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Turkish Films On Air in London


Yunus Emre Institute had brought the latest award-winning Turkish films to the moviegoers at the historic Regent Street Cinema in downtown London as part of the London 2nd Turkish Film Week, curated with support from the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Cinema between April 24 and 30, 2019. 11 feature films, short films, and documentaries were screened and interviews were held not only at the Regent Street Cinema, but also at various venues in downtown London.

The 2nd Turkish Film Week took start with the screening of the documentary entitled "Bırakın Çocuk Oynasın" (Let the Kid Play) at SOAS University of London on April 24, 2019. The documentary was introduced and presented by Dr. İdil Osman, a lecturer from SOAS University. 

The second day of the film week started with the screening of the documentary entitled "Guardian of Angels" at Yunus Emre Institute's London Branch. On the same day, a talk on Turkish soaps, moderated by Dr. Osman, was held at Brunei Gallery in SOAS University. The panel was attended by famous actress Perihan Savaş, rising talent and actor Emre Kızılırmak, Esra Bilgiç Töre, known to the moviegoers as Halime Sultan of the Turkish soap "Diriliş Ertuğrul," and British broadcaster and journalist Lauren Booth to discuss the growing popularity of Turkish soaps. Savaş drew attention to the success of Turkish soaps in correctly portraying the Turkish family and neighborhood culture, noting that art is the only way to promote our culture around the globe. Bilgiç Töre argued that Turkish soaps were successful in conveying their sincerity and realism to the audience while Kızılırmak suggested the developing technology and associated improvements in Turkish film-making sector can account for this success.

On April 26, a public debate entitled "At the Flicks or Netflix?" was held at the Regent Street Cinema. The debate focused on the film-making, film ratings, and the convenience of making films easily accessible online with difference subtitle options, and was attended by famed actor Kızılırmak, film critic Kerem Akça, producer Kenith Trodd, director Tony Palmer and actor Michael Maloney. In the evening of the same day, a reception was given by Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to London Ümit Yalçın before the film "Cicero" about the spy Cicero who changed the course of the Second World War was debuted.

On the 4th day of the film week, the films "Sarı Sıcak" (Yellow Heat), "Yozgat Blues" and "Halef" were screened at the Regent Street Cinema.  Murat Düzgünoğlu, the director of "Halef," which received high marks from the moviegoers, gave an interview to film critic Phillip Bergson and answered questions from the audience after the screening.

On April 28, the moviegoers had a chance to see films from young directors Banu Sıvacı and Özgür Sevimli, respectively, "Güvercin" (The Pigeon) and "Murtaza," as well as seasoned director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu's "Yol Kenarı" (Sideway) at the Regent Street Cinema. At the end of the day, "Türk İş Dondurma" (Turkish Ice Cream) was screened with the attendance of director Can Ulkay and actors and actresses of the film.

On the 6th day of London Turkish Film Week, the venue for the screening "Paranın Kokusu" (The Smell of Money) was different. The screening was made at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and director Ahmet Boyacıoğlu answered questions from the audience after the screening. Many celebrities including Actor Bhasker Patel from the UK's popular soap "Emmerdale," novelist Felicia Yap, journalist James Brewery, director Ehsan Khoshbakht, artist Briony Kapoor and Asian World Film Festival Director Richard Chamberlane attended the screening.

On the last day of the film week, short films by emerging talents of Turkey's film-making sector were on the agenda. Following the screenings, a public debate on the cinema education in the UK and Turkey and potential cooperation between the two countries was held with the attendance of King's College Faculty Member Dr. Iain Robert Smith and Şehir University Faculty Member Prof. Nezih Erdoğan.

The final event of the London Turkish Film Week was homage to Ömer Lütfi Akad, a doyen of the Turkish cinema. In this context, his 1966 film, "Hudutların Kanunu" (The Law of the Border), featuring Yılmaz Güney, which was repaired by the World Cinema Foundation founded by famous US director Martin Scorsese, was screened at Arthur & Paula Lucas Theatre in King's College. The event ended with the talk on Ömer Lütfi Akad and his cinema with the participation of Iain Robert Smith, Nezih Erdoğan and Phillip Bergson.

The special screening and European debut of Türk İşi Dondurma (Turkish Ice Cream) had been made on March 22, 2019 during the Turkish Film Week with the attendance of director Can Ulkay, journalists, academics, critics, actors and actresses at the Regent Street Cinema, the birthplace of the British cinema.