Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rhode Island IFF Grand Prix to Çağan Irmak

The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers. Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island. The 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) announced the winners in this year’s film competition at its annual Awards Ceremony held at the Providence Biltmore Hotel and the Best Feature Grand Prix went to ISSIZ ADAM (ALONE), Directed by Cagan Irmak (2008, Turkey).

ISSIZ ADAM (ALONE), (2008, Turkey).113 minutes

Thirty-something ALPER is a talented chef who runs his own restaurant. He may have achieved success in business, but the same cannot be said of his personal life. While caught in the triangle of his gastronomic creations, one-night stands and escort girls, he suddenly finds his life take a new turn when he walks into a second-hand bookshop in the backstreets of Beyoglu to buy and old record he has been looking for.ADA is an attractive, unassuming and relatively stable woman in her late 20s who designs and makes fancy dress costumes for kids. One day, while wandering around Beyoglu in search of a second-hand book, she walks into the same shop as Alper. A womaniser by nature, Alper is impressed by Ada's good looks and sets off in pursuit. As a pretext for introducing himself, he tracks down the book Ada was looking for, buys it and then presents it to her. As it turns out, this book is the beginning of a passionate affair between the two. But the harder Alper tries to create space for Ada in his existing life, the more restricted, the more claustrophobic he starts to feel. Ada, however, is blissfully unaware of the poison in Alper's blood and delights on being in love.Ada and Alper live out their romance as far as they are able and in the measure to which life allows them.

In Mustafa Hakkinda Hersey (All About Mustafa) Cagan Irmak deals with the lies thrown at us by life; in Babam ve Oglum (My Father and My Son) his standpoint is that of a tight-knit Aegean family; and in Ulak (The Messenger) he tells us of the world we live in by believing in stories. This time, however, he sets his story in the metropolis.ALONE is a film that tells of people isolated and made lonely by modern life; people who need people but are blind to that need in the maelstrom of the metropolis; blind, that is, until it is too late. It is a story about food, mothers, old songs and love; a story both bitter and full of hope. PRODUCTION NOTESShooting for a period of five weeks, ALONE used natural locations that were dressed up and redecorated to match the needs of the script.For this film, too, Cagan Irmak reassembled the principal crew he has worked with on many previous successful productions, with the addition this time of DoP Gokhan Tiryaki, who was named Best Cinematographer at the World Film Festival of Bangkok in 2006.The original score, which was recorded live by a large string orchestra, was composed by ARIA. A number of treasured songs from the 70s were also used in the film soundtrack. Careful to brief his cast and crew thoroughly in advance in order to obtain a natural, spontaneous look for the film, the director scheduled in extra hours with his actors to ensure they slipped easily out of role again. Locations were centred largely on the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, where shooting sometimes required a hidden camera and sometimes large crowds of extras. A number of scenes were also photographed in Tarsus, on the southeast Mediterranean coast. Shot in scope, the film was based for the laboratory stage at Istanbul's Sinefekt Studios. The production used synch sound throughout photography, bringing in an experienced crew from overseas for the purpose.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Captain Kemal, a Comrade

Captain Kemal, a Comrade / Fotos Lamprinos

The portrait of Mihri Belli, a Turk born in 1915, who, after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) was a devout nationalist and fanatic enemy of the Greeks, but decided, in 1947, to travel illegally to the mountains in Thrace to fight in the Greek Civil War on the side of the Greek communist guerrillas. Today, at the age of 92, he makes a journey back to Greece where he fought to visit the battle fields and hopefully meet again with his comrades.

Director: Fotos Lamprinos
Script: Fotos Lamprinos
Photographer: Simos Sakertzis
Montage: Alexis Pezas
Sound: Dimitris Athanassopoulos
Music: Yorgos Papadakis
Producer: Costas Lambropoulos
Production: CL Productions, Greek Film Centre, ERT SA Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., & Asi Film
Narration: Manos Zakharias. Texts: Mihri Belli
Type: BetacamSP Color-B&W
Production Country: Greece, Turkey
Duration: 72
Production Year: 2008
World Sales: CL Productions, Greece Zoe Lisgara T. +30 210 6412700

