Iconic Istanbul Film Festival Kicks Off in Style

The festival excitement begins! Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (KSV) under Akbanks's sponsorship for the eleventh time, the 34th Festival began with the Opening Ceremony held at the Lütfi Kurdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Hosted by Cem Davran, the night's guests included prominent names of Turkish cinema. All the corporations and foundations that contributed to the realization of the festival, most notably the festivals' 11-year sponsor Akbank, were also thanked at the ceremony.

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Istanbul Film Festival Starts Off With Lavish Ceremony

In addition to the juries of the Golden Tulip International Competition, the Face Human Rights in Cinema Award, the Golden Tulip National Competition, and the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Award, the jury for the National Documentary Competition, held for the first time this year, was also introduced. Clips of films from the festival's different categories, such as “No Man's Land: Lisandro Alonso” featuring all of the feature-length films of Lisandro Alonso, as well as Midnight Madness, and Mined Zone were projected.

While this year's ceremony continued commemorating the esteemed names of cinema who passed away during the previous year, Turkey's first Minister of Culture and IKSV's Chairman of the Board of Trustees Talat Halman, and, one of the most renowned authors of world literature, Yavar Kemal were among the names mentioned. Cinema Honorary Awards Undoubtedly, however, the night's stars were Yilmaz Atadeniz, Cahit Berkay, Nebahat Çehre, Safa Önal, and Süleyman Turan, recipients of the festival's Cinema Honorary Awards.

The first of the Cinema Honorary Awards was presented by actress Türkan ?oray to director and record-holding screenplay writer Safa Önal, who has given many years of service to Turkish cinema. In his acceptance speech Safa Önal specifically mentioned how moved he was when he received his award letter from the festival and that he would continue to produce because of awards like these.

After this award, master musician Cahit Berkay surprised the audience by performing a selection of the over 200 unforgettable music pieces he made for film. Receiving the second Cinema Honorary Award of the festival from musician ?ebnem Ferah following this performance, Berkay then said that cinema was made with passion and that those who lack it could not last long in this industry, but that he was one of the crazy ones who did.

One of Turkish cinema's most prolific artists, producing countless films and contributing to the development of Turkish fantasy and adventure cinema by creating cult productions, director and producer Yilmaz Atadeniz's award was presented by his great fan, director Çaian Irmak. Atadeniz stated that he was happy to receive his award from a young filmmaker, as they have now passed the baton onto younger filmmakers. Dedicating his award to those he has worked with, Atadeniz had the audience burst into laughter while describing the impossibilities he faced when shooting his films.

The festival's final Honorary Award was presented to one of Turkish cinema's most important female actresses Nebahat Çehre, who put forth successful performances in films ranging from melodrama to period pieces and fantasy films while working in Yegilçam, and gained international popularity in the 2000's with TV series such as Night of June. Nebahat Çehre's award was presented by actor Selçuk Yöntem and she dedicated her award to everyone working in film.

Following the live broadcast of the opening ceremony on CNN Türk, the 16-day festival marathon began with the screening of Ernesto Daranas Serrano’s Conducta / Behaviour, which is part of this year's “From the World of Festivals” category.

With this first party that will extend the festival excitement to the Anatolian side, the Istanbul Film Festival and Fil’m Hafizasi will bring cinephiles together in Kadiköy. The party, which will spread to 8 venues, consisting of Dunia, Stereogun, Lâl, Masal Evi, Liman Kahvesi, Flu, Trip, and Hera, will begin at 18:00 and will also be free of charge! In addition, those who show their festival tickets will receive drinks at a 10% discount from all venues throughout the party. What's more, those who get their party cards stamped at three different venues will also win a free drink! Stay tuned until the end of the festival for our other party set to take place on the European side!

On its first day, the festival's first screenings featured films from the Masters, Documentary Time with NTV, New Visions, and New German Murder in Pacot's first screening were held at Beyoilu at 11:00 With Meurtre à Pacot / Murder in Pacot, this time around Haitian director, activist, and the country's former Minister of Culture Raoul Peck looks at the social disaster of the Haiti earthquake through the life of a middle class family that has been turned upside down.

Melbourne tells the story of the day to day struggle of Amir and Sara, who decide to leave Iran for Melbourne in order to attend university and start anew, but can’t due to a terrible tragedy. The film's first screening was held at Atlas 2 at 11:00, and director Nima Javidi will be joining for the film's next screening.

'No Mans Land' From Argentina: One of recent Argentinean cinema's most talented directors, all of Lisandro Alonso's feature-length films will meet the festival audience in its own special category. The audience will have the chance to watch two of Alonso's films at once on the festival's opening day.

'My Dear Family' One of the festival's new categories this year, 'Family Ties' examines the most blessed, criticized, and abused social institution that is family through 10 different films. Mariposa / Butterfly by Argentinean author and director Marco Berger, who was a guest of the festival last year.

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Source: Istanbul Film Festival

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