Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SİYAD announces awards

Critics association announces awards

Turkish film producer Üstün Karabol will be this year's recipient of the Turkish Film Critics Association's (SİYAD) labor award alongside actors Kadir İnanır and Müjde Ar and filmmaker-scriptwriter Safa Önal, who will receive the association's honor awards, the association announced on Wednesday.

The SİYAD board of directors said in a statement that Karabol, the producer of such films as Serdar Akar's "Dar Alanda Kısa Paslaşmalar" (Offside) (2000) and Mustafa Altıoklar's "İstanbul Kanatlarımın Altında" (İstanbul Under My Wings) (1996), was deemed worthy of the labor award for "the efforts he spent in the development and promotion of the art of cinema in Turkey since the 1960s," and particularly for his "contributions in making European cinema enter wide release in Turkey." The association announced the nominees for its best film honor earlier this month, with the shortlist consisting of Semih Kaplanoğlu's poetic drama "Yumurta" (Egg), Abdullah Oğuz's screen adaptation of Zülfü Livaneli's novel "Mutluluk" (Bliss), Barış Pirhasan's "Adem'in Trenleri" (Adam and the Devil), Ömer Vargı's "Kabadayı" (Tough Guy) and Turgut Yasalar's "Sis ve Gece" (The Fog and the Night).

The 40th annual SİYAD Turkish Cinema Awards will be handed out at a ceremony at İstanbul's TİM Show Center on March 3.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

IIFF 2008 | Juries shaping for istanbul

27th International Istanbul Film Festival program is beginning to take shape. The Festival is sponsored by Akbank and scheduled to take place between April 5-20, 2008. 7 of the films that will be featured in this year's program will also be competing for an Oscar at the 80th Annual Academy Awards.

International Competition Jury

National Competition Jury

  • Semih Kaplanoğlu Nurgül Yeşilçay Elif Şafak

  • PRESIDENT: Semih Kaplanoğlu
  • Nurgül Yeşilçay (Actress)
  • Elif Şafak (Author)
  • Michèle Maheux (Toronto Film Festival Director)
  • Sylvain Auzou

    Michele Maheux Sylvain Auzou

    İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
    Istiklal Caddesi 64
    Beyoğlu 34435 İstanbul
    Phone: +90 212 334 07 00
    Fax: +90 212 334 07 02

Rotterdam 2008 | Egg (Yumurta)

Egg (Yumurta) - TT (IFFR 2008)

Turkey, Greece 2007
Director Semih Kaplanoglu
Producer Semih Kaplanoglu, Lilette Botassi
Production company Kaplan Film Production, Inkas Film Production
Sales Coach 14
Print source Coach 14
Scenario Semih Kaplanoglu, Orçun Koksal
Cast Nejat Isler, Saadet Isil Aksoy, Ufuk Bayraktar, Tülin Özen, Gülçin Santircioglu, Kaan Karabacak, Semra Kaplanoglu
Photography Özgür Eken
Editor Ayhan Ergürsel, Semih Kaplanoglu, Suzan Hande Güneri
Art Design Naz Erayda
Sound Ismail Karadas
Length 97'

A poetic Turkish film in which a poet from Istanbul returns to his birthplace after the death of his mother and tries to find his roots. He manages thanks to a young woman. Part two of a trilogy-to-be by the talent Kaplanoglu (Part 1 was Angel's Fall, IFFR 2006).

Egg is the second part of a trilogy by the outstanding Turkish talent Semih Kaplanoglu (preceded by Angel's Fall and to be followed by Milk).

Yusuf (Nejat Isler), a book store owner and poet living in Istanbul, receives a phone call informing him that his mother has died. He returns to his hometown, after several year's absence, to arrange the funeral. In his family home he meets Ayla (Saadet Isil Aksoy), the young woman who spent the last years of his mother's life taking care of her. The poet notices the young woman's charm and is touched by it. Contact between the two is almost non-verbal, but there is a growing understanding between them. Ayla tells Yusuf about his mother's last wish. At first he hesitates to fulfil it, but later agrees and the two set off on a mission.

