- What’s On
In the 34th edition of Istanbul’s major film festival nine cinemas will screen more than 200 films from 62 countries over two weeks.
As most of the cinemas and art centres are conveniently close together in Beyoğlu, it is easy to pack in quite a schedule. Four are within a minute’s walk of Taksim: the French Cultural Centre at İstiklâl Caddesi 4, Akbank Sanat at No 8, the Beyoğlu Cinema in the Halep arcade at No 62, and the Atlas Cinema at No 131. At the Tünel end of İstiklal are the auditorium of the excellent Pera Museum on Meşrutiyet Caddesi (which runs parallel to İstiklal from the British Consulate past the Pera Palace Hotel), and Salon IKSV in Şişhane.
Just below Beyoğlu, a ten-minute steep downhill stumble, is Istanbul Modern in Tophane. Elsewhere there are screenings at the Feriye Cinema, just before you reach Ortaköy and the First Bosphorus Bridge on the European shore of the Bosphorus; and on the Anatolian shore, the Rexx Cinema in Kadıköy (take the boat from Eminönü, Karaköy or Beşiktaş if you are based on the European shore, and combine with dinner of fish and meze at Moda’s Koço Meyhane – see Asia Fantasia, Cornucopia 52).
As usual, the festival in divided into diverse categories – the International Competition, human-rights, Turkish cinema, shorts, documentaries, master directors, young directors, films for children, as well as a number of smaller, thematic categories. What’s really great about this festival is the number and diversity of Turkish films it screens: this year, there are 40 releases – features, docos, shorts, classics – and the programme really highlights the richness and growth of the country’s cinema.