Directorate General of Press & Information

The introduction of cinema in Turkey dates back to nearly a  year after two young Frenchmen, the Lumière brothers held their  first film exhibition on December 22, 1895 in a cafe in Paris.  Initial showings in Turkey were private ones held at the Sultan's  court, the Yıldız Palace in İstanbul. Afterwards a Romanian  citizen of Polish descent Sigmund Weinberg screened films publicly  at a beer hall in Galatasaray Square, İstanbul, thus introducing  this extraordinary art to many more Turkish people.

Although cinema came to Turkey as early as the late 1890s,  the actual start of film-making in Turkey was much later.  Encountering many difficulties from the shooting of the first  film in 1914 up until now, Turkish cinema is in its present state today  because of original works  produced by using its  own  resources. Despite all the economic shortfalls and lack of a  legal framework within which to operate that Turkish cinema has  had to surmount, thanks to the efforts of Turkish directors,  script writers, actors, actresses and technicians, Turkish cinema  has carved out a respectable position and succeeded in competing  with the powerful foreign movie industry. Today, Turkish cinema  has come to be an internationally recognized modern art enjoying  a huge popularity in foreign countries, and at international film  festivals which frequently both recognize and award its  successes.


Beginning in 1908, cinema halls began to be opened by  foreigners and individuals from the minorities living mainly in  İstanbul. But in March 1914, two Turks, Cevat Boyer and Murat  Bey, opened a cinema hall.

The first Turkish film was a documentary, "Ayastefanos'taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı"   (The  Demolition  of   the    Russian    Monument    at  St. Stephen), made by  reserve army officer  Fuat Uzkınay at the beginning of World War I, and sponsored  by the Turkish Army.

This film was succeeded by a number of films made by  official or semi-official organizations. One of these  organizations, the official War Veterans' Association, produced  the feature films "Mürebbiye" (The Governess) and "Binnaz" based  on the novels of Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar. These films, directed by  Ahmet Fehim in 1919, were later censored by the occupying forces  because they were very daring .

The War Veterans' Association also produced a series of  short films before it ceased producing films in 1921. These  films, namely "Bican Efendi, Vekilharç" (Bican Efendi, the  Secretary), "Bican Efendi, Mektep Hocası" (Bican Efendi, the  Schoolmaster) and "Bican Efendi'nin Rüyası" (The Dream of Bican Efendi) directed by a then famous comedian, Şadi  Fikret Karagözoğlu, who also played the leading roles, created  the first comic character in Turkish cinema.

A new era in Turkish cinema started in 1922 when theater  artist Muhsin Ertuğrul returned home from Germany where he had  worked as an actor and director since 1916. His return in 1922  was also the time when the first Turkish private film company,  "Kemal Film"  was set-up. A film based on the novel of Halide  Edip Adıvar, "Ateşten Gömlek" (The Ordeal) in which the first  Turkish Muslim women actresses, namely Bedia Muhavvit and Neyyire  Neyir acted in the leading roles, was the first movie to deal  with the War of Independence. This film was first screened in  İstanbul which was still occupied by foreign armies, on April 23,  1923, the third anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Grand  National Assembly,  and only six months prior to the formation of  the Turkish Republic.


This period was dominated by theatre artists among whom  Muhsin Ertuğrul was the leading figure. Played by a cast of  theater actors in 1932, "Bir Millet Uyanıyor" (A Nation Awakens),  another War of Independence epic, is not only considered to be the  best film of Muhsin Ertuğrul but is also seen as the first really  noteworthy film in the history of Turkish cinema.

1933 went down as a year of comedy, vaudeville and  opera-style films. In 1934, Muhsin Ertuğrul participated in the Second Venice International Film Festival with his film  "Leblebici Horhor Ağa", which was awarded an honorary mention, the first international award presented to a Turkish  director.

Muhsin Ertuğrul was also the first director to make a film  about country life with "Bataklı Damın Kızı Aysel" which suggests  Soviet influences. This film featured stage actress Cahide Sonku,  the first woman movie star of Turkish cinema, in the leading  role.

Muhsin Ertuğrul, as the only director of his period, left  an indelible imprint on Turkish film-making during the formative  years of Turkish cinema.

The number of films made between 1914 and 1939, was not  more than 23, not including documentaries and short films.


After graduating from a photography school in Germany,  Faruk Kenç started shooting films in Turkey. He was the first director  without having prior experience in theater. His success in the Turkish  film industry was an important incentive for those who were not  former theater artists to follow a career in the fledgling film  industry.

During this period, film producers began to organize  themselves by forming professional organizations and establishing  film studios. Ha-Ka Film, Ses Film, İstanbul Film, Halk Film and  Atlas Film were all established in 1946. The same year, the  Domestic Film Producers' Association and the Film Producers'  Association were also founded.

With a change in municipality tax laws in 1948, a boost was  given to the Turkish film industry, as taxes on films made in  Turkey were reduced to 25%. This regulation protected Turkish  cinema in financial terms.

The same year, the Domestic Film Producers' Association  held the first film festival in Turkey in which the winning  film was Şakir Sırmalı's "Unutulan Sır" (Forgotten Secret).

The period between 1939 and 1950 can best be described as a  transition period which tried to build on the work of the  previous period and constituted a bridge to the next period  called the "cinema artists' period".


During the 1950s, the number and quality of films  increased and the industry began to take on a shape of its own.  Directors like Lütfi Akad, Atıf Yılmaz, Metin Erksan, Memduh Ün  and Osman Seden came to the fore. In 1952, these were followed by  new directors among whom the foremost were Nejat Saydam, Nevzat  Pesen, Orhan Aksoy and Hulki Saner.

Lütfi Akad's film "Kanun Namına" (In the Name of the Law),  made in 1952, was a milestone in Turkish cinema. Character  portrayals, events and the natural scenes incorporated in this  true-to-life film were a new departure in Turkish film-making. It  was selected as the best film at the 1st Turkish Film Festival,  held by the Friends of the Turkish Films Association.

Although the first color film in Turkish cinema was  "Salgın" (The Plague) directed by Ali İpar, Muhsin Ertuğrul's  color film "Halıcı Kız" (The Carpet Weaver) was actually  screened earlier. However, this film, directed by Ertuğrul after  a gap of six years, was not a success. 

The Turkish Cinema Artists' Association (TSSD), established  in 1959, organized a "Turkish Films Festival" in collaboration with  the Turkish Journalists' Association.

Those years also witnessed the growth of films in which actresses  began to play in more heroic roles, inspired by the film entitled  "Fosforlu Cevriye", and leading child performers also grew in  popularity. At the same time, a new intellectual trend, called  "social realism", gained a foot-hold in Yeşilçam, the budding  Turkish Hollywood in İstanbul. Metin Erksan's "Gecelerin Ötesi"  (Beyond the Night) is a noteworthy example of this movement's  influence in the 1950s.

"Denize İnen Sokak" (A Street Leading to the Sea) directed  by Atilla Tokatlı in 1960, was a remarkable experiment. Even  though the film's box office success was limited, it received an  honourable mention at the Locarno Film Festival that year and was  screened at the Venice and Karlovy-Vary Film Festivals in 1961.  It was presented the Best Film Award at the 1st Art Festival  held in İzmir in 1961, while script-writer Selçuk Bakkalbaşı, was  presented an award for the most successful screen writer.

In 1961, the İstanbul Municipality organized a "domestic  films competition" in addition to an "art festival", where Memduh  Ün's "Kırık Çanaklar" (Broken Dishes) won the Best Film Award.

Actress Nilüfer Aydan was presented an honourable  mention at the Moscow Film Festival after her success in  "Şehirdeki Yabancı" (Stranger in the City).

About the same time, younger producers began to give more  weight to films dealing with social issues. "Karanlıkta  Uyananlar" (Those Awaking in Darkness) directed by Ertem Göreç,  was the first film to deal with the social consequences of  labour strikes. In 1964, Halit Refiğ directed an  interesting film about domestic migration entitled "Gurbet  Kuşları" (Migrating Birds). The same year "Susuz Yaz" (Dry  Summer) directed by Metin Erksan won the "Golden Bear" award at  the Berlin Film Festival. The film, which deals with rural life,  also won the "Merito Biennali" award at the Venice Film Festival  in Italy.

Among the "younger generation cinema directors" of the  1960s were Halit Refiğ, Fevzi Tuna, Duygu Sağıroğlu, Erdoğan  Tokatlı, Bilge Olgaç and Tunç Başaran.

During this period, through the joint efforts of the  Turkish Film Producers' Association and Antalya Municipality, the  Antalya Film Festival, which is still being held today, was  first held. At the first festival, Halit Refiğ's film "Gurbet  Kuşları" (Migrating Birds) won the Best Film Award.

In 1965, 213 full length films were produced. While the  hegemony of leading stars reached new heights, this "cinematic inflation" led to an unavoidable explosion of poor quality films,  due to the lack of a really sound basis on which to build the  industry. As the number of films increased, this unhealthy growth  in production also led to exploitation and a blatant disregard  for even the most basic standards of good cinema.

However, there were also some noteworthy films made during  this period such as "Bitmeyen Yol" (Unending Road) by Duygu  Sağıroğlu, "Yasak Sokaklar" (Forbidden Streets) by Feyzi Tuna,  "Murad'ın Türküsü" (Murad's Song) by Atıf Yılmaz, "Sevmek Zamanı"  (Time to Love) by Metin Erksan, and "İsyancılar" (The Rebels) by  Abdurrahman Palay.

The Turkish Cinematheque Society was also founded in 1965,  and at the 34th İzmir Fair that year, Lütfi Akad's film "Üç  Tekerlekli Bisiklet" (Tricycle) won the Best Film Award, as did  Halit Refiğ's film "Kırık Hayatlar" (Broken Lives) at the  Gaziantep Film Festival. At the Milan (Italy) Mifed Film  Festival, Metin Erksan's film "Suçlular Aramızda" (The Guilty Amongst Us) was chosen as the best of the films dealing with  social issues.

In 1966, when Turkish cinema was about to set a record with the production of 240 films, Yılmaz Güney joined the ranks of the new  directors by directing his film, "At, Avrat, Silah" (Horse,  Woman and Gun). The same year, Lütfi Akad's film "Hudutların  Kanunu" (Border Law) was seen as the most important  film up to that time. Akad and Güney joined in the writing of the  script of this film in which Güney acted in the leading role.  "Yılanların Öcü" (The Revenge of the Snakes) by Metin Erksan won  the Best Film Award at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia.  That same year, when stars reached the pinnacle of their  popularity, Atıf Yılmaz's "Ah Güzel İstanbul" (Oh! Beautiful  İstanbul) won the "Silver Tree Award" at the Bordighera Comedy  Films Festival in Italy.

In 1968, through the joint efforts of the Turkish Films  Archives Institution, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the French  Ministry of Culture , a "Turkish Films Week" was held in  Paris.

In 1969, the Adana Cinema Club, Adana Municipality and the  State Films Archives jointly organized the 1st Golden Cocoon Film  Festival in which Metin Erksan's "Kuyu" (The Well), a passionate  tragedy, was presented the Best Film Award.


In the 1970s, film production again increased and the era of  black and white films came to an end. The spread of television,  economic and social changes all damaged the film industry in  Turkey. Many producers had to struggle to survive as audiences dwindled sharply. Nevertheless, those years can be recorded as  the most productive period.

Yılmaz Güney, Lütfi Akad, Tunç Okan, Zeki Ökten, Erden Kıral  and Yavuz Özkan created internationally acclaimed films.

In the 1980s, a new generation of successful directors  appeared. Ali Özgentürk, Ömer Kavur, Sinan Çetin, Şerif Gören,  Yavuz Turgul, Zülfü Livaneli were among the most remarkable  directors of this period who won international acclaim. Some of  the directors of the earlier periods such as Atıf Yılmaz and Tunç  Başaran also created films of note. In recent years, apart from  films on social problems there has been a trend towards stressing  individuality, especially women's search for identity and their  emotional lives. Comedy films have also grown in popularity.

In 1970, a film by Yılmaz Güney "Umut" (Hope) was a turning  point in Turkish cinema. The film depicts the "metamorphosis from  hope to hopelessness" in a simple and realistic style. Güney's  cinema can be described as a bridge between the cinema artists'  period (1950-1970) and the new wave period. "Umut" was  chosen as the best film at the 2nd Adana Film Festival and also  won the "Special Jury Award" at the Grenoble Film Festival in  France. Ümit Utku's film "Yara" (The Wound) won third place at  the Tangiers Film Festival.

In 1971, at the Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival, Yılmaz  Güney's film Ağıt (Elegy), Acı (Pain) and Umutsuzlar (Desperate People) took the first three places. The same year, at the  Children's Film Festival held in the Italian city of Milan,  Ülkü Erakalın's film "Afacan Küçük Serseri" (The Little Rascal)  won the Best Film Award.

In 1972, Turkish cinema set a new production record with  299 new films.