Fotos Lamprinos Filmography

1963-1964 100 Hours in May (short)
1969 Visit Greece (short)
1975 Ermoupolis – 9th Century
1976-1977 A Musical Travelogue with Domna Samiou (8-doc. series)
1977-1980 45 docs (TV series: Images from Northern Greece,
From the Pindus to Evros, ERT in Northern Greece, Research, Backstage)
1980 Yannis Tsarouchis’ Piraeus (short)
1980 Medieval Villages on Chios
1980 Nea Moni, Chios (TV series: This is Where Europe was Born)
1981 Aris Velouchiotis – The Dilemma
1981-1987 Panorama of the Century (33-doc. TV series)
1984 Panorama of the Century 1st episode (1895-1900) (short)
1987 Doxobus (fiction)
1988 Athens University – 50 Years
1989 Struggle at Sea
1989 Crete’s Unification with Greece (TV)
1989 Ancient Rhodes
1989-1990 A 70-year-old October (5-doc. TV series)
The Greeks of Russia (6-doc. TV series)
Political Refugees (TV)
Sergei Paradjanov (short) (TV)
Georgian Painters (TV)
1991 Emmanouil Roidis - Ermoupolis (TV series “The Words of the City”)
1991 Moscow – November 1990. Return to the Future (5 short doc. TV series)
1991 Beauty Will Save the World (7-doc. TV series)
1995 Birthday Celebration or a Silent Balkan Story
1995-1997 In Search of Berenice (3-doc. TV series)
2005 My Power Lies in the Love of the Lens
2008 Captain Kemal, a Comrade

Fotos Lamprinos Biography

He studied Film in Moscow (1965-1970). From 1970 to 1973 he thoroughly researched twenty-two governmental and private film archives in Europe and the United States in search of newsreel material referring to Greece between 1911-1971. In 1973 he collaborated withTheo Angelopoulos on the scenario for Angelopoulos’ film The Traveling Players. From 1975 to 1997 he directed over 50 documentaries for the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), including Panorama of the Century–thirty-three 30-minute episodes narrating the news in Greece and the world from 1895 to 1940, based exclusively on newsreel material; a series of twenty documentaries on the disintegration of the Soviet Union (1989- 1990); and a seven-episode documentary, Beauty Will Save the World (1991), which chronicled the parallel journey of the Russian State and the Russian Orthodox Church from the 10th century to our time. In 1981 Lamprinos filmed a feature-length documentary for the screen entitled Aris Velouchiotis –The Dilemma about the Resistance during the German occupation. His fiction film Doxobus (1987) referred to the 14th-century Byzantine province by the same name and the civil war of that period. In 1995 he produced and directed Birthday Celebration or a Silent Balkan Story, a documentary dedicated to the centenary of cinema and made up of footage from Balkan silent movies (1895-1930). His films have received awards in Greece and abroad. Lamprinos created the first Greek user-friendly archive of old newsreels (1997-2000), which is housed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1993 to 2003 he taught “The Relationship between History and Cinema” at various universities in Greece.

Source:Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Emel Çelebi's ‘Sisters of Lilith' named best Balkan documentary

‘Sisters of Lilith' named best Balkan documentary - Turkish documentary filmmaker Emel Çelebi's 2008 film “Lilit'in Kızkardeşleri” (The Sisters of Lilith) has won the Best Balkan Documentary prize at this year's Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kosovo.

Turkish documentary filmmaker Emel Çelebi's 2008 film “Lilit'in Kızkardeşleri” (The Sisters of Lilith) has won the Best Balkan Documentary prize at this year's Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kosovo.

The 41-minute film, which follows three Turkish women living their lives as a shepherdess, a fisherwoman and a farmer, beat 14 other entrants in the festival's eighth edition, held from Aug. 3-9 in Prizren.

Director: Emel Çelebi
Producer: Necati Sönmez
Cinematographer: Necati Sönmez, Özem Günhan
Editor: Necati Sönmez, Emel Çelebi
Music: Mircan Kaya
World Sales: ZeZe Film, Turkey Necati Sönmez T. +90 212 249 9721

Three women who live in harmony with nature, not succumbing to anyone with the force they draw off their labour in nature: a shepherd who lives with her flock in the mountains; a fisher who goes out to the sea everyday although she can’t swim; and a farmer who cares for her home and buys and sells fields. This is a song of praise for the strong and productive identity of women told through the stories of three characters.


Born and raised in Istanbul. She has studied English literature. She worked in various magazines as editor, interpreter and writer. Her first film “Housekeeper” has won the Best Documentary Award in 43rd Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and the First Prize in 9th Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.

Festivals and Awards:

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, 2009. Ankara International Film Festival 2009. International Filmmor Women’s Film Festival, Istanbul 2009. DocumFest, Timisoara, Romania. Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. International Bodrum Filmfest DOCUMENTARIST – Istanbul Documentary Days. Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival 27th International Istanbul Film Festival

Emel Celebi
Sahkulu Mah. Seraskerci Cik. 4/2 Galata, Beyoglu
34420, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: + 90 212 249 97 21

10 to 11 at San Sebastian Film Festivalt

Turkish director Pelin Esmer’s “11’e 10 kala” (10 to 11) will compete for the Kutxa-New Directors Award while also screening in the official competition. The 57th San Sebastian runs this year from Sept. 18-26 in Spain's northern Basque region.

The film, starring directors uncle, a real life collector Mithat Esmer in its title role, follows the story of an old antiques collector who resides in an old apartment building that has to be demolished and rebuilt to bring it up to code with earthquake regulations.

