpieces and hidden treasures. 

The festival, which will run between April 7 and 17, will host 187 feature films, as well as 10 short and 24 experimental films, in 25 different categories. In addition to the screening of a total of 221 films by 223 directors from 62 countries, there will be talks with guest filmmakers, panel discussions, concerts and other special events.

The festival’s cinema honorary awards, bestowed on distinguished figures of Turkish cinema who have put their lives and hearts into cinema, will be presented to five artists this year, including Yeşilçam’s “most beloved femme fatale” character, Suzan Avcı; one of Yeşilçam’s most prolific directors with over 200 films to his credit, Ülkü Erakalın; the producer of numerous major features, including “Vurun Kahpeye” and “Vesikalı Yarim,” Şeref Gür; character actress Perran Kutman who has made generations of audiences laugh throughout her career spanning 50 years; and actress and voice actress Jeyan Ayral Tözüm, who has been the voices of some of the greatest Yeşilçam stars through her career of more than 60 years. The recipients will be presented with their awards at the festival’s opening ceremony on April 6.

The winners of the national and international Golden Tulip, FACE human rights in cinema, national documentary and national short film and Audentia awards – the last of which will be given for the first time at the festival to draw attention to gender inequality – will be announced on April 15. 

In the international competition section of the festival, 15 films from 14 countries will vie for the Golden Tulip in the New Perspectives in Cinema section. 

The films include “Heavenly Nomadic” from Kyrgyzstan, “Eva Doesn’t Sleep” from Argentina, “Peace to Us in Our Dreams” from Lithuania, “The Childhood of a Leader” from England, “Ember” from Turkey, “The Demons” from Canada, “The End” from France, “A Monster With Thousand Heads” from Mexico, “Thirst” from Bulgaria, “Belgica” from Belgium, “United States of Love” from Poland, “Interruption” from Greece, “One Breath” and “All of A Sudden” from Germany and “Family Film” from the Czech Republic. 

National Golden Tulip competition 

Ten films that were completed in the 2015-16 season will compete for the Golden Tulip in the national competition of the festival, while raising the occasion to three Turkey and four world premieres. 

The films in the national competition films are “Tarla” (The Field) by Cemil Ağacıkoğlu, “Benim Kendi Hayatım” (My Own Life) by Adnan Akdağ, “Rüzgarın Hatıraları” (Memories of the Wind) by Özcan Alper, “Siyah Karga” (Black Crow) by Tayfur Aydın, “Kalandar Soğuğu” (Cold of Kalandar) by Mustafa Kara, “Rauf” by Barış Kaya and Soner Caner, “Mavi Bisiklet” (Blue Bicycle) by Ümit Köreken, “Toz Bezi” (Dust Cloth) by Ahu Öztürk, “Ana Yurdu” (Motherland) by Senem Tüzen, “Rüzgarda Salınan Nilüfer” (Swaying Waterlily) by Seren Yüce and “Kasap Havası” (Wedding Dance) by Çiğdem Sezgin. 

The festival will present the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Award in memoriam of director and producer Seyfi Teoman, who passed away in 2012. 

Also, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) will give the FIPRESCI Award to one film from the international competition, one film from the national competition and one film from the national short film competition. 

The festival will be hosted at 10 cinemas including the Atlas, Beyoğlu and Fitaş (two halls) movie theaters, as well as Akbank Sanat and Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Beyoğlu, the Feriye movie theater in Ortaköy, the Rexx movie theater (two halls) in Kadıköy, and the Istanbul Modern Cinema in Tophane. 

New sections in the festival

The Istanbul Film Festival continues its classic sections such as the Akbank Galas, Challenging the Years, From the World of Festivals, Young Masters, Documentary Time with NTV, Mined Zone, Antidepressant, Kids’ Menu, and Midnight Madness in its 35th edition, with the addition of sections special to this year. 

Among the new sections will be “Musicians,” which will screen eight films that tell the stories of people who have made music an inseparable part of their lives. Meanwhile, “Hidden Gems” will unearth films that are little-known in cinema history as they were banned, lost, left unscreened for years, or failed to receive the acknowledgement they deserve. 

With “In Pursuit of Light,” the festival goes back to take a look at the pioneering figures of the American avant-garde cinema from its prime in the 1970s. 

In “Otto Preminger: Anatomy of a Director,” cinephiles will get the perfect opportunity to learn about Otto Preminger and watch his films on the big screen after a number of years. 

The Istanbul Film Festival’s popular section “Akbank Galas” will host the Turkey premieres of 10 of the most anticipated films by great directors and star actors. This year, the Akbank Galas section features a wide array of interesting, award-winning and striking productions, such as the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!”  Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan” and French master filmmaker Claude Lelouch’s “Un + une.”

A masterpiece of Turkish cinema, Zeki Ökten’s “Sürü” (The Herd), will also be on screen again after 38 Years. 

The event will screen two French films for its young followers this year in the section titled “Kids’ Menu.” 
Meetings on the Bridge master classes and panels will be held between April 8 and 12 at Aynalı Geçit. Festival tickets will go on sale on March 26.