In 1973, Lütfi Akad participated in the Tehran Film  Festival with his film "Gelin" (The Bride) which dealt with  domestic migration and Türkan Şoray participated in the Moscow  Film Festival with "Dönüş" (The Return), her first attempt at  directing.

In 1974, unionization activities  heightened and "Film-Sen"  (The Turkish Cinema Workers' Union) was organized in addition to  the Turkish Film Workers' Union set up earlier.

The same year, Tunç Okan directed his first film, a black  comedy, "Otobüs" (The Bus), which examined in depth the deep sense of alienation felt by illegal  Turkish workers abroad. This film won several awards at  international film festivals:

The "Golden Charybe" given to the  best film at the Taormina Film Festival held in Sicily, Italy;  the "Experimental and Artistic Films Award" at the Karlovy Vary  Film Festival in the former Czechoslovakia; the "Don Quixote  Award" presented by the World Cinema Clubs Federation; an  award  at the Strasbourg Human Rights Film Festival in France and the  Best Film Award together with the "Cinema Critics' Special Award"  at the Santarem Film Festival in Portugal.

Another successful film that same year was Şerif Gören's  "Endişe" (Anxiety), based on a scenario written by Yılmaz Güney  about the problems of cottonpickers and blood-feud violence. Ömer  Kavur's "Yatık Emine" told the story of an exiled prostitute  during the First World War. This was actually the first time a  Turkish film was to deal with this subject. Lütfi Akad completed  his trilogy on domestic migration by filming "Diyet" (Blood  Money) following the earlier films of this trilogy, Düğün (The  Wedding) and "Gelin" (The Bride). Yılmaz Güney's film "Arkadaş"  (The Friend) depicted the social conflicts of that period in  Turkey by using a mature and skillful "cinema language". It won  the "Best Film Award" at the 4th Yarımca Art Festival held in  İzmit.

The Adana Film Festival as such finally came to an end in  1974. The same year, an exhibition of Turkish films was staged  at the Paris Cinematheque. At the Asian and African Countries'  Film Festival in Tashkent, in the former Union of Soviet  Socialist Republics,  actress Fatma Girik was presented with a special  award by the Women's Committee for her role in "Kızgın Toprak"  (Scorched Earth). At the Karlovy-Vary Film Festival, a film by Süreyya Duru, "Bedrana" won the "Cidalc Award". Actor Erkan Yücel  was presented with the "Most Successful Actor Award" at the 20th  San Remo Film Festival, in Italy, for his role in "Endişe"  (Anxiety).

By 1975, the black and white film era had drawn to a close.  Club 7, which served as the Turkish Film Archives in 1967 and as  the film archives for the State Fine Arts Academy in 1969, became  a cinema-TV institution. Once again an exhibition of Turkish  films was staged in Paris, and at a festival organized by the  Union of European Film and TV workers in Paris, Behlül Dal's  "Güneşin Battığı Yer" (Where the Sun Sets) won a special award  in the short films category.

In 1976, at the İstanbul Film Festival held for the  first time that year, no film was considered worthy of the Best  Film Award. In 1978, the Culture Ministry opened a cinema  department and a social security law for cinema workers and  actors was put into effect. The same year the Turkish Film  Workers' Union was also established.

Two noteworthy films made in 1978 were Erden Kıral's  "Kanal" (Canal), which tells the story of a district governor who  fights the injustices of rich rice growers, and Yavuz Özkan's  "Maden" (The Mine), about the hardships experienced by miners.  Another film that attained  international acclaim was "Sürü" (The Flock),  directed by Zeki Ökten, which tells a tragic story about a tribal  family migrating to a big city where the family is confronted by  pressures that lead to its break-up. In  Bulgaria, a Turkish films week was very successful, and again in  Tashkent, Türkan Şoray won a best actress award for her part in  Atıf Yılmaz's film "Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım". At the Karlovy-Vary Film Festival in the then Czechoslovakia , Süreyya Duru's  film "Kara Çarşaflı Gelin" (The Dark Veiled Bride) won a special  award presented by the Union of Film Syndicates.

In 1979, the film "Sürü" (The Flock) was presented the  "Best Film Award" at the Locarno Film Festival, the "Golden Leopard". Melike Demirağ, who played the leading role in this film,  shared the "Best Actress Award" with Rebecca Horn. The Special  Award of this festival was given to Yılmaz Güney who was both the  producer and script-writer. The film won awards presented by the  International Protestant Film Jury and the Catholic Film  Organization at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Best Film Award  at the International Outstanding Films Contest, organized by the  Royal Cinema Archives in Belgium. Süha Arın's "Tahtacı Fatma" won  First Prize at the 3rd Balkan Film Festival in the short-subject  films category, and at the Oberhausen Short-subject Films Festival, Özcan  Arca's "Üç Bölümlük Kısa Film" (A Short-subject Film in Three Parts) won  an award presented by the German Youth, Family and Health  Ministry.

In 1980, Turkish films continued to win acclaim. "Sürü"  (The Flock) was screened for eight weeks in Zurich and seven  weeks in Basel. At the London Film Festival, it was chosen the  best from among 93 films. At the Rotterdam Festival, film critics  chose it as one of the year's best three films, and at the 10th  International Antwerp Film Festival in Belgium, it was again  given the Best Film Award. Zeki Ökten's film "Düşman" (The  Enemy), based on a screen-play written by Yılmaz Güney, which  focuses on unemployment and workers' problems, won the Special  Jury Award and the International Catholic Film Organization's  first prize at the 30th Berlin Film Festival. Ali Özgentürk's  "Hazal" which depicts rural life and the tragic lives of village  womenfolk won five international awards. "Bereketli Topraklar  Üzerinde" (On Fertile Lands) directed by Erden Kıral, won  the Special Jury Award and also the Elal-France Union of Artistic  and Experimental Cinema Award. A year later, in 1981, it was  chosen as the best film at the European Films Festival in  Strasbourg. Again in 1981, but after a gap of two years, the 18th  Antalya Film Festival  was held, but no film was considered good enough to win the Best Film Award.

In 1982, Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören's film "Yol" (The  Road), which examines the very basics of human suffering, was  chosen as the film of the year at the 35th Cannes Film Festival, together with Costa Gavras' film "Missing", thus sharing the  "Golden Palm" award. In France, at the Hyreres Young Cinema  Festival, Sinan Çetin's "Bir Günün Hikayesi" (The Story of a Day)  won the "People's Jury" award. Ali Özgentürk's "At" (Horse) was  rated third at the Valencia Mediterranean Countries' Film  Festival, and at the Lecce Film Festival (1983) in Italy, it  received the Best Film Prize.  In 1983, Şerif Gören's film "Derman" (Remedy), depicting  the revolt of women against male domination in Turkish villages,  won the Jury Award at the Valencia Film Festival.

During this period a search for new modes of expression was  observable in Turkish films which became more inclined to deal with individuality, women's search for identity and human  emotions.

In 1983, Turkish film weeks were held in Budapest and  Kuwait. The same year Erden Kıral's film "Hakkari'de Bir Mevsim"  (A Season in Hakkari), which dealt with the problems and  struggles of an intellectual confronted for the first time  with the hard life in Hakkari in Southeast Anatolia, won five  awards in a row at the 33rd Berlin Film Festival. Later the same  year, it won yet another award at the Corsica 2nd Mediterranean  Cultural Film Festival.

1984 witnessed the founding of the Film Producers' Asssociation.  The same year, Erden Kıral's film "Hakkari'de Bir Mevsim" (A  Season in Hakkari) was chosen as the "opening film" for the Los  Angeles Olympic Games. Şerif Gören's film "Derman" (Remedy) won  two more awards: one presented by the International Cinema  Critics and the other by the International Cinema Clubs  Federation at the 24th Karlovy-Vary Film Festival held in former  Czechoslovakia. At the 3rd Mediterranean Cultural Film Festival,  Erden Kıral's film "Ayna" (The Mirror) won the "Critics' Award",  and Ali Özgentürk's "At" (Horse) won a prestigious award at the  Sao Paulo Film Festival in Brazil.

 "Züğürt Ağa" (The Penniless Landlord) by Nesli Çölgeçen, a comedy with a  social content , based on a script by Yavuz Turgul, was seen as  an exceptionally witty film in 1985. It was in 1985 that the  Ministry of Culture initiated a series of competitions offering  incentive awards for three main branches: drama, documentary and  animation.

At the 25th Karlovy-Vary Film Festival, Talat Bulut  received the "Best Character Actor" award from the Cinema  Institute of Prague University for his portrayal in "Derman"  (Remedy). The same film won the "Golden Sword" award at the 4th  International Damascus Film Festival in Syria. Based on the votes  of the audience, Erden Kıral's "Hakkari'de Bir Mevsim" (A Season  in Hakkari) was chosen as the best film at the 4th New German  Film Festival in Luxembourg. At the 35th International Berlin  Film Festival, Tarık Akan was given a special mention for his role in "Pehlivan" (The Wrestler), a film by Zeki Ökten. At the  7th International Women's Film Festival, "Kaşık Düşmanı" by Bilge  Olgaç, won the Best Film Award and was also presented the  "French Journalists' Special Press Award". Halil Ergün was chosen   the best actor by audiences for his role in this film. At the  1st International Tokyo Film Festival, "At" (Horse) by Ali  Özgentürk won a $ 250,000 cash prize. At the New York Film  Festival, a Turco-German production, "Gülibik", won an award  presented by the Educational Film Library Asssociation. In  Portugal, Erden Kıral's "Ayna" (The Mirror) won the Grand Award  at the International Figuera da Fox Film Festival. Süha Arın's  short-subject film "Kapalıçarşı'da Kırkbin Adım" (Forty Thousand Steps in  the Grand Bazaar) won the "Jury's Award of Honour" at the Tourism  Films Festival in Vienna.

In 1986, approximately 20 new Turkish films revived  audience ratings and brought a new vitality to Turkish cinema by  developing new approaches to filming. New regulations for the  cinema, video and music industries were brought into effect.  Among the most prominent films of the year were: "Anayurt Oteli"  (Anayurt Hotel) by Ömer Kavur, "Aaah Belinda" by Atıf Yılmaz,  "Züğürt Ağa" (The Penniless Landlord) by Nesli Çölgeçen and  "Muhsin Bey" by Yavuz Turgul. At the 14th Strasbourg Film  Festival, Ali Özgentürk's "Bekçi" (The Guard) and Muammer Özer's  film "Bir Avuç Cennet" (A Taste of Paradise) shared second place. At the 32nd Oberhausen Short Films Festival in Germany, Dilek  Gökçin's "Yokuş" (The Slope) won the International Grand Jury  Prize. At the 11th International Sports Films Festival in France,  "Pehlivan" (The Wrestler) by Zeki Ökten  won the International  Olympics Committee Award. At the World Rural Films Festival in  France, "Bir Avuç Cennet" (A Taste of Paradise) was presented a mention by the jury, and at the 3rd  International Immigrants' Film Festival in Sweden, it was  presented the Grand Award. At the 8th Nantes Three  Continents Festival, Hülya Koçyiğit was chosen the best actress  for her role in "Kurbağalar" (Frogs), a film by Şerif Gören.

High-quality and well-produced films continued to grow in  number in 1987, with more emphasis being placed on good direction  rather than on stars. The trend of "cinema d'auteur" was  strengthened and revitalized with new directors. That year  another professional association was formed: the Professional  Union of Cinema Production (SESAM).


At the 13th Santarem Film Festival in Portugal, "Bir Avuç  Cennet" (A Taste of Paradise) won the Best Film Award together  with the Best Script Award. At the 44th Venice International Film  Festival, "Anayurt Oteli" (Anayurt Hotel) by Ömer Kavur shared  the International Cinema Writers' Federation Award (Fipresci)  with a film by Ermanno Olmi, "Lunga Vita alla Signora." "Anayurt  Oteli" also placed third at the Valencia Film Festival. It  was presented the Best Film Award at the 9th Nantes Three  Continents Film Festival where Macit Coper, acting in the leading  role, was presented the Best Actor Award. Zülfü Livaneli's  film "Yer Demir Gök Bakır" (Iron Earth, Copper Sky) won the  Christian Film Organization's Award.

In 1988, the Cinema Actors' Association (SODER) was  founded. During the 7th International Istanbul Cinema Days, the  Eczacıbaşı Foundation Award was presented to Tunç Başaran for his  film "Biri ve Diğerleri" (The One and the Others). The 1st  Ankara Film Festival was held and at a film contest staged  during this festival for the purpose of promoting the younger  generation of directors and producers, Orhan Oğuz's "Herşeye  Rağmen" (Despite Everything) was chosen the best film. At the  5th European Cinema Festival in Italy that year, this film was  considered the best in the category of "outstanding European  films chosen by the critics", and was also awarded the "Youth  Award" at the Cannes Film Festival. At the 36th San Sebastian  Film Festival, Yavuz Turgul's "Muhsin Bey" won the Special Jury  Award. At the 37th International Mannheim Film Festival in  Germany, the film "Herşeye Rağmen" (Despite Everything) won the  Grand Cash Prize. At the Amiens Film Festival in France, Hülya  Koçyiğit was chosen best actress for her role in  "Bez Bebek" (Rag Doll) by  Engin Ayça. Films by Yılmaz Güney and other Turkish films were  shown during Turkish Cinema Weeks in Paris and Ottawa.

