26th Istanbul International Film Festival

Turkey, March 31 - April 15 2007

The jury

Miguel Somsen (Portugal), Katharina Dockhorn (Germany), Nathan Lee (USA), Marina Drozdova (Russia), Uygar Sirin (), Cüneyt Cebenoyan (Turkey)

Awarded films

At the occasion of the festival, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey’s outstanding filmmaker, presented an exposition of photographies. He shot them while making his films, or simply when snow fell over Istanbul. His photos show him as an extraordinary photographer. His latest film Climates (Iklimler), premiered already in Cannes 2006, was undoubtedly the most powerful film in the national competition. 16 films were included in this competition and demonstrated that Turkish filmmakers obviously overcame a certain crisis of production of the last years (among them the internationally successfull Takva and Zeki Demirkubuz’ new and controversial film Destiny/Kader). Not too bad a situation, therefore. On the other hand, most of the films were already known in Turkey, from the festival in Antalya (in autumn, which tempts filmmakers which hugh prize sums), or even from the regular cinemas. If the festival wants to keep its prestige as place to discover Turkish cinema and as a door to bring it to international festivals and markets, Azize Tan, the new fest head, needs to drastically change this, by offering new films, premieres. In her first festival, she offered a decent international competition (dedicated to the connections between art and cinema). And she managed to create attractive sidebar events, dedicated, among others, to Asia Argento, Paul Schrader, Park Chan Wook, Gus Van Sant; Michael Redford headed the international jury. (k.e.)

The FIPRESCI Award in the International Competition went to The Art of Crying (Kunsten at graede i kor) by Danish filmmaker Peter Schønau Fog, “for telling the story of a family with secrets everybody knows about but nobody speaks about it, balancing comedy and tragedy. You will never feel detached by this intense portrait of a Danish family, seen through the innocent point of view of a child.” The FIPRESCI Award in the National Competition, in memory of Onat Kutlar, went to Destiny (Kader) directed by Zeki Demirkubuz,” for being a story that finds a strong cinematic language to explore the nature of existence and irrationality. Taking the form of a downward spiral, the film is both a perverse anti-romance and a study of obsession.” As in the previous years, Efes Pilsen has given a prize of US$ 30.000 to the winner of the Onat Kutlar Prize, Zeki Demirkubuz, to be used for his next film project.

Istanbul International Film Festival: film.iksv.org