Turkish Film Weeks, which have been carried out for the promotion of Turkish cinema since 2018 in collaboration with the General Directorate of Cinema, has met with cinema lovers in the capitals of eight countries between November 1 - December 5, 2021. Turkish Film Weeks, where rare examples of Turkish are screened, entertained the enthusiasts of Turkish cinema in Budapest, Morocco, Moscow, Rome, Tirana, Warsaw and Zagreb for an unforgettable month.
Turkish Film Weeks, which meet with thousands of cinema lovers every year, witnessed a Turkish cinema feast this year also. Turkish Film Weeks, which has been organized for the past four years thanks to the support of the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cinema in tens of cities from Florence to St. Petersburg, Jerusalem to Vienna, Toronto to Cologne, attracted great deal of interest even under the pandemic conditions. The films screened within the scope of the Turkish Film Weeks were watched by some 5,000 cinema lovers this year also.
YUNUS EMRE INSTITUTE REACHES HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITH TURKISH FILM WEEKS
The film screenings, which became popular by increasing its influence in cinema, one of the most important instruments of Yunus Emre Institute's cultural diplomacy, are introducing Turkish cinema all around the world with interviews, workshops, summer schools, contests and exhibitions.
Within the scope of the activities for introducing the Turkish cinema, Yunus Emre Institute carried out important projects for the purposes of introducing the high-quality productions of Turkish directors to the global audience and increasing cultural interaction between the countries through cinema, and has reached hundreds of thousands of people with Turkish Film Weeks thus far.
FINAL STOP OF THE TURKISH FILM WEEKS: POLAND
Turkish Film Weeks, which have been organized in more than 30 countries since 2017, met with the audience in seven countries in 2021. The last stop of the program was Poland, which had a great place in the world cinema history with its multi-dimensional cinema and introduced valuable directors to the cinema such as Kieślowski, Kamiński, Wajda. Turkish Film Weeks started in November 2021 in Zagreb, Budapest and Moscow and was met with great interest and were finalized in Poland after the programs in Morocco, Italy and Albania.
GUEST OF HONOR WAS NURI BILGE CEYLAN
The guest of honor for the program that was organized in Warsaw between November 29 - December 3, 2021 was Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the world-renowned director followed closely by the cinema lovers. The Republic of Turkey's Ambassador in Warsaw Cengiz Kâmil Fırat opened the festival, which started with the screening of Ahlat Ağacı, the eighth feature film of Ceylan, at Zlote Tarasy Multikino Theater. The world-renowned director Ceylan saluted Polish cinema lovers before the film screening. The famous director emphasized the importance of Polish cinema in his career. He mentioned that it was quite meaningful for him to be in the country of excellent directors such as Kieslowski, Wajda, Zanussi and Polanski and that he was quite happy to see such a crowd despite the pandemic continued.
On its second day, the festival continued with films "Bizim İçin Şampiyon" and "İşe Yarar Bir Şey", and in the masterclass session, the successful director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who brings together the local and universal in his movies and who provides opportunities to have rich readings both with his cinematography and scenario, met with Polish filmmakers. During the event that was organized at U-jazdowski Contemporary Art Center, Ceylan communicated his experiences to the filmmakers and answered questions about the film "Kuru Otlar Üstüne", which he finished shooting six months ago. The skilled director mentioned that he used most of the budget when shooting the film and said, "If the shooting period has a tight schedule, then there is a problem. Then, you cannot progress, cannot think better."
Ceylan stated that he was always on a quest at the film set and said the following in relation to the shooting phase of the films: "At the end of the day, I cannot be sure that the scenes are complete. There is always something to be questioned. You cannot be sure of anything until the editing. You also should not be so sure either. Because you love a scene at the set. But when you start editing, you see that it was not as great as you thought. Therefore, it is good to approach with questions. Everything must be tried before editing, and when you start editing, you should be ready for any result."
