The 15th edition of this film festival will bring some exciting films from all over the world to Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. While some Turkish films will be screened, the majority are international films that wouldn’t normally find distributors in Turkey.
The festival is starting with a bang – Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa will be the festival’s opening film. This masterpiece explores the desire for human connection as well as the individual’s perception of self through the dark, absurd and surreal journey of Michael Stone, a husband, father and famous author who is crippled by the mundanity of his life.
The ‘Music’ section will feature such documentaries as Janis: Little Girl Blue, a film about Janis Joplin filled with never-before-broadcast footage and interviews, and Cobain: Montage of Heck, which paints an intimate portrait of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. Another section full of documentaries is ‘Art and Life’, which will offer a glimpse into the lives of artists, such as the legendary American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures and the American comedian Tig Notaro in the eponymous documentary Tig.
The festival’s pioneering alternative film distribution and sharing project !f² will screen five films about strong women in Istanbul and over 30 other cities across Turkey and the Middle East on the last three days of the festival, February 26–28. The Oscar-nominated and surprise hit Mustang will be included in this category, as will Speed Sisters, the story of the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East.
A new initiative in this year’s festival will make a selection of new films from up-and-coming directors in Turkey available to watch via Festival Scope from February 18–28. Each film will be screened to a maximum of 400 worldwide viewers (unfortunately the programme is not available to viewers in Turkey), much like in a real theatre. Click here to stream the films for free.
Besides Istanbul, the festival will have screenings in Ankara and Izmir from March 3–6. For more information on the festival, click here.