In 1989, Tunç Başaran's film "Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar" (Don't  Let Them Shoot the Kite) won awards at the Cannes Film Festival,  and also at the Valencia Mediterranean Festival  placed second  and also received the International Cinema Clubs' Federation "Don  Quixote" award. Again at the Valencia Film Festival, Zülfü  Livaneli's film "Sis" (Fog) shared the "Golden Palm" award with  "Meeting Point" by Goran Markovich. At the Montpellier  Mediterranean Film Festival "Sis" also won the "Golden Antigone"  award. Yıldız Kenter won the Best Actress Award at the Bastia  Film Festival for her part in Halit Refiğ's film "Hanım" (The  Lady). At the Nantes Three Continents Film Festival, Reha Erdem's  film "A Ay" shared second place with a foreign film "Mali".  "Tarlabaşı, Tarlabaşı" won a special award presented by the Vaud Canton Architects' and Engineers' Chambers at Lausanne and Süha  Arın won a special jury award for his film "Dünya Durdukça"  (Forever).


In 1990, only 75 films were produced. Although there was a  notable decrease in the number of films produced , there was  however an increase in quality encouraged by the Ministry of  Culture which also organized a congress on "Turkish Cinema".

"Minyeli Abdullah" (Abdullah From Minye) by Yücel Çakmaklı  was an example of the increasingly popular films with Islamic themes. The  film set a new country-wide box-office record.

With the participation of 203 experts from the cinema,  press, universities and business circles, the Turkish Cinema and  Audiovisual Culture Foundation was established.

Some of the significant films of the year included:

"Aşk Filmlerinin Unutulmaz Yönetmeni" (The Unforgettable  Director of Love Films) by Yavuz Turgul, "Bekle Dedim Gölgeye" (I  asked the Shadow to Wait) by Atıf Yılmaz, "Benim Sinemalarım" (My  Cinemas) by Fürüzan and Gülsün Karamustafa, "Berdel" by Atıf  Yılmaz, "Camdan Kalp" (Heart of Glass) by Fehmi Yaşar, "Eskici  ve Oğulları" (The Junk Dealer and His Sons) by Şahin Gök, "Karartma Geceleri" (Blackouts) by Yusuf Kurçenli, "Piano Piano  Bacaksız"   (Piano Piano, Kid) by  Tunç Başaran, "Robert'in Filmi"  (Robert's Film) by Canan Gerede, "Soğuktu ve Yağmur Çiseliyordu"  (It was during a Cold and Rainy Time) by Engin Ayça and "Tatar Ramazan" by Melih Gülgen.

Films that won best film awards at film festivals  organized in Turkey in 1990:

The 3rd Ankara Film Festival: "Med Cezir Manzaraları" (Views of Tides) by Mahinur Ergün.  The 9th International Film Festival: "Karartma Geceleri"  (Blackouts) by Yusuf Kurçenli. The 27th Antalya Film Festival:  "Karılar Koğuşu" (Women's Ward) by Halit Refiğ. The 2nd  International İzmir Film Festival: Türkan Şoray and Halit Refiğ  shared the "Golden Artemis", the best film award.

In addition in 1990, "Karartma Geceleri"  shared the Special Jury  Award with "Moon in the Mirror" by  Chilian director Silvio  Caiozzi.

In 1991, 33 films were produced. For political reasons,  Kurdish epics were the themes dealt with in some films like  "Siyabend ile Heço" (Siyabend and Heço) by Şahin Gök, "Mem u Zın"  by Ümit Elçi, the first examples of their kind. Due to a lack of  financial resources, the Ankara Film Festival was not held  that year. At the Orleon Film Festival, a week was dedicated to  films in which Türkan Şoray played the leading roles.

Films that won best film awards at festivals  held in Turkey in 1991:

The 10th İstanbul International Film Festival: "Camdan  Kalp" (Heart of Glass) by Fehmi Yaşar. The 28th Antalya Film  Festival: "Gizli Yüz" (The Secret Face) by Ömer Kavur. The 3rd  İzmir Film Festival: "Gizli Yüz"

Turkish films that won awards at festivals held abroad in  1991:

 "Benim Sinemalarım" (My Cinemas) by Fürüzan and Gülsün  Karamustafa, won the "Special Crystal Simura Award " at the 9th  Tehran Film Festival.

 "Berdel" by Atıf Yılmaz, won the CICAE award at the 41st  International Berlin Film Festival, the Best Film Award at the  8th European Cinema Festival (Italy), the Best Film Award at the  12th Mediterranean Film Festival (Spain), and the "Global Media"  award presented by the Population Institute in New York.

"Camdan Kalp" (Heart of Glass) by Fehmi Yaşar, placed second both at the 13th Montpellier Mediterranean Film  Festival and the 9th Bergamo Film Festival in Italy. The film  also won the Georges Sadoul Best Foreign Film Award in Paris.

"Piano Piano Bacaksız" by Tunç Başaran shared the Best Film Award with a Swedish film, "Yeraltı Gizlilikleri" (Underground  Secrecy). The film also won the Best Film Award at the Canadian  International Children's and Youth Films Festival.

"Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar" (Don't Let Them Shoot the Kite) by Tunç Başaran, won a top award at the Lyon Children's Film  Festival in France.

"Gizli Yüz" (The Secret Face) by Ömer Kavur, won the CICAE  award at the Bastia Mediterranean Film Festival, and the Best  Film Award at the 20th Montreal New Cinema Festival.

In 1992, 38 films were produced out of which only 12 were  released.

"Mavi Sürgün" (Blue Exile) by Erden Kıral, supported by the  Ministry of Culture, and Eurimages, was the most expensive of all  Turkish films produced until that year.

The Adana Golden Cocoon Film festival was revived after a  long interval. The Yılmaz Güney Art Foundation was established.

Some of the notable films in 1992:

"Mavi Sürgün" (Blue Exile) by Erden Kıral, "Berlin in  Berlin" by Sinan Çetin, "Cazibe Hanımın Gündüz Düşleri" (The  Daydreams of Cazibe Hanım) by İrfan Tözüm, "Çıplak" (Naked) by  Ali Özgentürk, "Düş Gezginleri" (Dream Wanderers) by Atıf  Yılmaz, "İki Kadın" (Two Women) by Yavuz Özkan, "Gölge Oyunu" (Shadow Game) by Yavuz Turgul, "Zıkkımın Kökü" by Memduh Ün,  "Dönersen Islık Çal" (Whistle If You Come Back) by Orhan Oğuz.

Films that won best film awards at Turkish film festivals held  in 1992:

* The 4th Ankara Film Festival and the 11th International  İstanbul Film Festival: "Gizli Yüz" (The Secret Face) by Ömer  Kavur.

* The Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival: "Karartma Geceleri"  (Blackouts) by Yusuf Kurçenli.

* The 29th Antalya Film Festival: "Cazibe Hanımın Gündüz Düşleri"  (The Daydreams of Cazibe Hanım) by İrfan Tözüm.

At the 4th International İzmir Film Festival, Agah Özgüç  was presented with the "Golden Artemis" award for his books on  Turkish cinema.

Also in 1992, "Sürgün" (The Exile) by Mehmet Tanrısever,  ranked second both at the 45th Salerno Film Festival and at the 2nd  Tashkent Film Festival where Tanrısever was rated the "Best First Film Director."

At the 8th Bastia Mediterranean Cinema Festival, Türkan  Şoray won the Best Actress Award for her role in "Soğuktu ve  Yağmur Çiseliyordu." (It Was During a Cold and Rainy Time).

In  1993, 83 films were produced. The Ankara Art Foundation awarded  Agah Özgüç for his publications on cinema. The Cinema writers  Foundation (SİYAP), closed down after the 12 September 1980 coup,  was re-established. "Amerikalı" (American) by Şerif Gören, set a box office  record that year.

Some of the notable films in 1993:

"Yaz Yağmuru" (Summer Rain) by Tomris Giritlioğlu , "Ay  Vakti" by Mahinur Ergün, "Bir Sonbahar Hikayesi" (An Autumn  Story) by Yavuz Özkan, "Çözülmeler" (Dissolution) by Yusuf  Kurçenli, "Gece, Melek ve Bizim Çocuklar" (The Night, the Angel and Our Boys) by Atıf Yılmaz,  "Ağrı'ya Dönüş" (Return to Ağrı), "Şahmaran" by Zülfü Livaneli,  "Yalancı" (Liar)  by Osman Sınav, "Kız Kulesi Aşıkları" (Lovers of Leander's Tower) by İrfan  Tözüm, "Amerikalı" (American) by Şerif Gören.

Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in  Turkey in 1993:

The 12th International İstanbul Film Festival: "İki Kadın" (Two  Women) by Yavuz Özkan.

The 5th Ankara Film Festival: "Cazibe Hanımın Gündüz Düşleri"  (The Daydreams of Cazibe Hanım) by İrfan Tözüm.

The 7th Adana Film Festival: "Zıkkımın Kökü" by Memduh Ün.

The 30th Antalya Film Festival: "Mavi Sürgün" (Blue Exile) by  Erden Kıral.

In addition 1993, at the 5th İzmir International Film Festival, held in 1993, the "Golden Artemis" award  was presented to Bilge Olgaç.

Films that won awards at film festivals abroad in 1993:

Hülya Avşar won the Best Actress Award at the Moscow Film  Festival for her role in "Berlin in Berlin" by Sinan Çetin.

At the Alexandria Film Festival Yavuz Özkan won the Best Screen  Writer's Award and Serap Aksoy won the Best Actress Award for  the film "İki Kadın" (Two Women).

Memduh Ün won the Best Director Award at the Aslurias Film  Festival in Spain.

In 1994, Turkish cinema was experiencing difficulties  because  Turkish producers could barely find enough suitable cinemas to  screen films. Most of the films produced that year were designed  for television in preference to cinema. The IFSAK Cinema Award  was presented to the late Mahmut Tali Öngören that year. A "Cinema Days Week" was held in Manisa. Türkan Şoray was presented the  Kyrgyzstan International Aytmatov Club Award.

Furthermore in 1994,  "Bir Sonbahar Hikayesi" (An Autumn Story) by  Yavuz Özkan, was presented with best film awards both at the 6th  Ankara Film Festival and at the 13th İstanbul International Film  Festival.

The same year, at the 6th İzmir Film Festival, the "Golden  Artemis" award was presented to Nijat Özin for his books on  cinema.

In 1995 the down-trend in film production continued. Private  TV channels mainly included old Turkish films in their  programmes. A group of directors established the Turkish Cinema  Foundation, the first production of which was "On Yönetmen İki  Film" (Ten Directors, Two Films) based on ten short-subject film scenarios  on "love" and "tolerance".

Also in 1995, a private TV channel, Cine-5 organized a  short-subject film competition in which "Çöllerin Everllyn'i" (Everllyn of the Deserts) by Billur Karaevli, won the Best Film Award.

A "European Films Festival" was held in Ankara. Later   this festival was also held in four other cities.

The Ministry of Culture distributed the 1994 Cinema Merits  in  1995. The feature films "Babam Askerde" (Father is in the Army Now) by Handan  İpekçi, "Yengeç Sepeti" (Lobster Pot) by Yavuz Özkan, "C Block"  (Block C) and "İz"(Track) by Yeşim Ustaoğlu, and Nuri Bilge  Ceylan's short-subject film "Koza" (Cocoon) won the awards.

Films that won best film awards at Turkish film festivals in 1995:

The 7th Ankara International Film Festival: "Bir Aşk Uğruna" (For Love's Sake) by Tunca Yönder.

The 9th Adana Film Festival: "Soğuk Geceler" (Cold Nights) by  Kadir Sözen.

The 32nd Antalya Film Festival: "Böcek" (Bug) by Ümit Elçi.

At the 7th İzmir International Film Festival: On the occasion of the  celebration of "One Hundred Years of Cinema", the "Golden  Artemis" award was presented to Prof. Dr. Alim Şerif Onaran for  his essays on the theory of cinema, and to the director Ömer Lütfi Akad and actor Fikret Hakan for their contributions to Turkish cinema.

The drop in film production continued again. Out of 37  films produced in 1996, only 10 films were released for public  showing. Films produced in 1996 were mainly low-budget  productions designed for TV.

Nevertheless, the films "Eşkiya" (The Bandit), "İstanbul  Kanatlarımın Altında" (İstanbul under my Wings), "Işıklar Sönmesin" (Let There Be Light),  and "Mum Kokulu Kadınlar" (Women Smelling of Wax ), which were  released in 1996, all set box-office records. Furthermore, "Hamam" (Turkish Bath) and "Tabutta Röveşata" (Somersault in a Coffin) won successes at the international film festivals.

