31st Istanbul Film Festival Started

    The 31st Istanbul Film Festival organised by the Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Arts with sponsorship of AKBANK started with the Opening Ceremony held at Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, 30 March. Prominent names of Turkish cinema as well as Terence Davies, the guest of honour, participated to the ceremony.

    The Opening Ceremony of the 31st Istanbul Film Festival, hosted by Memet Ali Alabora, started with the introduction of new sections of the festival. Saadet Işıl Aksoy introduced “Cinema and Music” section which was prepared specially for the 40th anniversary of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts in 2012 and will host a musical movie selected for every ten-year-period after establishment of İKSV. Jury Member for the Golden Tulip National Competition Nazan Kesal, who was awarded for Best Actress in National Competition in last year’s festival, provided information on “Filming Revolution” section which will question worldwide social movements and stories of revolt after the Arab Spring through cinema. Özgü Namal who was awarded for Best Actress in Istanbul Film Festival introduced “A Chinese Film Tradition: WuXia” section in the festival programme due to “2012 The Year of China in Turkey”.

    Important names from the cinema world, whom we lost in 2011-2012, were also remembered in the ceremony. National Competition Jury Member Yüksel Aksu shared his ideas on one of the most important film-makers and cinema philosophers of our time, Theo Angelopoulos, who was awarded with Lifetime Achievement Award and took the award from Şakir Eczacıbaşı in the 19th Istanbul Film Festival (2000) he was the guest of honour thereof. Hülya Koçyiğit commemorated Lütfi Ö. Akad who started “band of film-makers” in Turkish cinema and was awarded with the first Cinema Honorary Award of the Istanbul Film Festival in 1987. Tarık Akan commemorated director and screen-writer Yusuf Kurçenli awarded with Cinema Honorary Award at last year’s opening ceremony of the festival on the stage.

    Later on, “Cinema Honorary Awards” of this year were granted to four significant people, who worked for Turkish cinema for years, in the Opening Ceremony of the Istanbul Film Festival. Sevin Okyay, the first woman cinema critic in Turkey as well as a writer, translator, jazz-sports-detective stories critic, and radio host, was presented the award by Head of Jury for Golden Tulip National Competition, Murathan Mungan. Okyay publishes articles and essays on daily life culture on several newspapers and journals.

    Director Ali Özgentürk, who started his artistic life with documentaries and street theatre in 1960’s and continued by assisting Yılmaz Güney and Zeki Ökten, known for his films Hazal, At, Bekçi, Su da Yanar, Çıplak, Mektup, Balalayka, Kalbin Zamanı got his award from Müjdat Gezen.

    Tarık Akan presented the award for Ayşen Gruda, his role partner in several films. Gruda has always been productive since the beginning of her career in 1975. Creating successful compositions in Hababam Sınıfı series by Arzu Film-Ertem Eğilmez and Gırgıriye series by Erler Film with significant actors like Kemal Sunal and Şener Şen, she was awarded with Golden Orange for Best Supporting Actress category with Kağıt.

    Halit Akçatepe, who started working for cinema in 1943 while he was still five years old, also took his award from Tarık Akan. After Yasak, Gündoğarken and Semaya Baktım Seni Gördüm in 1963, Akçatepe took part in approximately 100 films and made his way to our hearts with his role as “Güdük Necmi” in Hababam Sınıfı.

    Director Terence Davies, known for films with striking visuals on memory and remembrance and screened with Distant Voices, Still Lives in 2006 in the “Best of 25th Year of Festival” section, also participated to the ceremony to take “Cinema Honorary Award.”İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı presented the award of Terence Davies.

    Furthermore, juries of Golden Tulip International and National Competition, and The Film Award of the Council of Europe were introduced at the ceremony. Golden Tulip International Competition Jury with actor Alexander Fehling, director Brillante Mendoza, director Corneliu Porumboiu, and journalist Elçin Yahşi will be headed by NuriBilgeCeylan, who was not present in the ceremony as he was abroad. Golden Tulip National Competition Jury with director Yüksel Aksu, Thesaloniki Festival representative Dimitris Kerkinos, actress Nazan Kesal, producer and distributer Alexandre Mallet-Guy will be headed by MurathanMungan. Selection Committee of The Film Award of the Council of Europe (FACE), which will be given to a film competing in Human Rights in Cinema section of the festival, will be headed by JuanitaWilson who was awarded last year. The Jury is composed of Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law Philippe Boillat, founder of Anatolia Culture Osman Kavala, and Eurimages project director Alessia Sonaglioni.

    After the Opening Ceremony, the 31st Istanbul Film Festival started with the latest movie by Terence Davies, The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz. The Deep Blue Sea will meet with the audience in the “Challenging the Years” section of the festival.

    It will be two weeks full of more than 200 films screened at Atlas, Fitaş 1 ve 4, Beyoğlu, Pera Müzesi in Beyoğlu, CityLife (City’s) in Nişantaşıand Rexx in Kadıköy until 15 April as well as panels with famous guests, workshops, master classes, cinema classes, concerts, and parties during the 31st Istanbul Film Festival with the sponsorship of AKBANK.

    Stars at the First Weekend of the Festival

    There will be 11 film screenings with the participation of directors and actors such as Terence Davies, John Madden, Jens Lien, Helvécio Marins Jr, Morteza Farshbaf, Carl Bessai, Marius Holst, Tony Kaye, Morten Tyldum, Robert Wieckiewicz and Benno Fürmann at the first weekend of the festival.

    Famous actors and directors will meet with the audience before the screenings and answer the questions of the audience after the screenings. Famous director Terence Davies, who will be in Istanbul for Honorary Awards of the festival, will give a cinema class, “The Delights and Dangers of Ambiguity”, on Saturday, 31 March at Salon at 16.00. The director will meet with the audience before the screening of his movie The Deep Blue Sea on Saturday, 31 March at Atlas Sineması at 13.30. Davies will also participate to the second screening of his movie next day Sunday, 1 April again at Atlas Sineması at 19.00. English director John Madden known for Shakespeare in Love and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin will participate to the screenings of his movie on Saturday, 31 March at Nişantaşı City's Sineması at 21.30 and Sunday, 1 April at Fitaş 4 at 21.30.

    Further information on the 31st Istanbul Film Festival:




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