October 16, 2021

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The Antalya Film Festival enhances its role as a catalyst for Turkish art

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Turkey’s Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which historically has always stood as the country’s main local cinema catalyst, testifies that Turkish filmmakers are in good shape despite obstacles due to the epidemic and the country’s economy.

“At the beginning of the year, people said: ‘You can’t put 10 together [Turkish] Films because of the epidemic, “because” they thought nothing was being made, “said Ahmet Boyakoglu, head of the Antalya Fest.

Instead, programmers for the upcoming 58th edition of the event, which will run in the sprawling resort town of Turkey’s southern coast from October 2-9, have received 44 submissions for the national competition, which is a key part of it. And the 10 features they have chosen are “probably the strongest selections in Antalya in the last 10 years”.

Antalya’s artistic director Bashak Emre noted that the Turkish lira is at an all-time low against Western currencies and that local government support for film production has dwindled, with a total of about 200,000 euros in joint production with European partners to get their projects off the ground.

This is reflected in the fact that six of the 10 films in the national competition in Antalya are co-produced. Co-produced with several European countries, such as for the first time director Emre Kai’s “Anatolian Leopard”, launched from the Discovery Division of the Toronto Film Festival and co-produced by Turkey, Poland, Germany and Denmark. The winners will be chosen by a seven-member jury headed by Turkish writer-director Emin Alpar (“Insanity”).

1 The oldest film festival in Turkey since the 1960s, “Mecca of Turkish Cinema”, said Bayakaglu, who co-hosted the Turkish travel festival On Wheels with Emmer. They took over the reins of Antalya in 2019 according to a spell, where the national competition of the festival was dropped as a separate strand, protest and even a boycott by the local film community.

Which is to say that Antalya is now an insular event. “We still have an international competition,” which Emre notes, is “a very important element” of their approach to the festival. This year it’s the latest global circuit standouts such as Venice Golden Lion winner “Happening”, Audrey Diwan, as well as Mia Hansen-Lev’s “Bergman Island” and Riasuk Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car”, both of which were in the ear.

However, international presence in Antalya will be minimal due to epidemic restrictions and their impact on travel.

The local presence, instead, with ticket sales already indicating that, like last year, a total of 1,250 usable seats will be fully booked at the three social distance outdoor venues in Antalya. Large delegations will come for Turkish films, all of which will have their national premieres.

So while the Antalya Film Forum’s co-production platform Art Materials will be held online (see separate story) the personal presence of the Turkish film industry will be strengthened.

Below is a summary of the titles of the 58th Antalya Film Festival National Competition which gives the current vibe of Turkish cinema.

“Anatolian Leopard” – this timely drama by first-time filmmaker Emre Qayas, directed the director of Ankara Zoo to shut down the zoo against urban renewal, privatization and Arab investors who want to turn it into an entertainment park.

“Commitment Hasan” – In this second installment of his “Commitment” trilogy, author Semih Kaplanoglu tells the story of “a Muslim fighting his own soul”, as Boyakagoulu says. The photo, taken from Can’s An Serten Reader, is located in a windy but fertile corner of Turkey where a man named Hassan makes a living from his father’s orchard and tomato field. When Hasan and his wife are accepted for the Hajj, their impending pilgrimage to Makkah makes him question his conscience as he reviews his past and confronts his conflicts.

In this religion-related play by “pure white” -Nesip hanahanhan Özdemir, the proto-Islamic protagonist Bhural, who is a seemingly pious husband and a father, has a secret that can cause his life to suddenly turn dark. Became a threat.

“Together, we will die” – The protagonist of this romance, directed by Hakka Kurtulu and Melik Saraoglu, sees Mazhar return to Istanbul after studying in Canada. She falls in love with her best friend’s boyfriend, which leads to an emotional and destructive relationship between the wreckage of the vast and turbulent Turkish city that also becomes the main character of the film.

“Dialogue” – This is one of the first features of Ali Tansu Turhan, like “Truffaut’s Day for Night” in a movie where two hero actors are playing the role of a couple who are ending up and falling in love with each other.

This Turkish-French-Romanian co-production, directed by writer-director Selman Nakar, is a social drama about a young man who falls into a moral dilemma after a worker in his family’s sheet factory is injured. The protagonist, Qadir, is forced into a secret-conspiracy, which changes the lives of the people involved and reveals long-standing secrets.

“The Cage” – Veteran author Cemil Ağacıkoğlu’s hard-hitting drama Hasan, a former police officer who was expelled from the police force and now works in a cheap hotel on the back street of Istanbul or the historic peninsula where he stays downstairs and out. There his only friend is an immigrant woman named Ileona with whom he dreams of a better life. Hassan finds himself trapped as he struggles with the police force to remove his name in court in a desperate attempt to resolve his problems and get his job back.

“Kerr” – In this latest play by the youngest filmmaker Taifun Pirselimoglu (“Hedge,” “Hair,” “I’m not”), a man named may witness a murder in a small town where he attended his father’s funeral. He went to the police and after taking his statement the police forbade him to leave the city. A segregation was then declared due to the ferocious dog and he was charged with a non-specific offense. Other strange things happen and the city becomes a hell from which he cannot escape.

“Brothers Keeper” – a social drama based on the own experience of director Ferit Karahan, about frightened Kurdish children in a Turkish boarding school. The film was launched earlier this year at the Panorama Strand in Berlin, where it won the Fipresi Award in the category. It follows two friends Yusuf and Memo at a secluded boarding school for Kurdish boys in the mountains of eastern Anatolia. When Memo mysteriously falls ill, Yusuf is forced to struggle through the bureaucratic barriers of the school’s repressive authorities to try to help his friend.

“Juhal” – In this dark ridiculous first feature of screenwriter Nazli Elif Durlu, an upper middle class woman named Juhal hears a cat crying one night from her flat. At first she pays no attention, but after walking Mayau all night she realizes that the cat may be stuck in a nearby flat which forces her to communicate with her neighbors whom she has deliberately avoided so far.

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