The most comprehensive promotion campaign for Turkish  cinema was launched in 1996. An exhibition of 110 Turkish films,  was staged  at the Georges Pompidou Cultural Centre in Paris between  April 17- October 14, 1996. Also during this festival, a book on  Turkish cinema edited by French writer Jean Loup Parsek and  Mehmet Basutçu, "Le Cinema Turc", including research by Turkish  writers, was featured.

The Habitat International Film Festival was held in  İstanbul between June 1-6 1996. Aiming to contribute to the aims  of the world series of Habitat II conferences, 80 films on the  theme of "city life, growth and development" were screened at the  festival.

Films that won best film awards at Turkish Film Festivals and  other contests in 1996:

* The 8th International Ankara Film Festival: "Düş, Gerçek, Bir de  Sinema" (Dream, Reality and Cinema) by Tülay Eratalay.

*The 33rd Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival: "Tabutta Röveşata"  (Somersault in a Coffin) by Derviş Zaim.

* The 10th Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival: "Sen de Gitme"  (Please Don't Go) by Tunç Başaran.

* The 15th International İstanbul Film Festival: "80. Adım" (The  80th Step) by Tomris Giritlioğlu.

*The Orhon Murat Arıburnu Award: "Soğuk Geceler" (Cold Nights)  by Kadir Sözen.

* SİYAD (Cinema Writers Association) 1995- 96 Award "Karanlık  Sular" (Dark Waters) by Kutluğ Ataman.

Actors presented best actor awards in 1996:

* The 8th International İzmir Film Festival: Şener Şen. Also at  this festival Nedim Otyam was presented with an  "honorary certificate".

* ÇASOD (Modern Cinema Actors and Actresses Association) Awards:  Menderes Samancılar for his role in "Soğuk Geceler" (Cold  Nights), Fikret Hakan for his role in "Gerilla" (The Guerrilla),  Ali Sürmeli for his roles in "Sokaktaki Adam" (The Man in the  Street) and "Düş, Gerçek Bir de Sinema" (Dream, Reality and  Cinema)

Awards won at foreign film festivals in 1996:

* The 6th Cologne Film Festival which especially featured Turkish  films "Aşk Ölümden Soğuktur" (Love is Colder than Death) by Canan  Gerede won the Best Film Award.

* The 2nd Sorrento Mediterranean Film Festival: "Zıkkımın Kökü" by  Memduh Ün was presented the Best Children's Film Award by  the United Nations Press Association.

* The Moscow Film Festival: a special jury award was presented to  Bennu Gerede for her role in "Aşk Ölümden Soğuktur" (Love is  Colder than Death).

* The 5th Icronos Archeology Films Festival: a special jury award  was presented to Dr. Şükrü Künüçen for his film "Midas".

During the last ten years of this period, the lowest  production was recorded in 1997 with only 20 films produced.  Nevertheless that year was considered as the most brilliant of  all, because films screened in 1997 won great box-office  successes and were very popular at international film  festivals.

"Eşkiya" (The Bandit), "Hamam" (Turkish Bath) and Tabutta  Röveşata" (Somersault in a Coffin) won international awards.

The most remarkable films of that year included "Akrebin  Yolculuğu" (Journey on the Clock-hand), "Dırejan", "Hamam" (Turkish Bath), "Masumiyet" (Innocence), "Mektup" (The Letter),  "Usta Beni Öldürsene" (Sawdust Tales), "Kuşatma Altında Aşk" (Love Under Siege), "Ağır Roman" and "Kasaba"  (The Town).

Notes from domestic and foreign activities in 1997:

* In April Turkey hosted the European Cinema Summit. The 48th  term meeting  of Eurimages, a special European support fund, was held in İstanbul.

* A "Europe Cooperative Production" deal aiming at getting more  support from Eurimages was signed by Turkey, in a programme supported by the of European  Council.

* The 3rd European Films Festival was held in Ankara, Gaziantep,  İzmir and Bursa.

*The First Exhibition of World Underwater Films was held in  İstanbul in December.

* The 1st International Black Sea Film Festival was held by  TÜRKSAK, and the First Environmental Films Festival in  Bodrum.

* The premiere of Yusuf Kurçenli's documentary "Antika Talanı" (The Plundering of Antiquities) was  held at the Çankaya Palace. This film was later screened in  several documentary film festivals.

*  The Documentary Film Makers' Association was established.

* "Eşkiya" (The Bandit), "Dırejan", "Akrebin Yolculuğu" (Journey  on the Clock-hand), "Masumiyet" (Innocence), "Işıklar Sönmesin"  (Let There Be Light), "Sen de Gitme" (Please Don't Go) "Tabutta  Röveşata" (Somersault in a Coffin) and "Usta Beni Öldürsene" (Sawdust Tales) were  shown at the 5th London Turkish Films Festival. * "Akrebin Yolculuğu" (Journey on the Clock-hand) by Ömer Kavur  was the "opening film" at the 19th Nantes Three Continents Film  Festival.

* A special part at the 38th Salonica Film Festival was dedicated  to director Ömer Kavur. His films, "Akrebin Yolculuğu" (Journey  on the Clock-hand), "Gizli Yüz" (The Secret Face), "Anayurt  Oteli" (Anayurt Hotel) were screened at the festival.

Films that won best film awards at Turkish film festivals and  other film contests held in 1997:

* The 34th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival: "Hamam" (Turkish  Bath) by Ferzan Özpetek.

* The 11th Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival: "Masumiyet"  (Innocence) by Zeki Demirkubuz.

* The 9th Ankara Film Festival, and Orhon Murat Arıburnu Award:  "Sen de Gitme" (Please Don't Go) by Tunç Başaran.

* The 16th İstanbul Film Festival: "Akrebin Yolculuğu" (Journey  on the Clock-hand) by Ömer Kavur. Also at that festival, a  special jury award was presented to "Tabutta Röveşata" (Somersault in  a Coffin).

*  SİYAD (the Cinema Writers' Association) Award: "Eşkiya" (The Bandit)  by Yavuz Turgul.

*  The International Cinema Critics' Award: "Tabutta Röveşata"  (Somersault in a Coffin).


The same year Halil Ergün, Selma Güneri and Yasemin Alkaya  were presented best acting awards by ÇASOD (Modern Actors  and Actresses Association).

The writer Giovanni Scognamillo was presented  the Golden  Artemis Award at the 9th International İzmir Film Festival.

Awards won abroad:

* The 13th International Alexandria Film Festival: a special jury  award for "Sen de Gitme" (Please Don't Go) by Tunç Başaran. The Best  Actress Award: Işık Yenersu for her role in the same film.

"Tabutta Röveşata" (Somersault in a Coffin) by Derviş Zaim, won :   

* The 19th International Mediterranean Film Festival  (Montpellier, France): The Special Cinema Critics'  "Mediterranean Award" together with a  special jury award.

* The 17th International Amiens Film Festival: a special jury  award in the Asian films category.

* The 15th Torino Film Festival: Special Jury and Audience  Popularity Awards.

* The Salonica Film Festival in Greece: "The Silver Alexander"  award, and the Best Actor Award for Ahmet Uğurlu.

This film was also shown at the Toronto Film Festival in Italy  and at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.

"Hamam" (Turkish Bath) by Ferzan Özpetek :

* chosen the best film by Italian cinema critics at the Cannes  Film Festival.

*  won the "Golden Globe" award, presented by the foreign press in  Italy, best film and best music categories.

*  Best Film Award by the Italian newspaper Nazionele.

* "Golden Rose" award at the Roseto Teramo first films festival  in Italy.

* "Silver Star" award by Mercedes Benz.

* based on the votes of the cinema-going public the Best Film  Award at the 18th Valencia Film Festival.

* a special award by the national syndicate of Italian cinema  artists.

* Best Production Award by the Italian monthly cinema magazine,  "Set".

* recognition and box-office successes in 20 countries  including Britain, France and Sweden.

"Eşkiya" (The Bandit):

* Best Actor Award at the 18th Valencia Film Festival in Spain.

* the 13th Mediterranean Culture and Cinema Festival: chosen as  the best film by critics from Corsica.

* box office successes in Germany and Austria.

Some of the Notable Films in 1998

Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 1998

* Yara (The Wound) directed by Murat Karlıoğlu received the best film award at the 35th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

* Masumiyet (Innocence) directed by Zeki Demirkubuz was presented the Eczacıbaşı Foundation Best Turkish film award at the 17th Istanbul Film Festival.

* "Usta Beni Öldürsene" (Sawdust Tales), directed by Barış Pirhasan, received "The Best Film Award" at the 10th Ankara International Film.

* Masumiyet" (Innocence), directed by Zeki Demirkubuz, as awarded the "Special Jury Prize" at the 10th Ankara Film Festival.

* "Kasaba" (The Small Town), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, received the "Special Jury Prize" and the "FIPRESCI/Onat Kutlar Prize" at the 17th Istanbul International Film Festival.

* "Hollywood Kaçaklar" (Hollywood Runaways), directed by Muammer Özer, was presented the "Youth Jury Award" at the 2nd International Bodrum Environmental Film Festival.

The following films won awards at film festivals abroad in 1998:

* "Masumiyet" (Innocence) was presented "The Best Film Award" at the 10th International Angers Film Festival in France in January and Haluk Bilginer (Masumiyet) received the Best Actor Award at the same festival.

* "Kasaba" (The Smal Town) received the "Tokyo Silver Prize" at the Tokyo Film Festival in November and "Special Jury Prize" at the Nantes Film Festival in France.

* Tabutta Rövaşata" (Somersault in a Coffin), directed by Derviş Zaim, received "The Best Film Award" (Skyy Prize) at  the San Francisco Film Festival.

Some of the Notable Films in 1999

Films that won awards at film festivals abroad in 1999.

* Türkan Şoray received the Grand Prize at the Rome Film Festival.

* "Kasaba" (The Small Town), which was the first film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and was highly acclaimed, was presented the "Jury Special Award" and "The Technical Assistance Prize" amounting to $ 4000 at the Angers Film Festival held in France. It also received the Caligari Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

* "Lola ve Bilidikid" (Lola and Bilidikid), directed by Kutluğ Ataman, was awarded with the Audience Grand Prize in the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Oslo. In addition, it received the First Prize at the New Fest Festival held in New York.

* "Güneşe Yolculuk" (Journey to the Sun), directed by Yeşim Ustaoğlu, received the Special Jury Prize at the 44th International Film Festival. In addition, it was presented the John Templeton European Film Award.

* "Propaganda", directed by Sinan Çetin, received the Golden Cup (Best Film) at the 4th Shanghai International Film Festival, the Silver Palm Award (Best Second Film) at the 20th Mostra Film Festival in Spain, the Audience Award at the 19th Amiens   International Film Festival  in France, the Golden Olive (Best Film), the Critics' Award, the Music and Sound Award and the Young Jury Award at the 15th Mediterranean Film Festival in Bastia, Corsica.

Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 1999

* Salkım Hanım'ın Taneleri (Miss Salkım's Jewels) directed by Tomris Giritlioğlu received the Best Film Award at the 36th Antalya Golden Orange Festival.

* Güneş'e Yolculuk (Journey to the Sun) directed by Yeşim Ustaoğlu received the FIPRESCI award and the Eczacıbaşı Foundation Best TurkishFilm award at the 18th Istanbul Film Festival.

Some of the Notable Films in 2000

Films that won wards at film festivals abroad in 2000

* Lucia Bose received an award for the Best Leading Female Role in Harem Suare, directed by Ferzan Özpetek, while Pasquale Mari received an award for the Best Cinematography at the 20th Golden Globe Film Festival held in Rome in June.

* "Clouds of May" (Mayıs Sıkıntısı), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, received the Best Second Film, Best Editing and Best Leading Male Role (Mehmet Emin Ceylan) Awards at the Alexandria Film Festival in Egypt. In addition, the same movie was awarded the Grand Prize at the Brussels Mediterranean film Festival and the Don Quixote Prize at the Forum de Cinema European in Strasbourg. "Clouds of May" also recived the FIPRESCI Critics Award organized by the European Film Academy in Paris and the Silver Rosa Camuna Award at the Bergamo International Film Festival.

* The documentary titled "In Pursuit of Lost Time" directed by Özcan Arca was presented "the Best Excavation Film" award at the Icronos Archeology Film Festival in Bordeaux, France.

* "Exile in Büyükada", directed by Turan Yavuz, the documentary which relates the life of Leon Trotsky during his exile in Istanbul, was presented the Best Film Award at the Milan International Film Festival in Italy.

* Üçüncü Sayfa (The Third Page) directed by Zeki Demirkubuz received the Best Scenario Award at the International Film Festival held in Tbilisi, Georgia. In addition, the first two works of his uncompleted trilogy “Tales about Darkness,” Yazgı (Fate) and İtiraf (Confession) were shown at a number of international festivals, where they received high acclaims.

Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 2000:

* Güle Güle (Bye, Bye) directed by Zeki Ökten received the best film award at the 37th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

* Mayıs Sıkıntısı (Clouds of May) directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan received the Best International Film award at the 19th Istanbul Film Festival and the Best Film award at the 12th Ankara International Film Festival.

* Üçüncü Sayfa (The Third Page) directed by Zeki Demirkubuz was chosen as the Best National Film at the 19th Istanbul Film Festival.

 Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 2001

* Büyük Adam Küçük Aşk (Big Man Little Love) directed by Handan İpekçi received the Best Film Award at the 38th Antalya Golden Orange Festival.

* Dar Alanda Kısa Paslaşmalar (Offside) directed by Serdar Akar and Herkes Kendi Evinde (Away From Home) directed by Semih Kaplanoglu received the Best     Film Award at the 20th İstanbul Film Festival.

* Herkes Kendi Evinde (Away From Home) directed by Semih Kaplanoglu received the  Best Film  Award at the 13th Ankara Film Festival.

*  Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 2002

* 9 directed by Ümit Ünal received the Best Film Award in the National Competition of the 21st Istanbul Film Festival. The festival's top prize, “The   Golden Tulip” went to "Magonia" by the Dutch director Ineke Smits. The festival honored Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, by resenting him with a special award. The festival committee also presented an honorary award to British director Stephen Frears.

* Uzak (Distant) directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan received the Best Film Award at the 14th Ankara Film Festival.

* Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Uzak (Distant) also received the Best Film Award at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

Films that won best film awards at film festivals held in Turkey in 2003

* The Best Turkish Film Award of the Year was presented to the film “UZAK” directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The same movie received the FIPRESCI AWARD at the National Competition.

In addition, The 1st Greek Cinema Days was held in Istanbul on May 5-8. The festival was organized by the Greek Consulate General in Istanbul and the Greek Cinema Center (EKK) with contributions from the Borusan Cultural and Art Center. Within the framework of the festival, 13 films from Greek cinema were shown.

Films that won best film awards at international film festivals in 2003

* Uzak was nominated for the “Golden Palm” at the Cannes Film Festival and received the Jury’s Grand Prize. In addition, Muzaffer Ozdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak received selected the Best Actor Awards.

* The film “The Window Across” (Karşıdaki Pencere) directed by Ferzan Özpetek won the David Di Donatello award, the most prestigious film award in Italy. “Karşıdaki Pencere” was chosen the best movie.


For many years, the Turkish film industry lacked the  necessary organization and legal support needed to compete  internationally. Poor technology meant that the industry also  failed to meet international film industry standards.  During the 1914-1939 period, only two cinema studios were  active in production, and the number of films produced, exclusive  of short-subject films and documentaries, barely reached 23. In the 1940s, five other film studios joined the market, and in 1949,  the number of films produced grew to 19.

Towards the end of the 1950s, 16 more new studios and film  laboratories were opened and by the 1960s, expansion really  gained impetus. In the 1970s this expansion reached inflationary  proportions with corresponding negative effects. In 1980, the  number of films produced suddenly dropped to 68, but rose again  towards the end of the 1980s.

The decrease in the number of films produced also continued  into the 1990s. Although 311 films were produced between 1990  and 1996 only 74 of them were actually screened.  In spite of this decrease, it is pleasing to note that  Turkish films have nevertheless reached new levels from the  technical standpoint and in recent years, Turkish films have  achieved a record in audience ratings and have been able to  compete with European and American films.

In 1990, Turkey became a member of the European Support Fund (EURIMAGES) established for the joint production and  distribution of Cinematographic Audiovisual Works of Art. It is  evident that this membership has made a great contribution to  efforts by the Turkish film industry to reach international  audiences. It is noteworthy that most of the films produced in  recent years, and that especially such films as "Eşkiya" (The  Bandit) , "İstanbul Kanatlarımın Altında" (İstanbul Under My Wings) and "Hamam" (Turkish Bath), joint  productions supported by Eurimages, were received with great  interest both at home and abroad.

As Turkish films began to make an impression in international  markets and began to win awards with realistic and better quality  films, so the industry began to win back its old audiences. As a  result, not only did the number of cinema-goers begin to  increase, but so did investment and state interest.

State interest was particularly evident when the new 1986  laws on cinema, video and music went into effect along with  special funds to support the arts- but this time especially  cinema and music.

Serious government interest and support were also evident in  low interest rates on loans and easier terms for investment  together with the financial help given to artists and film  companies experiencing difficulties. Furthermore, the Culture  Ministry established a Turkish Film Unit to support Turkish  cinema as it opened up to the world. The Culture Ministry also  allocated  funds to produce films and selected projects, and to solve infrastructural problems. The Cinema Council, which  was created in 1990, viewed the cinema as a branch of the  industrial sectors, and negotiated a new tax deal especially for  film companies. Other aspects that were given new importance  included a better deal for those employed in the cinema industry,  which involved a new law and later, new incentives for opening  bigger and better cinemas throughout the country.

The most important development in the field of cinema industry in the last two years, was the approval by the Turkish Parliament of amendments in the Law on Intellectual Property Rights. According to the new Law, using other works of art to create a new work in such fields as music, science, literature and fine arts with the expection of educational pursuits, is subjected to the permission of the creators of those works of art. It is compulsory to put bandroles on the audio or visual material upon which the literal and artistic works are recorded. The Law foresees that people who change a work of art without the permision of the artist will be sentenced to stiff prison terms the maximum being six years and given a fine of TL150 billion. Radio and television broadcasters must obtain the written permission of artists before broadcasting their works. The amendment was approved by the Turkish Parliament on February 21, 2001 and was published in the Official Gazette on March 3, 2001.


In addition to the amendment in the Law on Intellectual Property Rights, another significant development was Turkey's Term Chairmanship of "Eureka Audiovisual" in 2000. Audiovisual Eureka is a pan-European intergovernmental organization which has 35 member countries and the European Commission and the Council of Europe  as associate members. The main task of Audiovisual Eureka is to provide professionals from the region with tools for better access to the European audiovisual market and with a set of common rules that are available to all. It provides know-how and expertise on best European practices; in addition to sharing skills and knowledge through the setting up of concrete projects; and progressive integration into existing European networks. The organization held three meetings in Turkey in 2000. A delegation chaired by Culture Ministry Undersecretary Fikret Uçcan represented Turkey as the Term Chairman of the organization at January 20 meeting in Brussels. The final important development pertaining to the cinema sector in Turkey was the construction of a 3-D Imax cinema hall in Ankara in 2000. Only 24 large cities throughout the world have Imax halls.

Cinema Departments in Turkish Universities

In order to view cinema from the scientific standpoint and  provide education in this area, "cinema" departments at  universities in various cities had been opened during the past  decade and many faculties have begun to include cinema in their curricula  in recent years.

  1. Akdeniz University, School of Communications
    Cinema- TV  Department ......... Antalya
    Web site:
  2. Anadolu University, School of Communications
    Cinema- TV  Department ......... Eskişehir
    Web site:
  3. Ankara University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ........ Ankara
    Web site:
  4. Atatürk University, School of Communications
    Cinema- TV  Department ......... Erzurum
    Web site:
  5. Bahçeşehir University, School of Communications
    Cinema- TV  Department ......... İstanbul
    Web site:
  6. Beykent University, School of Fine Arts
    Cinema-TV Department ........ İstanbul
    Web site:
  7. Dokuz Eylül University, School of Fine Arts
    Cinema-TV Department ........ İzmir
    Web site:
  8. Ege University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ........ İzmir
    Web site:
  9. Erciyes University, School of Fine Arts
    Cinema-TV Department ....... Kayseri
    Web site:
  10. Fırat University, School of Communications
    Cinema-TV Department ........ Elazığ
    Web site:
  11. Galatasaray University, School of Communications
    Cinema-TV Department ........ İstanbul
    Web site:
  12. Gazi University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... Ankara
    Web site:
  13. İstanbul Bilgi University, School of Communications
    Cinema-TV Department
    Web site:
  14. İstanbul University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... İstanbul
    Web site:
  15. Kocaeli University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... Kocaeli
    Web site:
  16. Maltepe University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV, Cinema and Visual Arts Department ....... İstanbul
    Web site:
  17. Marmara University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... İstanbul
    Web site:
  18. Mimar Sinan University, School of Fine Arts
    Cinema-TV Department ....... İstanbul
    Web site:
  19. Mersin University, School of Fine Arts
    Cinema-TV Department ....... Mersin
    Web site:
  20. Selçuk University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... Konya
    Web site:
  21. Yeditepe University, School of Communications
    Radio, TV and Cinema Department ....... İstanbul
    Web site:

Boards, foundations and societies working within the  framework of the cinema industry:

ÇASOD: Contemporary Cinema Actors' Association

Address: İstiklal Cad. Atlas Sineması Pasajı C Blok K:3 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 251 97 75- 293 07 11

Web site:

SESAM: Union of Professional Owners of Cinema Works

(Film Producers, Importers, Cinema Artists)

Address: İstiklal Cad. Emek Pasajı No: 122/4 A Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 245 46 45-252 29 37

Fİ-YAP: Association of Film Producers

Address: Gazeteci Erol Dernek Sokak Erman Han No:5/10 Beyoğlu/İst.

Phone: (212) 249 78 57

SED: Cinema Workers' Association

Address: Hasnun Galip Sokak İçel İşhanı Katip Mustafa Çelik Mah. Taksim/İstanbul                                  

Phone: (212) 252 81 31

SİNESEN: Cinema Workers' Union

Address: Gazeteci Erol Dernek Sokak No:10 /8 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

SİYAD: Cinema Writers' Association

Address: Gazeteci Erol Dernek Sokak No:7 /1 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 251 56 47-251 63 24

TÜRKSAK: Turkish Cinema and Audiovisual Cultural Foundation

Address: Gazeteci Erol Dernek Sokak No:11 /2 Hanifhan Beyoğlu/İst.

Phone: (212) 244 52 51-251 67 70

İstanbul Culture and Art Foundation (Istanbul Film  Festival)

Address: İstiklal Cad. Luvr Apt. No: 146 80070 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 293 31 33

Web site:

World Mass Communications Foundation (Ankara Film Festival)

Address: Farabi Sok. 29/1 06690 Çankaya/Ankara

Phone: (312) 468 77 45-468 38 92

Web site:

SODER: Cinema Actors' Association

Address: İstiklal Cad. Atlas Sineması Pasajı No: 209/1 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 293 03 03

Web site:

FİLM-YÖN: Film Directors' Association

Address: İstiklal Cad. Atlas Sineması Pasajı C Blok K:2 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 293 90 01-02

FİLM-SAN: Foundation For Supporting Film Industry Artists

Address: Yeşilcam Sok. Hüseyinağa Mah. Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Phone: (212) 244 08 16-251 00 70

Activities in 2003

The premier of the movie, the ''Hittites'', filmed by director Tolga Örnek in Turkey, Egypt and Syria over a period of three years, took place on May 8 at the Lütfi Kırdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall in Istanbul. Örnek is known for his documentary films, ''Atatürk'' and ''Nemrut: The Throne of the Gods”. One of the actors in the movie Haluk Bilginer said, ''it was a good project. The Hittite civilization which flourished on these lands was of utmost importance. It is the first work of art filmed about the Hittites. I hope it is not the last.'' The film was shot in 40 different spots in Anatolia, in addition to Egypt and Syria. The actor, Jeremy Irons, an Oscar recipient narrated the English version of the movie. The musical score was composed by Tamer Çıray and performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Turkish movies have been shown at various festivals in India, Iran, the US, Kyrgyzstan and Japan. Several Turkish films such as Melekler Evi, Kaç Para Kaç, Oyunbozan, Propaganda and Güle Güle were presented at a festival of Turkish films in Madras, India. Another film festival took place in Iran, and fifteen Turkish films and eight documentaries were screened in August 2003 in Tehran. The movie "Piano Piano Bacaksız" was shown at a festival held in New York between September 10 and October 31. Meanwhile, in Japan, ten Turkish films were shown within the framework of Turkey Year in Japan.

The film of the famous Turkish director Ferzan Özpetek, ''The Window Opposite'', was presented with four awards distributed by Italy’s Ciak Movie Magazine on June 4. The film was chosen the best film. Meanwhile, Andrea Guerra received the best music award, Giovanna Mezzogiorno was presented the best actress award and Serra Yılmaz was presented the best supporting actress award. The film "Karşı Pencere/The Window Opposite” also received three awards at the “Silver Ribbon” festival in Italy. The film was nominated in nine categories. The award ceremony was held in Taormina, Italy on June 14. The film received awards in the Best Actress, Best Theme and Best Song categories. The Best Film award was given to "Io non ho paura" directed by Gabriele Salvatores. “The Window Opposite” was shown in Italian movie theatres for nearly 18 weeks and had received many awards in 10 different film festivals in Italy. The film ''The Window Opposite'' was also presented three awards including the best film award and the best director award at the 38th Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

The film, ''Uzak'' (Distant) directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan received the Grand Prize at the 56th Cannes Film Festival on May 25. The actors in the film, Muzaffer Özdemir and the late Mehmet Emin Toprak, were chosen the best actor award. In the film, they played the two cousins, both lonely and alienated, but unable to become friends. Nuri Bilge Ceylan cast two non-professional actors to star in the film. Toprak, who was his cousin, died in a car crash in December just after learning that the film has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival. The film is about a man who is unemployed and lives in the countryside. He irritates his sophisticated city cousin by moving into his apartment. The 5th New York Film Festival organized by the "Moon and Stars Project" institution opened with Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film "Uzak" on October 18. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's movie received the "Grand Prix de Jury" and "Best Actor" awards at the Cannes film festival. After the presentation of "Uzak", Ceylan answered questions posed by the guests. The 5th New York Film Festival ended on October 26 and during this time 12 full-length films, three documentaries, and four short-films were shown. The festival ended with Paxron Winters' movie "Crude".

