Istanbul: Critics Jury Resigns

The 34th annual Istanbul Film Festival cancelled all of its film competitions at the behest of the various juries, given the extraordinary circumstances at the film festival this year. The festival was forced to withdraw a programmed screening of a Kurdish documentary, “Bakur” (North, Çayan Demirel and Ertugrul Mavioglu, 2015) from the festival, which resulted in all of the domestic competition films except for two being pulled from the festival by the filmmakers. (Alisa Lebow)

Statement of the FIPRESCI Jury

We, the FIPRESCI jury at the 34th Istanbul International Film Festival, express our solidarity with the Turkish film community affected by the censorship applied by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. We also express our support for the festival, which has been the main cinema event in Turkey and the most influential showcase for independent cinema both national and international for over thirty years.  

We strongly oppose the requirement of an official certificate for films shown at national festivals, which can be used as a tool of censorship and political oppression. The Ministry of Culture’s censorship harms Turkish filmmakers and the festival alike.

As a result, the jury of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, has decided to resign. We strongly believe that the Istanbul Film Festival will continue its vital role in supporting independent cinema in Turkey. 

Alexander Grozev
Sasja Koetsier
Giovanni Ottone
Antti Selkokari
Senem Erdine
Senay Aydemir