This film is a wonderful, sensitive, realistic and poetic return to one's past. It is also the journey of a city man back to his roots, his memories. It is a return to the world that for so many nowadays seems to have been forgotten - the world of simplicity, of a life that we once had. It is also a search for one's identity, for family ties. And within that, the ties to his mother. (LC)

Rotterdam 2008 | My Marlon and Brando (Gitmek)

My Marlon and Brando (Gitmek) - TT (IFFR 2008)

Turkey, Netherlands, United Kingdom 2008
Director Hüseyin Karabey
Producer Hüseyin Karabey, Lucinda Englehart, Frans van Gestel, Jeroen Beker
Production company A-si Film Yapim, Spier Films, IDTV FILM/Motel Films
Sales Insomnia World Sales
Print source Lucinda Englehart
Scenario Hüseyin Karabey, Ayca Damgaci
Cast Ayca Damgaci, Hama Ali Kahn, Nesrin Cavadzade, Emrah Ozdemir, Cengiz Bozkurt, Mahir Gunsiray
Photography Emre Tanyildiz
Editor Mary Stephen
Sound Mohammed Mokhtari
Music Kemal Sahir Gurel, Huseyin Yildiz, Erdal Guney
Length 92'

Dramatic road movie based on a true story about a young theatre actress from Istanbul who wants to go to her lover. The problem is that he is Kurdish, is in northern Iraq and the American invasion of Iraq makes communication even more difficult. With the original video letters.

Ayça is a Turkish actress and she lives in Istanbul. On a film set in the West of Turkey, she meets Hama Ali, a Kurdish actor. The two fall in love while shooting a film. After the shoot, Ayça returns to Istanbul and Hama has to go back to his home, Süleymaniye in northern Iraq . Ayça and Hama continue their relationship on the telephone and via letters, while America prepares to attack Iraq. The post often doesn't work and the phone lines in Iraq are usually cut off. From time to time, Ayça receives a declaration of love from her lover on video. Ayça can no longer bear the distance between them and decides to travel to northern Iraq. But getting into a country at war turns out to be just as difficult as getting out.
The protagonists in the film are not actors who would quickly be cast for an average love story. My Marlon and Brando is a real story with and about real people. Ayça and Hama Ali are actors in their everyday lives, here they play themselves. In this way the film creates a tense balance between documentary and fiction. The love letters and video letters in the film are real, but Ayça is acting her own life. Result: a powerful and penetrating road movie in which a committed film maker approaches the world through a personal story.

Rotterdam 2008 | Brain Surgeon

Brain Surgeon - SH (IFFR 2008)

Turkey 2007
Director Ömer Ali Kazma
Producer Selen Korkut
Production company A Film
Sales A Film
Print source A Film
Photography Ömer Ali Kazma
Editor Ömer Ali Kazma
Sound Ömer Ali Kazma
Length 15'Part of the series 'Obstructions' about craftsmanship: brain surgery performed by a Turkish surgeon, a virtuoso at his job.

This film forms part of the series 'Obstructions' about human actions and skills; about maintenance, repair, production and creation. Here we follow the well-known Turkish brain surgeon Ali Zirh who performs a brain operation with incredible control on a patient who has become paralysed on the right side.

Rotterdam 2008 | Hidden Faces (Sakli yüzler)

Hidden Faces (Sakli yüzler) - TT (IFFR 2008)

Director Handan Ipekçi
Producer Handan Ipekçi
Production company Yeni Yapim Film, Tradewind Pictures GmbH, Bir Film Ithalat Ihracat Ticaret
Sales Bavaria Film International
Print source Bavaria Film International
Scenario Handan Ipekçi
Cast Senay Aydin, Istar Gökseven, Berk Hakman, Cem Bender, Nisa Yildirim, Füsun Demirel
Photography Feza Caldiran
Editor Handan Ipekçi
Art Design Deniz Özen, Esra Yildiz
Sound Nurkut Özdemir, Umut Senyol
Music Anima
Length 115'

Complex and intriguing Turkish drama about revenge killing. A young woman who went into hiding from her family talks about her life in a documentary. An uncle who sees the film in Germany won't let it rest .

There have been a few Turkish feature films (and books) dealing with the subject of crimes committed in order to ‘safeguard family honour’, the so-called honour killings, but few of them have been successful. Hidden Faces by Handan Ipekçi, known for her socially critical films, is one of the rare realistic dramas which, with respect for women, shows the true face of this problem.
The structure of the film is complex and intriguing. The story begins in a German cinema where a Turkish documentary Honor Killings - A Violation of Human Rights is showing. The audience distainfully watches the confessions of the young woman Zurhe. She loved a local shepherd in her village and had a child by him before he abandoned her. To restore the family’s honour, Zurhe’s uncle, Ali, forces her 17-year-old brother Ismail to strangle the baby in front of her eyes. Her father kills himself instead of killing his daughter. When an enlightened uncle from Germany comes to take her with him, he too is killed by the family males. The bloodshed is blamed on the underaged Ismail, who is only given a five-year sentence. All these facts are revealed in flashbacks and the documentary film director plays the dangerous game of wanting to find Zhurhe, who is now living under a different identity. Her uncle Ali sees the documentary and is determined to finish the job he began several years earlier. (LC)