27th Festroia International Film Festival
In its 27th edition, which took place in the Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Setúbal from 3-12 June 2011, the Festroia International Film Festival paid homage to Turkish Cinema. This special section of film screenings was organized by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema and Copyright. The programme featured The Way (Yol), Motherland Hotel (Anayurt Oteli), Innocence (Masumiyet), Destiny (Kader), The International (Beynelminel), Autumn (Sonbahar), Pandora’s Box (Pandora’nın Kutusu) and The Crossing (Kavşak), as well as a selection of short films. Hair (Saç), which was selected for the festival’s official competition, won the FIPRESCI Prize, while in the First Films competition, Black and White (Siyah Beyaz) came away with the Special Jury Award. On 7 June 2011, a panel discussion was held on Turkish cinema. Before this, on 3 and 5 June respectively, two receptions were held for festival guests. Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, chair of the association, was on the jury of the official competition.
61st Trento International Film Festival
For the 61st edition of the Trento International Film Festival, which ran from 25 April-8 May 2013, the Ankara Cinema Association curated and organized a special section of Turkish films. The line-up, which combined features, shorts and documentaries, was as follows: Beyond the Hill (Tepenin Ardı), Watchtower (Gözetleme Kulesi), Garbage in the Garden of Eden (Cennetteki Çöplük), Law of the Border (Hudutların Kanunu), I Flew, You Stayed (Ben Uçtum Sen Kaldın), Ich Liebe Dich, Anatolia’s Last Nomads: the Sarıkeçeli (Anadolunun Son Göcerleri Sarıkeçeliler), Waiting (Beklemek), Playing House (Evcilik), Beloved (Maşuk) and The Search (Gerayiş). Director Pelin Esmer served on the main competition jury and Emin Alper, director of Beyond the Hill, attended screenings.
5th Millennium International Documentary Film Festival
The 5th Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, which took place in Brussels from 31 May to 9 June 2013, played host to a special section on Turkish cinema organized by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema. Chair of the association, Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, served as president of the festival’s international jury. The Mediterranean Panorama included screenings of the following four documentaries from Turkey: Anatolia’s Last Nomads (Anadolunun Son Göcerleri), On the Way to School (İki Dil Bir Bavul), Overdrive: Istanbul in the New Millennium (Son Sürat İstanbul) and Tülay German, Years of Fire and Cinders (Tülay German Kor ve Ateş Yılları). After the festival’s opening ceremony, a reception was held by the Brussels based Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.
28th Midnight Sun Film Festival
With Finnish Lapland as its setting, the Midnight Sun Film Festival held its 28th edition from 12-16 June 2013 and included in its programme a section focusing on Turkish cinema. This was organized by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema. A total of four films from Turkey, both old and new, were screened: Mold (Küf), Black and White (Siyah Beyaz), Dry Summer (Susuz Yaz) and The Way (Yol). Q&A sessions were held with audiences before and after screenings and a Turkish reception was held on 14 June.
20th European Film Festival Palic
Rolling out in Serbia from 13-19 July 2013, the 20th European Film Festival Palic put the spotlight on Turkey in a special section of its overall programme. This was coordinated by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema. Entitled New Turkish Cinema, the section was made up of the following full-length fiction titles: Mold (Küf), Inside (Yeraltı), Our Grand Despair (Bizim Büyük Çaresizliğimiz), In Between (Araf), The Extremely Tragic Story of Celal Tan and His Family (Celal Tan ve Ailesinin Aşırı Acıklı Hikayesi) and Losers’ Club (Kaybedenler Kulübü). Additionally, Jîn was shown in the children’s section of the festival, Thou Gild’st the Evening (Sen Aydınlatırsın Geceyi) in the official competition and Cold (Soğuk) in the Parallels and Encounters competition. A reception was held on 14 July. Attending the festival from Turkey were: Ali Aydın, director of Mold, and his lead actor, Ercan Kesal; Zeki Demirkubuz, who made Inside; Onur Ünlü, director of the films, Celal Tan and Thou Gild’st the Evening, along with his producer, Şebnem Vitrinel; the producer of Our Grand Despair, Nadir Öperli, and actress, Güneş Sayın; and Cenk Alibeyoğlu, a member of the cast from Cold. The Seyfi Teoman Special Award was inaugurated at this 2013 edition of the festival for first or second films in the main competition. Actress Nurgül Yeşilçay served on the jury of the main competition, while Cold took Best Film award in the Parallels and Encounters competition.
20th Sarajevo International Film Festival
The Ankara Cinema Association, in association with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema, staged a series of events during the 20th Sarajevo Film Festival, which was held in the Bosnian capital from 14-22 August 2014. The festival competition party was hosted by Turkey on 19 August. A dinner was also given on 20 August for film critics, festival directors and international film institutions.