Ceylan also mentioned the preparations before shooting and said, "I hate storyboards. They are not for me. Because they halt the imagination. I want to be free when I go to the film set. I want to think about the actors, weather at the moment and everything from scratch. Therefore, I never use storyboards." The skilled director, who stated that storyboards were fit for large productions, said, "They are not necessary for independent cinema. They are not for me. I like to work in a more natural way." and said the following about the set of his latest film:
"I finished shooting my latest film six months ago. Now, I am editing it. Sometimes, I did not even know what I would shoot when going to the set. I love this. I prefer it to be natural, somewhat like jazz music. I prefer to change somethings, try new things. I think it is better this way. (...) The director is alone in the set, just like a painter. Some say that cinema is a work of art made by more than one person. This is not true. I feel alone at the set. No one cares. Everyone waits for what they need to do and the decisions to be taken. Therefore, you must be the one who creates the solutions. Everyone waits for the director. Perhaps, it is not the same in every set, but this is how it is in my sets. I am versatile and obsessive. Everyone must do what I tell them. Therefore, everyone waits for me."
INTERVIEW WITH CEM ÖZAY
On the final day of the Warsaw Turkish Film Week, which continued with Çağan Irmak's Tamam mıyız?, and Omar ve Biz, co-directed by Maryna Gorbach Er and Mehmet Bahadır Er, the films Af and Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım were screened. Another guest of the festival was Cem Özay, the director and producer who achieved great success with his first feature film Af. The successful director was interviewed after the screening of the film Af.
During the film interview, Cem Özay answered the questions of Paula Penkala and the audience and mentioned that the fewer number of dialogues in the film brought out the visuality in the film and they tried utilizing the advantages offered by this. Özay answered the questions regarding the success of the child actors in the film and stated that they completed shooting the film in a playful environment without overloading the children with information regarding the film's scenario and background and without breaking them apart from their childly world, and that this achieved good results.
The young director stated that they did not use a tragic plot in the film and emphasized that they wanted to infiltrate and reflect the micro-world of the tragedy of the family. Özay mentioned the close relationship of the film to the geography and stated that people had to survive and thrive in difficult geographies and that this situation was transferred between generations and thus relaying the love was hard, and in a sense, the Imran character reflected the background of this difficult geography well. Özay talked about the suspenseful scenes in the film and emphasized that violence is not aesthetic and thus they reflected violence without aestheticizing it.
Warsaw Turkish Film Week was completed with the screening of Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım, one of the classics of the Turkish cinema.
130 FILMS, 300 SCREENINGS, 120,000 VIEWERS IN FOUR YEARS IN 30 COUNTRIES
Turkish Film Weeks, which hosted distinguished figures of the Turkish cinema such as Ercan Kesal, Murat Pay, Seyid Çolak, Yüksel Akça, Sinan Sertel, Halil Kardaş, Timur Acar and Abdülhamid Güler in 2021 besides Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Cem Özay, provides a compact and enjoyable program every year for the cinema lovers.
Turkish cinema finds the opportunity to be told and introduced by the first hand with the film screenings as well as the interviews, director meetings, workshops and exhibitions organized within the scope of the Turkish Film Weeks, which introduced some 120,000 viewers to 130 films in 300 screenings thus far. The opportunity to meet and collaborate with the prominent directors, producers, screenwriters and actors of the countries in which the activities carried out opens new doors for the Turkish cinema.
17 movies that a made a name for themselves in the last years, such as Ahlat Ağacı, Omar ve Biz, Ekşi Elmalar, Af, Bizim İçin Şampiyon, Nasipse Adayız, 7. Koğuştaki Mucize, Aile Arasında, İşe Yarar Bir Şey, Tamam mıyız?, Bizi Hatırla, Bizim Köyün Şarkısı, Rafadan Tayfa, Yol Arkadaşım, Kapan, Dilsiz, İçimdeki Kahraman, were screened this year at the Turkish Film Weeks, which brought Turkey, Turkish people and Turkish culture abroad through the unique language of cinema.