Turkish films soaring with support
Umut Erdem – ANKARA
The number of Turkish films screened at nationwide theaters has increased to 180 in 2018, from only nine in 2002, according to official statistics.
The Turkish box office data compiled by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry show that the number of filmgoers watching Turkish films at the theaters also jumped to 44 million from 2 million in the same period.
The rate of preferring Turkish films to foreign productions was 63 percent in 2018, putting Turkey on top rank in Europe.
The ministry supports the Turkish film industry on an annual basis within the scope of the Law on Evaluation, Classification and Support of Cinema Films.
Dağ II (Mountain II), a film directed by Alper Çağlar in 2016 and supported by the ministry, made it to the top in the Turkish box office with more than 2.8 million tickets in the overall year.
Another film granted financial support by the ministry in 2017, Ayla (The Daughter of War), was the second most popular film in the country with more than 5 million tickets sold.
In 2018, Rafadan Tayfa Dehliz Macerası won animation production support from the ministry and became the most watched film in this category during the course of the year.
Ministry-supported Turkish films have also achieved success at international film festivals in recent years.
Buğday (Grain), a 2017 film directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu, won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo Film Festival.
World-famous Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film, The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat Ağacı), competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Güvercin (The Pigeon), directed by Banu Sıvacı, in 2018 was awarded the Best Youth Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun’s Anons (The Announcement) was given the Horizons Special Jury Prize at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.
In total, the Culture and Tourism Ministry granted roughly 235 million Turkish Liras to Turkish film productions between 2010 and 2017.
The ministry announced this year’s supported projects in April, detailing grants of 32,350,000 liras to 38 projects.
A board of 14 seats, which includes representatives of associations, ministry officials and academics, evaluated 394 projects and decided to give 13 directors 9,250,000 liras for their debut feature films, whereas it granted 23,100,000 liras for feature-length film projects.