71st Venice Film Festival
With support from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema, the Ankara Cinema Association organized a Turkish stand at the 71st Venice Film Festival, which ran from 27 August-6 September 2014. The stand served as a platform to promote the country’s national cinema, including Kaan Müjdeci’s Sivas, which was selected for the festival’s official competition, and Ö. Lütfi Akad’s The Bride (Gelin), which screened in Venice Classics. The stand also provided a venue for Turkish filmmakers to get together with international film professionals. A catalogue of Turkish feature films, shorts and documentaries was distributed at the stand, along with film DVDs and other publicity material. To mark Turkish cinema’s centenary year, a reception was held on 1 September 2014 in the Biennale Pavilion on the beach of the Hotel Excelsior.
19th Busan International Film Festival
Held in South Korea’s second largest city, the 19th Busan International Film Festival ran from 2-11 October 2014 and incorporated in its programme a section entitled ‘New Turkish Cinema: Faces of the 21st Century’. The section was organized by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema. Seven films from Turkey were screened and a Turkish reception was laid on; this was attended by Turkey’s Ambassador in South Korea. The line-up of films comprised: The Extremely Tragic Story of Celal Tan and His Family (Celal Tan ve Ailesinin Aşırı Acıklı Hikayesi), Black and White (Siyah Beyaz), Inside (Yeraltı), Mold (Küf), Cold (Soğuk), Singing Women (Şarkı Söyleyen Kadınlar) and I Am Not Him (Ben O Değilim). Turkey was represented at the event by writer-directors Tayfun Pirselimoğlu and Ali Aydın, actor-writer Ercan Kesal and film critic Alin Taşçiyan.
59th Valladolid International Film Festival
Turkey was ‘guest country’ at the 59th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival (Seminci), which was held in northwest Spain from 18-25 October 2014. Masterminded by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema, the project centred around a special programme of 18 films from Turkey. Kutluğ Ataman’s The Lamb (Kuzu) was selected for the festival’s international competition, while Apple of My Eye (Gözümün Nuru), co-directed by Melik Saraçoğlu and Hakkı Kurtuluş, screened in Meeting Point, a competitive section for first and second films. Elsewhere, A Cup of Turkish Coffee (Bir Fincan Türk Kahvesi), a collaboration between Nazlı Eda Noyan and Dağhan Celayir, was selected for the short film competition, and the Güliz Sağlam directed documentary, A Dream School in the Steppes (Tepecik Hayal Okulu), for the Time of History documentary competition. Separately, a team of fifteen dancers from the State Folk Dance Ensemble put on three performances at the festival’s opening ceremony on 18 October, which was broadcast live on television. The festival’s opening reception was arranged by the Turkish Tourism Office in Madrid. The date of 23 October was celebrated at the festival as ‘Turkish Day’ and marked by a concert from the band, Baba Zula. Ahmet Boyacıoğlu of the Ankara Cinema Association served as a member of the international jury, and Başak Emre as a member of the Meeting Point jury. The film critic, Senem Erdine, was also on the FIPRESCI jury. Eight giant screens were erected at various points around Valladolid which played promotional films for Turkey on an ongoing basis. The film critic, Gönül Dönmez Colin’s ‘The Routledge Dictionary of Turkish Cinema’ was published in Spanish and handed out during the festival. Additionally, a 24-page supplement on Turkish Cinema was brought out in conjunction with the Spanish film magazine, Caiman. The publication has a regulation circulation of 30,000. Ads for Turkey also appeared in the Vallodolid Film Festival catalogue and festival daily.
Hong Kong Asia Film Festival
In its 2014 edition, which ran from 24 October to 14 November, the Hong Kong Asia Film Festival dedicated a section of its programme to Turkish cinema, which was organized by the Ankara Cinema Association with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema. The narrative drama Sivas (directed by Kaan Müjdeci) was selected for the festival’s new talent competition and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kış Uykusu) for the ‘For Cinephiles’ section. The festival programme also incorporated a broad selection of 11 films entitled ‘The Cinema of Turkey: from Yeşilçam to New Turkish Cinema’. A reception was held on 7 November 2014 as a complement to the special screenings.
18th Guanajuato Film Festival
The Guanajuato Film Festival is recognized as one of Mexico and, indeed, the whole of Latin America’s leading festivals and takes place in the cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato in central Mexico. For the festival’s 18th edition, which ran from 17-26 July 2015, Turkey was chosen as the ‘spotlight country’. With support from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cinema, the project involved screenings of 21 feature-length fiction films from Turkey, another three feature-length documentaries and 15 shorts, as well as an anthology of 16 silent shorts with musical accompaniment. Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Cannes competition title, Mustang, was selected for the festival’s main competition, while actress Melisa Sözen, director Cem Kaya and film critic Esin Küçüktepepınar served on the juries of different festival competitions. Other Turkish filmmakers attending the festival included Mert Fırat, Ercan Kesal, Taner Birsel, Zeki Demirkubuz, Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun, Özgür Doğan, Emin Alper, Ziya Demirel, Serhat Karaaslan and Kaan Müjdeci. Perhaps one of the festival’s most memorable strands was the screening of the silent film anthology, a collaboration with the EYE Film Institute of the Netherlands. These shorts were made on Ottoman soil by foreigners during the late Ottoman era. The screening was accompanied by live music from Baba Zula.