Friday, May 01, 2009

2009 | The Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival in Ankara

ANKARA - The Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival in Ankara will feature movies from the 1980s to turn the spotlight on the pressures women faced during that decade. Ninety films by 81 female directors will be on silver screen at the festival. The political, social and cultural transformations of the 1980s, a significant decade both in Turkey and in the world, will be relived on the silver screen as part of an annual women’s film festival in Ankara. The festival will open May 7 at 8:30 p.m. at the State Opera and Ballet building in Ankara with an opening ceremony that will be aired by state-run TRT 2. The festival will conclude May 14.

Film fest looks back at the 80’s

"The 1980s were years in which films were subject to censorship and women were confined to traditional roles in Turkey," Halime Güner, the coordinator of the 12th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, said at a press conference Wednesday. "We want to bring the ’80s back and put them in the spotlight from the perspective of women to highlight the pressures women faced at the time and remind people of the historical facts of the period, which tend to be forgotten."

The Flying Broom film festival is Turkey’s first to focus on women. This year’s edition will feature screenings of 90 films by 81 female directors from 26 countries, along with side events related to the theme, "1980s."

Speaking at the press conference, film critic Alin Taşçıyan said women’s cinema symbolizes the opposition to the pressures and traditional roles women are confronted with and to any kind of discrimination, including gender discrimination. She said it was after the 1980s that women began to raise their voices in Turkish cinema and shoot their own films that dealt with women’s problems.

"This year’s festival has the best program in the last two years of all the film festivals in Turkey and in the world, including the Cannes Film Festival," Taşçıyan said. "I invite everyone to watch these carefully selected films."

The films screened will include those by prominent female directors such as the German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger, the Spanish actress and director Antonia San Juan and Magda, known as the diva of Egyptian cinema. The event will also showcase Turkish and international documentaries by female directors, as well as films from the 1980s, including "Mine" (1982), by the renowned late director Atıf Yılmaz, and "Tüm Kapılar Kapalıydı" (1989) by Memduh Ün. Ün’s film, titled "All the Doors Were Closed" in English, focuses on the difficulties its female hero faced under the military regime of the 1980s.

In addition to film and documentary screenings in different categories, the festival will also feature panel discussions, exhibitions, concerts and other side events. An exhibition titled "On September 12É" referring to the day the Turkish military staged a coup in 1980, will run between May 8 and 18 at the İbrahim Çeçen Foundation IC Art Gallery on Kızılırmak Street in Kocatepe. The exhibition will feature letters sent by women from Turkey’s different provinces, reflecting on their thoughts and feelings about the coup period and its effect on women. Letters written by the visitors to the exhibition will also be added to the collection.

The International Federation of Film Critics Award will also be presented at the festival, the only event in Turkey where this award is given.

Festival films will be screened at the Kızılırmak movie theater and the German Culture Center as well as at university campuses in Ankara. Documentaries will be shown at Ankara University’s Communication Faculty, and at the Bilkent University and Middle East Technical University campuses. Short films and documentaries will be free of charge. Other tickets will be 6 Turkish Liras. For more info:

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