In 2009 she received the Jury Special Prize for “11’e 10’ kala” (10 to 11) in the 28th International Istanbul Film Festival. In the same year, she was also awarded the best director for “11’e 10’ kala” in the 16th Altın Koza Film Festival.

This year's lineup from 13 countries is true to form, emphasizing hard-hitting subjects such as homelessness, immigration, loneliness, prison and genocide.

The remaining 14 films will run in the Zabaltegi (New Directors) section. Miraz Bezar's film "Before my Eyes" about Turkish Kurdistan events as seen by children are a few of the other films that will run in the section. The award comes with a monetary prize of €90,000 ($127,250), to be split between the director and the Spanish distributor of the film, has helped launch some of international filmmaking's hottest fresh faces and attracts fledgling talent.

Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu won the Golden Shell for Best Film award with her movie “Pandora’nin Kutusu” (Pandora’s Box) at last year’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

Pelin Esmer's award-winning debut fictional feature “11'e 10 Kala” (10 to 11), will get its theatrical release in Turkey on Sept. 25 through Özen Film.

Bio and Filmography

PELIN ESMER was born in Istanbul in 1972. She majored in Sociology at Bosphorus University. After graduating, she took classes at director Yavuz Ozkan's film workshop. She worked as an assistant director in a number of Turkish and foreign film productions, and directed a documentary, Koleksiyoncu (The Collector) with which she received the Best Documentary Award at Rome Independent Film Festival, and won third place at the Ankara Film Festival. She is currently a lecturer on documentary filmmaking at Kadir Has University Film Radio and TV Department in Istanbul. Oyun (The Play) is her latest film.

Oyun / The Play (Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor) 2005
Koleksiyoncu / The Collector (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) 2002
Gonlumdeki Kosk Olmasa / Omfavn Mig Måne/House of Hearts (First Assist. Director) 2002
Deli Yurek Bumerang Cehennemi / Wildheart, Hell of Boomerang (First Assist. Director) 2001
Cumhuriyet / The Republic (First Assist. Director) 1998
Conversations Across Bosphorus (Assist. Director) 1995

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Men on the Bridge in Toronto IFF 2009

Director Asli Özge

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival will be held Thursday, September 10 to Saturday, September 19, 2009. The Toronto International Film Festival ranks among the most prestigious international film festivals in the world.

This years istanbul IFF winner Men on the Bridge was selected to screen as part of the Contemporary World Cinema Section. The film is about the stories of three men working at the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul are told by the original characters, in this mosaic depicting real persons exposing their lives and aspirations

Men on the Bridge | Köprüdekiler by Asli Özge
Country: Germany / Turkey / The Netherlands
Year: 2009
Runtime: 87 minutes
Format: Colour/35mm
Production Company: Endorphine Production
Producer: Fabian Massah
Screenplay: Asli Özge
Cinematographer: Emre Erkmen
Editor: Vessela Martschewski, Aylin Tinel, Christof Schertenleib
Sound: Florian Beck
Principal Cast: Fikret Portakal, Murat Tokgöz, Umut Ilker, Cemile Ilker

Aslı Özge was born in Istanbul in 1975. She graduated from the communication Faculty of Istanbul University in 1995, then from the Sinema-TV Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Marmara University in 1999. She then went to Berlin to continue towards her Master’s degree in Philosophy at Berlin Technical University. She founded the EEE Production Company with Emre Erkmen and scenarist Dagmar Gabler, and made a film “Biraz Nisan” in 2001. She was awarded “the Outstanding Young Persons of the World" by TOYP. In 2002, in a competition of 10 successful young people in the world, she was chosen the first in Turkey. She received the cultural success award in 2002. She also directed documentary films such as “Hesperos’un Çömezleri” (2005). Özge was nominated with her film in the 42nd Antalya Altın Potakal Film Festival in 2005. In 2009, she was awarded “the Best Turkish Film” for “Köprüdekiler” in the 28th International Istanbul Film Festival. In the same year, she was also awarded “the Best Film” for “Köprüdekiler” in the 16th Altın Koza Film Festival.

Short films:
Aslında (1997)
3 ETC (1998)
Quirck (1999)
Zamana dair Parçalar (2000)
Capital C (2000)

“Capital C”:
-the 22nd İFSAK National Short Film and documentary competition, the best film award in the field of fiction video
-the 12th Ankara Film Festival, National Short Film, participated in the field of fiction
-nominated in the 1st Izmir Short Film Days (2000)
-participated in the AFM International Film Festival (2002)

“Zamana dair Parçalar”
-the 1st Izmir Short Film Days (2000)

-participated in the Izmir Short Film Days (2000)

“3 ETC”
-Izmir Short Film Days (2000)

- the 1st Izmir Short Film Days (2000)