Film Director Derviş Zaim has won the 'UNESCO 2003' prize at the 60th Venice Film Festival with his third movie ''Çamur” (Mud). The movie was entered in the competition for the best movie, best director, best actor and best actress awards. The film, which explains the Cyprus issue from a different perspective and relates a life of tolerance on the island, won the prize because of the peaceful messages it has imparted.

Hasan Şerefli won an Emmy award at the 24th Emmy Awards event. Şerefli won the award in the research category for his documentary film "Kids Behind Bars." Şerefli said on September 16, that the Turkey part of the film was shot in the Keçiören Reformatory. Şerefli said that he did not attend the ceremony because he did not believe his film would win an award. ''The film, which was shot in the US, Mongolia, Georgia, India, the Philippines and Turkey, shows the conditions of reformatories in all of these countries. It relates the reactions of children and how the world is seen from a child's point of view, the conditions they live, how the state helps and the difficulties they are faced with in adapting to social life after coming out of the reformatory. Noting that the conditions in reformatories all over the world were very bad, Şerefli said that according to the results of his research, Turkey was given as an example of the most liberal country in such basic issues as the management of reformatories.

On October 5, the winning directors and actors received their prizes at the 40th Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) Film Festival awards ceremony in Antalya. Ömer Kavur received the Best Director award for “Karşılaşma” (Encounter) while, the director of “Metropol Kabusu” (Metropolitan Nightmare) Ümit Cin Güven was presented the Special Jury Prize. Meltem Cumbul was named Best Actress for her performance in “Abdülhamit Düşerken” (The Fall of Abdülhamit) while Tarık Akan won the Best Actor award for his role in “Gülüm” (My Rose).

The film star, Derya Arbaş, has died in Los Angeles of a heart attack. She starred in many films including the “White Bicycle” (Beyaz Bisiklet), “Night, Angle and Our Children” (Gece, Melek ve Bizim Çocuklar) and many others.

A total of six thousand people have watched the films presented during the 9th European Films Festival which took placed in the eastern province of Kars. On October 27, the curator of the Kars Municipal Culture and Art Center Israfil Parlak said that the four-day festival in which short-feature films were shown, attracted great attention. The festival ended on October 28 with ''Man on the Train'' by Patrice Leconte, ''Umut'' (Hope) by Yılmaz Güney and ''A Bout de Souffle'' (Breathless) by Jean Luc Godard and also short films.

“The recent successes of Turkish films presented at international platforms are not just coincidental,” speakers said on October 29 at the panel held at the end of the Fifth New York Turkish Movies Week. The famous actress, Zuhal Olcay, who played roles in "Salkım Hanımın Taneleri" and "Hiçbir Yerde," the director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, the producer Zeynep Özbatur, American actor David Connoly and director Yusuf Kurçenli attended the panel discussion held in the Film Anthology Archives building. The panelists stressed that the new generation attach considerable importance to the cinema but complained about the effect of Hollywood films in Turkey.

The Culture and Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu has prepared commercials which have been shown in many foreign countries. The commercials won an award at the Sixth International Tourism Film Festival in Poland. At the festival in Ponzo, 32 commercials were shown in the four separate categories. Turkey won the grand award in the "Commercial Films and Commercial Spots" category and Egypt was second.

The Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK), the initiator of a number of activities in Turkey and abroad, has held the sixth annual "International Meeting of Cinema & History." The theme of this year's festival was "Dialogue Between Civilizations and Human Rights." The festival, which was sponsored by Metro Group Turkey, the Prime Ministry’s Promotion Fund and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, took place between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 in Istanbul. This year at the festival, which was also supported by the European Union Commission under the auspices of the "2003 Mosaic Year Program," 85 films were shown in nine categories. In addition, the festival included a rich program of panels and exhibitions. The main goal of the "Meeting of International Cinema and History" was to enable people to think about the contribution made by the Anatolian civilizations and philosophy to international peace in the multi-cultured environment of Europe.

The 15th Ankara International Film Festival was held between December 18-28. The Selection Committee of the National Short-Film Competition, met on December 20, 2003. After having been presented the information furnished by Selda Salman, the committee elected Leyla Özalp President. It was decided that the films should be evaluated after every meeting and that the final decision be given after all films have been viewed. Following an evaluation meeting on 21st December, the jury, whose members are Leyla Özalp, Mehmet Acar, Levent Cantek, and Deniz Yavuz, chose the following films for awards. “Prag’a Ne Dersin” (What Would You Say to Prague?) by Tan Tolga Demirci was chosen the best film of the year, while Ahmet Çakmut’s “O Gün Gelecek mi?” (Will That Day Come?) was chosen the second best film and the film “An” by Aydın Ketendağ the third best film.

Activities in 2004

The Akün Stage, which has been converted into a theater from a cinema, opened its doors to theatre-enthusiasts on April 13, 2004. Under the new arrangement, Akün now has a seating capacity of 600 seats. The 17-meter long stage can also be used for orchestral concerts. The four-level stage and seating system allows for the addition or removal of seats. The hall hosted the Istanbul State Theater on April 13. Many famous stage actors and actresses performed in the gala such as Macit Sonkan, Müge Arıcılar, Güneş Hayat, Özgür Erkekli, Ismail Hakkı Sunat, Murat Karasu, Gülen Çehreli and Merih Atalay. Maksim Gorki's play "Ayaktakımı Arasında" (Among the Mob) directed by Mustafa Avkıran was staged.

Portugal’s Film Week began on April 29, 2004 when cinema fans in Ankara and Istanbul enjoyed 14 days of selected Portuguese films. Nine movies made by nine famous Portuguese directors were screened for film enthusiasts. This festival held for the first time was sponsored by the Portuguese Embassy, the Ankara Cinema Club Association and BankEuropa. The main goal of the festival was to introduce Portuguese films to Turks by showing the films of young and senior directors. The movies had both Turkish and English subtitles. The films were screened at the Ankapol Cinema in Ankara between April 29-May 6. The same program was featured again at Istanbul's Alkazar Cinema from May 14-16.


Istanbul’s Bilgi University and the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation presented the Cinema and Human Rights Film Days, which consisted of feature and documentary films and panel discussions. The program began in Kars on April 29, 2004 and then continued in Diyarbakır, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya and Trabzon. People around the world face a wide range of problems that prevent them from fully enjoying their human rights. In almost every country, steps have been taken to protect, promote and show respect for human rights. Cinema is one of the most powerful art for conveying the message of the universality and importance of human rights. Cinema, like human rights, uses a universal language that can easily be understood all around the world. It mirrors a wide range of lifestyles, problems and possible solutions from different regions of the world. It unites people just as human rights do.

Roby Lakatos and his group performed on May 7, 2004 at the Bilkent Concert Hall in Ankara with the support of İş Yatırım and İş Sanat. Famous gypsy violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos and his group arrived in Turkey as part of a tour to promote their CD, "As Time Goes By" a compilation of movie soundtracks. They perform the soundtracks of movies like "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Once Upon a Time America" which are among the most popular movies in cinema history. Lakatos' violin style is compared with that of Stephane Grapelli. He has received the admiration of violinists such as Vadim Repin and Yehudi Menuhin. He is described as being "the deceitful of the devil" being a gypsy genius, classical virtuoso, jazz musician, and a talented composer.

The 10 best Turkish films which were chosen following a survey conducted by Ankara’s Cinema Club last year were shown at the 39th Karlovy Vary Film Festival between July 2-10, 2004. According to the survey, Şerif Gören's "Yol" (1982), Yılmaz Güney's "Umut" (1970), Zeki Ökten's "Sürü" (1979), Yavuz Tuğrul's "Muhsin Bey" (1987), Zeki Demirkubuz's "Masumiyet" (1997), Atıf Yılmaz's "Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım" (1977), Ömer Kavur's "Anayurt Oteli" (1986), Metin Erksan's "Susuz Yaz" (1964), Lütfi Akad's "Gelin" (1973) and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Uzak" (2002) are the best 10 films in Turkish Cinema History.

The project "The Best 10 Turkish Films" has been carried out by Ankara’s Cinema Club with contributions made by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, and Kodak and Fono Film. While the Culture and Tourism Ministry extended financial support for the project. Kodak supplied the film and Fono film made the copies. An English brochure and posters have been prepared for promotion purpose.

'Ten Best Turkish Films'' have been shown in festivals in Europe. Earlier, the Ankara Association of the Cinema conducted a public survey in order to choose the ten best Turkish films. According to the survey, Şerif Gören’s ''Yol (Road)'', Metin Erksan’s ''Susuz Yaz (Dry Summer)'', Atıf Yılmaz’s ''Selvi Boylum, Al Yazmalım (the Girl with the Red Scarf)'', Zeki Ökten’s ''Sürü (the Herd)'', Ömer Kavur’s ''Anayurt Oteli (Anayurt Hotel)'', Lütfi Akad’s ''Gelin (the Bride)'', Yılmaz Güney’s ''Umut (Hope)'', Yavuz Turgul’s ''Muhsin Bey (Mr. Muhsin)'', Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ''Uzak (Distant)'' and Zeki Demirkubuz’s ''Masumiyet (Innocence)'' were chosen as the ten best Turkish films. English subtitles of the films were prepared with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Fono Film and Kodak. The films were first shown at the Karlovy Vary Festival and then in the Film by the Sea Festival in The Netherlands. Kavur was invited to The Netherlands. The films were also shown at the Hamburg Film Festival between September 23-30, 2004.

The 41st Antalya ''Golden Orange'' Film Festival, the most prominent cultural activity of the Turkish motion picture industry, was held between October 3-9, 2004. The 41st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival ended on October 10 with an award ceremony. ''Yazı Tura (Heads or Tails)'' of Uğur Yücel was chosen as the best long-feature film of the year.

The award winners of the festival are as follows:

  • Best Picture: Yazı Tura
  • Best Director: Uğur Yücel (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Actor: Olgun Şimşek (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Actress: Tulin Ozen (Melegin Dususu=Fall of Angel)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Bahri Beyat (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Eli Mango (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Original Screenplay: Uğur Yücel (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Costume Design: Ozdem Atli and Gulay Dogan (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Sound Effects Editing: Ismail Karadaş (Meleğin Düşüşü)
  • Best Make-Up: Sevinç Ucar (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Film Editing: Uğur Yücel and Valdis Oskardottir (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Original Song: Mor ve Otesi (Mustafa Hakkında Herşey=All About Mustafa)
  • Best Art Director: Erkan Ogur (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Picture Music: Erkan Ogur (Yazı Tura)
  • Best Cinematography: Eyup Boz (Meleğin Düşüşü)
  • Behlul Dal Jury Award: Mustafa Hakkında Hersey of Çağan Irmak
  • Dr. Avni Tolunay Jury Special Award: Melegin Dususu of Semih Kaplanoğlu
  • People's Jury Award: Hayal Kurma Oyunları (Dreaming Games) of Yavuz Özkan  

Turkey, which is a perfect place for filming thanks to its natural and historical riches, is opening its doors to Hollywood, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry said on October 8, 2004. The Ministry hosted 12 people from the US movie world in order to draw the interest of Hollywood to Turkey's natural and historical assets. John Milius, the director of ''Conan the Barbarian'' in which Arnold Schwarzenegger took the leading role; Mario Kassar, one of the producers of ''Terminator''; Bronwen Hughes, the director of ''Forces of Nature'' in which Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock acted; Deborah Kara Unger, who played in several films such as ''Thirteen'', ''Signs and Wonders'' and ''Crash'' were included in the group who have arrived from Hollywood to Turkey. The US moviemakers were briefed on the Turkish movie industry, new laws and regulations, and facilities and incentives for foreign moviemakers. Culture and Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu met the Hollywood moviemakers in Antalya in order to generate new projects. Abdurrahman Çelik, the Director General of Copyright Cinema, has said that they aim to promote Turkey in Hollywood and attract Hollywood investments in Turkey, adding that for these reasons, they have invited the US filmmakers to Turkey. Çelik noted that the guests would be encouraged to shoot films in Turkey. Çelik added that countries such as Egypt are no longer attractive for moviemakers and that now, there was great interest in Turkey. He continued: “There are very interesting scenarios in Anatolia, which are familiar to them, but as of yet they lack the courage to shoot a film in Turkey. But, I think this will change. If we can motivate them to shoot a film in Turkey, others will follow.'' The Representatives of the US movie world departed from Turkey on October 12, 2004. 

