İzmir hopes to become cinema capital with huge film platform project
İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
Film scenes in the Middle Eastern and European geographies will be shot in a huge film platform in İzmir. The platform will also create new employment opportunities.A huge film platform will be established in İzmir jointly by the Anatolian Cinema and Television Authors Union (ASİTEM) and French film companies. The platform, which will cover an area of nearly 250,000 square meters, will include the mockups of forests, highways, world renowned avenues and structures.
The goal is to make 10 films a year in the platform, which will also have a school to train future filmmakers.
It is reported that film scenes in the Middle Eastern and European geographies will easily be shot in this platform in İzmir, which has the traces of many cultures with historical and modern structures, narrow and colorful streets and its convenient climate.
ASİTEM President Muammer Sarıkaya said they had talks with various international companies to establish the platform in İzmir and finalized the talks with a French company.
Noting the Turkish cinema sector was monopolized in Istanbul, Sarıkaya said, “This platform will at the same time take the burden of cinema and television from Istanbul to İzmir.”
He said there was a previous unsuccessful film platform project in Antalya, but the one in İzmir was strongly progressing. “The film platform in Antalya had some defects and failed. We have been getting in touch with foreign companies for two years about the issue. Among them are U.S., German, Italian and French film companies. We have good dialogue with the French. The first steps of the platform have been taken,” he said.
Sarıkaya said the search continued to find a proper place for the platform, adding it would most probably be established on land in Torbalı and be finished in 2015.
He said that İzmir was very convenient due to its history, culture and climate, and that not only the platform, but also the whole city would be used for shooting.
“This is an important advantage; you can’t do everything in a platform. You can’t use natural light in film studios. İzmir is already a natural platform with its environment. Our foreign partners saw this fact, too; they visited everywhere in the city and decided to make an investment here. They often come to the city. ‘We can make a film depicting all eras and all geography,’ they said. When they returned to their country, they sent us two scenarios. One is about the Kalem Island and the other is about Ottoman life in Algeria.”
Sarıkaya said mostly actors and the setting crew came to mind about film production, but there are more people working behind the production. “In this sense, the platform will make great contributions to İzmir’s and the region’s economy. Unemployment, which is one of the most important problems in the city, will decrease. I estimate at least 1,000 people will have the chance to be employed here,” he said.
Sarıkaya said for the realization of the project, they would use foreign investors’ incentive funds. He said partners wanted to draw their current investments in Dubai and Algeria to Turkey. He said:
“Over the last 10 years, the government made some 30 million Turkish Liras in cinema. This caused the sector to develop. This is attractive for our foreign investors. They want to make İzmir a center for cinema,” Sarıkaya said.