Tuesday, May 24, 2005


The 8th Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival was held from May 5-15. The theme of this year's festival was ''Love''. A total of 93 films from 21 countries were shown during the festival. The well-known Turkish actress, Sevda Ferdağ, was presented the ''Flying Broom Honorary Award'' at the festival.

The Festival began in Ankara with a ceremony at the State Opera and Ballet Center.

Halime Güner, General Coordinator of Flying Broom, stated that the festival included conferences on issues pertaining to women.

Russia was the guest of the ''One Country'' category in the festival. ''Babusya'' by Lidiya Bobrova, ''Harvest Time'' by Marina Razbezhkina and ''Shizo'' by Marina Razbezhkina were shown. The films of the world-famous female director Agnieszka Holland such as ''Europa Europa'', ''Olivier, Olivier'', ''Total Eclipse'' and ''Julie Walking Home'' were also screened. Indian director Deepa Mehta was also the guest at this year's festival with her films. The viewers had the opportunity to view the films starring Greta Garbo, who has been qualified as being one of the outstanding female actresses in the history of the cinema ''Anna Karenina'', ''Grand Hotel'' and ''Ninotchka'' starring Grate Garbo were shown at the Festival. Semiha Berksoy, the first lady of Turkish opera as well as one of the most colorful figures in contemporary Turkish art, who died last year of a pulmonary embolism, at the age of 94, was commemorated in the festival with her film ''The Serpent's Tale''. For the first time in the festival, there was a special category for male directors: ''Men in Love''.

The program included some 90 films from all over the world. Some of the categories were:

- Each has a different color - Greta Garbo
- Our cinema - Agnieszka Holland
- One country: Russia - Men in Love
- Short films - Documentaries
- Beyond pink and blue - Animations

There was a panel discussion during the festival on women in the movie industry.

On the opening and closing nights of the festival, Flying Broom distributed the Bilge Olgaç Achievement Awards and the Flying Broom Honorary Award.

FIPRESCI: Flying Broom is the only women's film festival where there is an official jury from the International Federation of Film Critics. This year, for the third time, the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize went to one of the fourteen new features in the category 'Each has a Different Color'.

Who was the angel, and what happened to her?

The annual screenplay contest aims to encourage people to express their thoughts and experiences in the language of film. And apparently it’s getting popular: This year, the Flying Broom received close to 300 screenplays from hopeful competitors around the world. Ten writers have been invited to join a workshop headed by famous Turkish scriptwriter and director Işıl Özgentürk. All scenarios written at the workshop will eventually be compiled into a book by Flying Broom, and the winning manuscript will be filmed by Filma-Cass and shown at next year’s Festival.

The competition has no limitations regarding subject or genre. Contributors have been given an interesting clue to work with: ‘Your mother was an angel, my baby’. This is a phrase often heard in the mainstream of Turkish films during the 60s and 70s, and Flying Broom suggested that contributors to think about motherhood and the stories related to: “Who was the angel, and what happened to her?”

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