The Fifth International Izmir Short Film Festival was held between November 18-30, 2004. More than 400 films from 50 countries were shown at the festival. An exhibition was opened to display the photographs of 41 famous actresses of the Turkish cinema. Meanwhile, France was the honorary guest at this year's festival. The ''Golden Cat Awards'' was distributed during the festival.

The 12th London Turkish Film Festival was held between December 3-12, 2004. A number of Turkish films including ''Mustafa Hakkında Her Şey (Everything About Mustafa)'' directed by Çağan Irmak, ''Okul (School)'' directed by Yağmur and Durul Taylan, ''İnşaat (Construction)'' directed by Ömer Vargı, ''Bekleme Odası (Waiting Room)'' directed by Zeki Demirkubuz, and ''Neredesin Firuze (Where are you Firuze)'' directed by Ezel Akay were shown. An all day seminar on “New Turkish Cinema in Europe” was held as part of the Festival. Goldsmiths College also contributed to the Festival which gathered together the critics, film directors, academics, journalists and filmgoers. Other special events included two programs consisting of documentaries (Parallel Trips, Pyla - Living Together Separately and which Cyprus) a discussion on the divided Cyprus. There was a tribute to Fatih Akın featuring “Short Sharp Shock” (Kısa ve Acımasız), “In July” (Temmuzda) and “Solino.” There was also an exhibition “Fragments from the Past: The Cinema in the Lives of London's Turkish-speaking communities.” The festival is supported by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council, London Film Regional Investment Fund of England and the London Borough of Hackney Cultural Forum.

The 3rd Turkish Films Week will be held in Berlin, Germany between April 3-9, 2005. Chairman of the Organizing Committee Selçuk Sazak said: “Turkish films were shown at the Zoo Palast cinema last year. This year, films will be shown at the Urania Halls,” adding: “Germans displayed great interest in Turkish films last year. Thus, all of the films will have German subtitles. The week will begin with the film 'Tell Istanbul'.” Sazak said: “Turkish and German short films will be shown throughout the week. In addition, symposiums will be held.”

The famous Turkish director Tolga Örnek -- who also directed the documentaries, “Atatürk,” “Nemrut,” and the “Hittites,” -- is preparing to present his latest documentary on Gallipoli on March 18, the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale. In a written press statement released on February 17, Örnek said that the documentary tells the story of the world's second largest military landing with an objective approach. The movie is based on historical letters, documents and photographs, which have never been seen before. The documentary took six years to complete and researchers searched more than 70 private or public archives belonging to Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. Sixteen Çanakkale experts from various countries also contributed to the documentary. The British Imperial War Museum, the Australian War Museum, the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and the Turkish Military Museums also supported the documentary, which not only represents historical records, but also tells a story in the genre of cinematography. The documentary is narrated by Jeremy Irons and Sam Neil. Irons will also attend the gala of the documentary, which will be held at the British Imperial War Museum on April 13 and Sam Neil will attend the gala to be held in the Australian War Memorial on April 21. The producer of the documentary was Hamdi Döker, research coordinator Dr. Feza Toker, director of photography Volker Tittel, art director Oliver Munch, Karl-Heinz Bochnig special effects and the musical score was written by Demir Demirkan -- a Turkish rock composer and singer.

Activities in 2005

The famous Turkish director Tolga Örnek -- who also directed the documentaries, “Atatürk,” “Nemrut,” and the “Hittites,” – presented his latest documentary on Gallipoli on March 18, the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale. In a written press statement, Örnek said that the documentary tells the story of the world's second largest military landing with an objective approach. The movie is based on historical letters, documents and photographs, which have never been seen before. The documentary took six years to complete and researchers searched more than 70 private or public archives belonging to Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. Sixteen Çanakkale experts from various countries also contributed to the documentary. The British Imperial War Museum, the Australian War Museum, the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and the Turkish Military Museums also supported the documentary, which not only represents historical records, but also tells a story in the genre of cinematography. The documentary is narrated by Jeremy Irons and Sam Neil. Irons also attended the gala of the documentary, which was held at the British Imperial War Museum on April 13 and Sam Neil attended the gala held in the Australian War Memorial on April 21. The producer of the documentary was Hamdi Döker, research coordinator Dr. Feza Toker, director of photography Volker Tittel, art director Oliver Munch, Karl-Heinz Bochnig special effects and the musical score was written by Demir Demirkan -- a Turkish rock composer and singer.

The 3rd Turkish Films Week was held in Berlin, Germany between April 3-9, 2005. Chairman of the Organizing Committee Selçuk Sazak said: “Germans displayed great interest in Turkish films last year. Thus, all of the films had German subtitles. The week began with the film 'Tell Istanbul'.” Sazak said: “Turkish and German short films were shown throughout the week. In addition, symposiums were held.”

The Turkish film ''Istanbul Tales'' (Anlat Istanbul) began to be shown in London on April 8. The film was directed by five different directors: Ümit Unal, Ömür Atay, Kudret Sabancı, Yücel Yolcu and Selim Demirdelen. The premier of Istanbul Tales was held at the De Lane Lea studio in London’s West End district. The film was screened at two cinemas in northern London and in many other European countries.

The US National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) chose Turkish director Fatih Akın’s “Duvara Karşı (Gegen Die Wand)” as the best foreign-language movie of 2005. “Gegen Die Wand” which is about second generation Turks who are living in Germany was elected the best foreign-language movie by the society which is comprised of 57 members from leading US newspapers and magazines. Meanwhile, “Capote” movie about writer Truman Capote was chosen as the best movie of 2005. NSFC’s purpose is to promote the mutual interests of film criticism and filmmaking. Besides responding to specific issues such as colorization, film preservation, or the ratings system, the Society regularly meets early in January to vote on the Society’s awards for the finest film achievements of the year. Awards go for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, and, should the Society choose to award one, Best Nonfiction Film, Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Production Design and Best Experimental work.

“Turkish Cinema Days” began in The Netherlands on May 6. Turkish Ambassador to The Netherlands Tacan Ildem said that such events would make a valuable contribution to further developing friendly relations between Turkey and The Netherlands. During the event, 16 films including 10 documentaries were screened. The activity ended on May 11. “Turkish Cinema Days” organized by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Kulsan Culture and Art Foundation aims to promote modern Turkish cinema

A number of Italian movies were shown in Ankara’s Ankapol Theatre from June 16-30. During the ''Italian Cinema Days'' organized in cooperation with the European Cinema Culture Association and the Italian Culture Center, renowned movies of the Italian cinema were screened. ''Three-Step Dancing - Ballo A Tre Passi'' by Salvatore Mereu, ''Destination - La La Destinazione'' by Piero Sanna, ''Lost Love - Perduto Amor'' by Franco Battiato, ''The Wanton Countess - Senso'' by Luchino Visconti, ''Marriage Italian Style - Matrimonio All'Italiana'' by Vittorio De Sica, ''Sacco and Vanzetti - Sacco e Vanzetti'' by Giuliano Montaldo, ''I Remember - Amarcord'' by Federico Fellini, ''Let's Hope It's a Girl - Speriamo Che Sia Femmina'' by Mario Monicelli, ''The Family - La Famiglia'' by Ettore Scola and ''The Last Emperor - L'Ultimo Imparatore'' by Bernardo Bertolucci were among these films.

The International Ankara Film Festival (IAFF), which is one of the most important cultural events in the capital, Ankara opened its doors for the 16th time in 2005. The festival, in which the most successful Turkish movies and documentaries competed for a number of awards, also presents movies from around the world. The embassies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, India, Iran, Switzerland, Canada and Greece along with the British Council, the French Culture Center, the Goethe Institute and the Italian Culture Center were the sponsors of this year's festival. The 16th IAFF, which took place between March 3-13, opened with a ceremony. The guests at the event promenaded from Kuğulu Park to the Akün State Theater accompanied by the Air Force Dance and Jazz Orchestra on March 3. This year, 11 movies were shown in the festival's National Feature category. Included among the nominees was last year's movie, “Nerdesin Firuze” (Where Are You Firuze?), directed by Ezel Akay. Ahmet Uluçay's “Karpuz Kabuğundan Gemiler Yapmak” (Making Boats out of Watermelon Rinds), which received numerous awards at festivals abroad, and “Yazı Tura” (Heads or Tails) directed by Uğur Yücel and the winner of 11 awards at last year's Golden Orange Film Festival in Antalya, including the Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor awards, were also in the running. The World Mass Communications Research Foundation honored the Association of Movie Critics and Antrakt movie magazine with the annual Mass Communications Award. Meanwhile, distinguished Turkish actor Tarık Akan, who has performed in more than 100 movies, was awarded the Aziz Nesin Labor Award.

The 24th International Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, was held between April 2-17. This year's festival, the main sponsor of which was Akbank, was replete with some of the most striking, up-to-date and world-class films. There were also special screenings, guest stars and interviews with the masters of the cinema. During the festival 170 films were screened. Some brand-new films shown at the world-renowned film festivals last year and which received awards were featured as well as unforgettable cinema classics and masterpieces considered to be all-time greats. The program boasted films from 62 countries and included documentaries and examples from the world of animation. Efes Pilsen sponsored the Beyoğlu movie theater. Young and Rubicam/Reklamevi were once again designers of the poster for the International Istanbul Film Festival. The festival flyer has been in circulation since March 5.

The 8th Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival was held from May 5-15. The theme of this year's festival was ''Love''. A total of 93 films from 21 countries were shown during the festival. The well-known Turkish actress, Sevda Ferdağ, was presented the ''Flying Broom Honorary Award'' at the festival. The Festival began in Ankara with a ceremony at the State Opera and Ballet Center. Halime Güner, General Coordinator of Flying Broom, stated that the festival included conferences on issues pertaining to women.

The 42nd Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and the First Eurasian International Film Festival were held in Antalya from September 24 to October 1. Since the First International Eurasian Film Festival was organized on the fringe of the Golden Orange Film Festival, the festival also gained an international dimension. The festival was organized by Antalya Municipality in cooperation with the Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation (AKSAV) and the Turkish Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Foundation (TÜRSAK). Türel told a press conference that the statuette of the festival had changed this year. The new statuette is an effigy, which symbolizes the Nine Muses of Anatolia depicted as they try to reach the Golden Orange. Meanwhile, TÜRSAK and the festival chairman Engin Yiğitgil said that they had invited 150 moviemakers who had gained international acclaim, to participate in this year’s festival. Yiğitgil noted that five films, which competed in the Cannes Film Festival, entered this year’s festival.

The 11th European Films Festival began in Ankara on November 11. Films of world-famous directors such as Xavier Coller, Jean-Luc Godard, Francesco Rosi and Fellini, were shown at the festival. In addition, one of the short films was chosen the “Best Short Film” by the audience. ''Journey to Hope: Immigration and Human Smuggling'', ''Cinema and Anarchy'', ''The Poet of the Cinema: Tonino Guerra'', ''Europe Europe'', ''Short is Good - The European Panorama'', ''Children's Movie'' and ''Animation Movie'' were screened at the festival. The films were presented till November 17, following which they were shown in Bursa on November 18-24, in Izmir and Kars on November 25-December 1. Two film exhibitions were staged by Agah Özgüç at the festival. They consisted of films from the archives of Lütfi Akad and Münir Özkul. In a statement issued to the press, Kars Mayor Naif Alibeyoğlu indicated that the festival has been organized in cooperation with the Ankara Cinema Association. On the first day of the festival, “Anlat Istanbul” (Istanbul Tales) was shown. The festival welcomed many famous actors and actresses and will also be visited by a prominent Japanese director. Anlat Istanbul is a drama about the city of Istanbul which provides the backdrop to five interconnected fairy-tales, each helmed by a different director.

Activities in 2006

The US National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) chose Turkish director Fatih Akın’s “Duvara Karşı (Gegen Die Wand)” as the best foreign-language movie of 2005. “Gegen Die Wand” which is about second generation Turks who are living in Germany was elected the best foreign-language movie by the society which is comprised of 57 members from leading US newspapers and magazines. Meanwhile, “Capote” movie about writer Truman Capote was chosen as the best movie of 2005. NSFC’s purpose is to promote the mutual interests of film criticism and filmmaking. Besides responding to specific issues such as colorization, film preservation, or the ratings system, the Society regularly meets early in January to vote on the Society’s awards for the finest film achievements of the year. Awards go for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, and, should the Society choose to award one, Best Nonfiction Film, Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Production Design and Best Experimental work.

