The Festival on Wheels, organised by Ankara Cinema Association and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, invites the cinema enthusiasts to watch the most outstanding local films of the year. The most outstanding award-winning films of the year, “The Announcement” “In Between” “Housewife” “Butterflies” “The Smell of Money” and “Sibel”will be screened (November 30 – December 13) in Ankara, Sinop and Kastamonu, with the participation of the film crews. In addition to festival’s regular sections, this year there is also a section called “Without Refuge” composed of a list of films dealing with the immigration issue.
Six local films will meet the audience in our “Turkey 2018” section. A quick look at our films: Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun’s third feature, The Announcement, premiered at the Venice Film Festival and awarded the Special Jury Award. The film received three more awards at the 25th Adana Film Festival. Set in 1963, the film features four military officers planning a coup d’état to take down the government and their effort to make a formal announcement about the coup. The fourth feature of Ali Kemal Çınar, In Between, has a tragicomic story: Osman is able to understand Kurdish but can only speak Turkish. Can Evrenol’s second feature, Housewife, tells the story of Holly who is unable to differentiate between her nightmares and the truth.The third feature of Tolga Karaçelik, Butterflies, an award-winning film, features three siblings, out of touch and out of contact, who set out on a journey to their hometown after receiving a phone call from their father. The second feature of Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, The Smell of Money, presents a life in a down-at-heel suburb of Ankara, with three main characters: Mehmet, a cab driver, Metin who runs a teahouse and Adnan, an out-of-work journalist. Though it starts as a comedy of the suburbs, the film cleverly underlines the contemporary issues of Turkey. Sibel, premiered at Locarno Film Festival, tells the story of 25-year-old Sibel, living in a village in the Black Sea region with her father and sisters. Sibel is a story of a young woman who stands on her own feet despite the oppression in a conservative society.
In the section, Without Refuge, realised with the supports of the European Union, EU Sivil Düşün Programme, and Goethe-Institut, four films with bitter criticisms will be screened: Of Fathers and Sons (2017), which received the Best Documentary Award at Sundance, shows how danger seeps into houses and families after dominating their homelands. The Border Fence (Die bauliche Maßnahme, 2018) features how Austrian government plans to build a fence to prevent refugees from illegally crossing the border into Austria. It is a political satire which shows the absurd consequences of populism. Island of the Hungry Ghosts, the winner of the Best Documentary Award at Tribeca Film Festival, features a trauma counsellor living on the remote Christmas Island, where the asylum seekers are detained and where she observes them and their psychological turmoil in detail. The Bus (Otobüs,1976), by director Tunç Okan, focuses on the tragic story of nine people who move to Sweden from Anatolia. This masterpiece depicts a capitalist society and a so-called civilisation which host selfish people alienated from each other: nine people who are driven towards materialism and now are hopeless in the face of technology.
The festival programme of this year’s 24thFestival on Wheels encompasses a selection of video art as well as films. In a collaboration with the European Union Sivil Düşün Programme –a programme designed to promote civil society in Turkey– and the Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Centre in Ankara, the Festival is hosting a video exhibition from 30 November to 17 December 2018 to complement “Without Refuge” screening section. The ‘Welcome to Turkey’ show, which sets out to document the stories of Syrian immigrants in Turkey in their own language, is made up 17 videos. The work on display is the product of a collaboration between Utopictures and Sinetopya and articulates the everyday struggles of refugees in Turkey from a cross-section of ages, genders and professional backgrounds.
‘Welcome to Turkey’ came about from the personal discomfort felt by the overwhelmingly negative image of refugees within this country. It undertakes in its own modest way to help combat the rising tide of xenophobia. While eschewing any claim to ‘represent’ Syrians who have sought sanctuary in Turkey, the exhibition is an endeavour to discard existing preconceptions about them, to wipe the slate clean and establish meaningful personal and collective contact with our new neighbours. In a word, ‘Welcome to Turkey’ presents a much-needed gesture of goodwill to people who have decided to live here in this country.
THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR, THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE FILMS OF ALL TIME
As it does every year, the Festival on Wheels, has a selection of films around the globe consisting of the most outstanding films of the year in the Around the Globe section. The festival reserves a special place for a distinctive name from the world cinema: Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun has picked four classic films for the section Invisible Cities. Can Evrenol, a special name for Turkey’s horror genre, has provided noticeable short films for the section, Horror Cinema. In the section Cinema Libero realised with the supports of Il Cinema Ritrovato, a festival dedicated to restored films, Memories of Underdevelopment, a Cuban classic, will be screened. In the section, Silent Adventure, realized with the support of the Embassies of United States and the Netherlands, two classical silent movies, restored and improved in quality, will be screened. Elif Rongen-Kaynakçı, the curator of silent movies at EYE Film Museum Netherlands has kindly selected The Secret of Delft to be viewed and the president of San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Robert Byrne, has chosen Behind the Door to be featured in our Silent Adventure Section. The viewings will be presented by Kaynakçı and Byrne. Stephen Horne and Frank Bockius, a famous couple who composed musical pieces for some famous silent films, will accompany the screenings with their live music performances.
This year’s guest artist will be Didem Pekün for the festival’s other section-in-demand, where the festival audience and artists with backgrounds on contemporary art will meet. In this part of the festival, two of her films will be screened under the title I Want to Feel. The section, Print the Legend includes films about fake news, curated by the critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ehsan Kloshbakht and will be presented by Imogen Sara Smith and Ehsan Khoshbakht. Short is Good section offers some remarkable short films and in the Children Films (USA and the Netherlands), there are some fascinating short animations.
The films in Ankara will be screened at Büyülü Fener Kızılay and Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi.
The tickets can be found at Büyülü Fener box office and also available online at biletinial.com.
All the screenings at Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi are free of charge.