The Istanbul Film Festival – one of the biggest film festivals in Turkey – is back with a rich programme for its 36th edition. With an emphasis on competitions, the festival shows a little bit of everything, from the critical darlings of world cinema to cult films, from new releases by Turkish directors to Turkish classics. This year 186 feature films will be screened, as well as 17 short films in 21 different categories. In addition to film screenings, the festival will organise Q&As with guest filmmakers, concerts and other special events.
In the International Competition section, 13 films from 11 countries will compete for the Golden Tulip. Included in this prestigious group is William Oldroyd’s tough-minded Victorian tragedy Lady Macbeth. Raoul Peck’s critically acclaimed documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, is in the running for the Film Award of the Council of Europe (FACE), which recognises films with a human rights angle.
But the emphasis on Turkish filmmakers is what makes the Istanbul Film Festival so exciting. Twelve films are in the running for the Golden Tulip in the National Competition; 10 of them are world premieres. One of the films, Ceylan Özgün Özçelik’s Kaygı, is making its Turkey premiere after being screened in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. There’s also the National Documentary Competition, National Short Film Competition and the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize – it’s a veritable feast for those who love Turkish film.
There are also a number of special events being organised this year. Sir Ian McKellen will be on hand to receive an honorary award, and will attend screenings of Richard III, Richard Loncraine’s exciting and lucid Shakespearean adaptation from 1995. The festival is also collaborating with the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, the curators of the 15th edition of the Istanbul Biennial, to offer a selection of films that relate to the biennial’s theme of a good neighbour. Finally, students are receiving a special gift this year: student tickets for 11.00, 13.30 and 16.00 sessions on weekdays will be sold for 1 TL.
Films will be screened at nine movie theatres: Atlas and Beyoğlu movie theatres, as well as the Pera Museum and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura hall in Tepebaşı, Rexx cinema in Kadıköy, Cinemaximum Kanyon in Levent and Cinemaximum City’s in Nişantaşı.
Visit the IKSV website to see the full programme.