The “If Istanbul International Independent Film Festival” celebrated its fifth anniversary this year between February 16-26. Sponsored by Yapı Kredi University Banking, the festival was organized jointly by the Kolektif Production and AFM Cinemas. This year’s festival featured 50 movies, more than previous years. Following Istanbul, the festival will be held in Ankara on March 1-5 at the AFM Migros Cinemas. For detailed information:

The 4th Turkish Cinema Days were held in Paris, France between March 15-21. A total of 11 Turkish movies were shown at the cinema days, jointly organized by the Assembly of Citizens of Turkish Origin (L'ACORT), the Toocool performance hall and Odyssee cinema hall. Within the scope of the 4th Turkish Cinema Days, panel discussions on the recent status of Turkish and world cinema were also held with the participation of Turkish directors and artists. Uğur Yücel's ''Yazı Tura (Toss Up)'', Atıf Yılmaz’s ''Eğreti Gelin (Borrowed Bride)'', Erden Kıral's ''Yolda (On the Road)'', Çağan Irmak's ''Babam ve Oğlum (My Father and Son)'', Fatih Akın's ''The Sound of Istanbul'', Ali Özgentürk's ''Kalbin Zamanı (Mysterious Hearts)'', Mert Baykal's ''Pardon'', Mustafa Altıoklar's ''Banyo (Bathroom)'', Çağan Irmak's ''Mustafa Hakkında Herşey (Everything About Mustafa)'', Izel Akay's ''Hacivat Karagöz Neden Öldürüldü?' (Why Were Hacivat and Karagöz Killed?)'' and Reha Erdem's ''Korkuyorum Anne (I Am Scared, Mom)'' were the movies shown.

The 9th “Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival” began on May 4 in Ankara. The Flying Broom is Turkey’s first women’s film festival. The theme of the festival this year was “Social gender and the problems of women”. A total of 94 films made by 84 directors from 25 different countries were shown at the festival. “This festival is designed to embrace the whole world and life,” said Halime Güner, General Coordinator of the Flying Broom. The festival ended on May 11. Meanwhile, a photography exhibition titled “Actresses in Turkish Cinema” by Muammer Yanmaz opened on May 2 in Ankara as part of the 9th Flying Broom International Film Festival. The exhibition, which was inaugurated by Turkish cinema’s veteran actress Selma Güneri, features 40 photographs of renowned actresses in Turkish cinema. Among the pictures are photos of young movie stars as well as veteran names.

Famous film director Atıf Yılmaz Batibeki passed away in Istanbul on May 5. He was laid to rest in Istanbul on May 7. Having worked as a film critic, painter, scenarist and assistant director on two films, he began his career as a director in 1951 with his first movie “Kanlı Feryat” (The Bloody Cry). French cinema authorities are deeply saddened by demise of famous film director Atıf Yılmaz. Officials of Cinema Odyssee, located in Strasbourg, released a statement on May 6, underlining that Yılmaz was also a well-known director in France. It noted that Yılmaz’s movies always fascinated French movie fans, adding that his demise was also a great loss to French people. During his career, Yılmaz directed more than 100 films and was a major influence and help to several other well-known directors in Turkish cinema, such as Zeki Ökten, Yılmaz Güney, Şerif Gören, Ali Özgentürk, and Halit Refiğ. Yılmaz was born in 1926 in Mersin. He later attended Istanbul University School of Law and also studied drawing at the Fine Arts Academy.

The Eurimages will financially support movies of two Turkish film directors. At its 100th meeting in Belgrade on May 7-9, the Board of Management of Eurimages agreed to extend financial support to the Turkish-Greek co-production feature film ‘Eve Dönüş’ directed by Ömer Uğur, and the Turkish-Hungarian co-production feature film ‘Eve Giden Yol’ directed by Semir Aslanyürek. Eurimages is the Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works. Set up in 1988 as a Partial Agreement, it currently has 32 member states. Eurimages aims to promote the European film industry by encouraging the production and distribution of films and fostering co-operation between professionals. Since its establishment, Eurimages has supported 1,081 European co-productions for a total amount of more than 314 million Euros.

The International Bodrum Film Festival, marking its third anniversary, was held on June 5-10. Bodrum art-enthusiasts had the opportunity to view 70 films from 24 countries during the festival, organized jointly by Bodrum Municipality, the Association of Documentary Filmmakers and the Eurasia Art Collective. The event began on June 5, which also marks World Environment Day, at Iskele Square with a series of activities including the reading aloud of press statements sent to the festival, on the occasion of the World Environment Day and for the opening concert given by the 70-member Eskişehir Symphony Orchestra, including seven Greek musicians, under the direction of Ender Sakpınar. The Environment Films section of the festival was screened at open-air movie theaters.

International Izmir Short Movie Festival was admitted to the Coordination of European Film Festivals (CEFC). Kayhan Kırmızıgül, the director of Izmir Short Movie Festival, said that 1,083 movies from 58 countries attended the festival, one of the most important organizations of Turkey, last year. Stating that they applied to CEFC in 2001, Kırmızıgül noted: “We completed procedures required for CEFC membership. International Izmir Short Movie Festival was admitted to the CEFC and became the first Turkish short movie festival included in the CEFC.” He added that the festival would contribute to promotion of Izmir and Turkey. İzmir's annual international short film festival has become a member of the European Coordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), becoming the first ever short film festival from Turkey to be listed in the international body, the festival's organizers announced. Festival committee chairman Kayhan Kırmızıgül said that the International İzmir Short Film Festival was one of the major short film events in Turkey and that last year's festival had showcased 1,083 films from 58 countries. Kırmızıgül said they applied to the ECFF in 2001 as part of their goal to emphasize the international character of the festival. He said they completed the required procedures this year. "The International İzmir Short Film Festival, which was taken into candidate status on June 22, has realized a first in Turkey among short film festivals," he said. 

The 43rd Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Turkey’s first and most prestigious film festival, and the Second Eurasia International Film Festival, launched last year in conjunction with the Golden Orange, was held on September 16-23. Both festivals were sponsored by the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK). This year, European and Asian representatives of the cinema industry were in Antalya for the Eurasia Film Market held for the first time as part of the Eurasia Film Festival.

The Spanish Films Week, co-organized by Spanish Embassy in Ankara and Ankara Cinema Culture Association, began on November 30. The festival began with "Tapas" by  Jose  Corbacho  and  Juan  Cruz. "Iberia,  Dance,  Music  and Spain" by Carlos Saura, a world-famous master director of Spain, was screened on December 1. The week continued with "Things That Make Life Worth Living" by Manuel Gomez Pereira, "The Method" by Marcelo Pineyro and "Habana Blues" by Benito Zambrano Tejero on December 2. On December 3, cinema fans had the opportunity to watch "7 Virgins" by Alberto Rodriguez, "Perfect Crime" by Alex De Iglesia and "Camaron" by Jaime Chavarri.

Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest feature film, “İklimler” (Climates), made its big-screen debut in US movie theaters in the beginning of November. The film won an international film critics' (FIPRESCI) award at this year's Cannes Film Festival and was awarded best director, best supporting actress, best editing and best sound design and mixing awards at the Golden Orange Film Festival held in Antalya on September 16-23. The representatives of Özen Film, one of the biggest distribution companies in Turkey, said the film has already been previewed to US movie critics and was screened in Los Angeles as well as in other regions of the country at the beginning of November. The movie received positive acclaim from the major US media outlets.

A documentary film was shot on Turkish diplomats who helped hundreds of Jews escape Nazi concentration camps. The film has been sent to TV channels. The documentary "The Turk Who Brightened Darkness" was prepared by research assistant Hakan Yılmaz of Afyon Kocatepe University. It relates how hundreds of Jews  (who  were  rescued  from Nazi camps by Turkish diplomats also secured them Turkish passports) crossed European borders without experiencing any difficulties. Yılmaz said, "I wanted to share with the whole world the stories of these Turkish diplomats, who may be cited as examples of kindness, during this time when the allegations of an Armenian genocide are high on the agenda." "I studied the relations --between the Ottoman state and the Jewish community-- which had been established in 1492. I saw how the Ottoman Empire provided shelter for 200,000 Jews after they were exiled from Spain," Yılmaz said who asked TV channels to broadcast the 28-minute documentary.

The 3rd Ankara Autumn Film Festival opened on October 5, offering Ankara’s moviegoers five films a day until it closed on October 15. The festival was organized by the Ankara Association for Cinema Culture (ASKD) and supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Tüze Group and Radio ODTÜ. This year's festival featured six sections: Cinema Mon Amour (Cinema My Love); the 10th Anniversary of his Death -- In Memoriam: Krzysztof Kieslowski; the Mysterious Poet of Cinema: David Lynch; A Legendary Jazz Virtuoso: Miles Davis; A Master of Cinema: Joseph Losey; and Cinema now! film+ new movies.

The young director Çağan Irmak's box office hit “Babam ve Oğlum” (My Father and My Son) received an international award for its soundtrack last month, the film's producers, Avşar Film, announced on November 10. The soundtrack, composed by Evanthia Reboutsika, received the “Discovery of the Year” award at the 2006 World Soundtrack Awards, the sixth prestigious soundtrack awards event held at the 33rd Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium, on October 14. The “Discovery of the Year” award is an important prize for emerging soundtrack composers and is believed to be an indicator for the soundtrack Oscars.

A documentary film on 14 historical whirling dervish retreats (Mevlevihane) in 11 countries was filmed within the framework of a project supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. İbrahim Dıvarcı, the director of the film, said on November 14, "We have launched a project to film historical whirling dervish retreats in Turkey and in other countries after reading several books on whirling dervish retreats in the world." "The Ministry of Culture and Tourism began extending support to projects pertaining to Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, the great 13th-century Islamic poet and mystic of Konya and the Mevlevi (one who follows Mevlana) culture after UNESCO declared 2007 as “Mevlana Year.” In 2005, the Ministry had approved the preparation of a documentary and a photo album describing historical whirling dervish retreats," Dıvarcı noted. "We have visited whirling dervish retreats in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Crimea, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Preparations for the project took nearly four years," Dıvarcı said, adding that the 60-minute documentary will be released by the end of this month.

The 8th Annual New York Turkish Film Festival, the theme of which was Istanbul was held between October 21 and 28. The nongovernmental organization Moon & Stars based in New York organized the festival in order to boost a two-way cultural interaction between Turkey and the United States. This year, Istanbul was given a permanent position in the festival with such films as Istanbul Hatırası (Istanbul Recollections), Anlat Istanbul (Istanbul Tales), Politiki Kouzina (Bir Tutam Baharat/A Touch of Spice), Iki Genç Kız (Two Girls) and Organize Işler (Organized Jobs). The festival opened with "Babam ve Oğlum" (My Father and My Son) directed by Cağan Irmak, Turkey's young and successful filmmaker. Babam ve Oğlum was Turkey's box office hit of 2005 and was seen by more than four million theatregoers.

The Eurimages, the Council of Europe Fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works, will extend financial support for the Turkish-Greek co-production "Yumurta" (Egg), a film by Semih Kaplanoğlu. At a press conference held in Strasbourg, Eurimages executives announced that the fund decided to provide 4.4 million Euro financial support to 14 co-productions. Set up in 1988 as a Partial Agreement, the Eurimages currently has 32 Member States. It has extended 322 million Euro to 1,110 co-productions so far.

"Dondurmam Gaymak (Ice Cream, I Scream)" has been honored with two awards of "Best Comedy" and "Best Director" at the New York Queens Film Festival. The Fourth Queens Film Festival was held at The Museum of the Moving Image between November 15-19. The Turkish movie has also been invited to the Golden Globe, Palm Strings, Santa Barbara and Sun Dance festivals. The first release of "Ice Cream, I Scream" in 50 European countries and Turkey took place on November 24.

The International Bursa Silk Road Film Festival, held for the first time this year and organized by the Bursa Greater Municipality, enlivened cultural life in the historic city of Bursa on December 13-17. With a program including more than 40 international films, most of in their first Turkish screening, the festival aimed to provide a real feast for cinema lovers. The ancient Silk Road joined East with West and united cultures. It illuminated all the regions it passed through with the light of tolerance and intercultural dialogue. The International Bursa Silk Road Film Festival aims  to  bring  the  cultures  of this magic route closer together via the art of cinema. Bursa, of course is an apt city for such a project -- it is the erstwhile silk capital of Turkey.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a prominent Turkish director, was presented with the Best Director Award and his film "Climates" was presented with an honorable mention award in the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia. The story of the film written by Ceylan himself is as follows: "Man was made to be happy for simple reasons and unhappy for even simpler ones -- just as he is born for simple reasons and dies for even simpler ones... Isa and Bahar are two lonely figures dragged through the ever-changing climate of their inner selves in pursuit of a happiness that no longer belongs to them." Earlier, the film was presented with the awards of Best Director, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound and Best Effects in the 2006 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, and with the FIPRESCI Prize in Competition in the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

The 18th Turkish Cinema Days were held in Strasbourg, France on December 6-19. Panel discussions on recent developments in Turkish cinema were also held with the participation of Turkish artists and directors. A total of 11 Turkish movies were shown as part of the cinema days at the historical Odyssee Theater.


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