9th Documentarist - Istanbul Documentary Days
Turkey, May 28 - June 2 2016
The 9th Istanbul Documentary Days, which screened different kinds of documentaries, was held from 28 May to 2 June in Istanbul. The festival had no featured competition programme but the main jury and the FIPRESSCI jury had their own selected programmes to award.
Istanbul Documentary Days is an important festival gathering special documentaries together from all around the world. Between the Anatolian and European sides, around the Bosphorus Bridge, discovering documentaries is a very special experience for juries. This year’s festival had strong documentaries rooted in a deep sense of the world’s problems.
The festival programme had different categories such as Turkey Panorama, Music and Dance Documentaries, Queer Documentaries, Where is Home and Film Resisting Censorship. This year also there was a special showcase of Serbian film director Zelimir Zilnik. The festival lasts six days and our jury’s schedule was fairly busy. The FIPRESCI jury had eleven documentaries to watch from all of the categories. Two of them were Turkish and the others were from various other countries.
The main jury also had a strong programme of special documentaries. The “Johan van der Keuken New Talents Award” (given to a first or second time filmmaker) went to “I Remember” (Hatirliyorum) from Kurdish director Selim Yildiz. The FIPRESCI prize went to Ammar Aziz’s A Walnut Tree which tells of an old man in a refugee camp in Pakistan who wants to return home. The film is imbued with a very strong sense of homesickness. (Janet Baris, edited by Carmen Gray)