March 28, 2011

At Istanbul Festival, Foreign and Homegrown Films

On April 2, the curtain rises on the 30th annual Istanbul Film Festival, offering two weeks of nearly nonstop screenings of Hollywood blockbusters, Oscar winners and international box office hits at seven theaters around town. But for visitors, the festival is also a rare chance to see Turkish films with English subtitles.


This year, to celebrate the milestone, the festival is looking back over three decades of classic films, while also casting an eye forward toward who might be the cinematic forces of tomorrow, including, its sponsors hope, some from Turkey.

Organizers have divided the 231 participating films into 21 chapters with titles like “Human Rights,” “Documentaries” and “Young Masters,” as well as “30 Years in Film.” For that series, 20 new-generation Turkish filmmakers who credit this festival as inspiring them to make movies, have each chosen a film they first saw here, said the festival director, Azize Tan. It’s a chance to see classics like Ingmar Bergman’s ‘‘Wild Strawberries’’ and ‘‘8 1/2’’ by Federico Fellini along with more recent titles from Jim Jarmusch (‘‘Stranger than Paradise’’) and Derek Jarman (‘‘Blue’’).

Each of the 20 Turkish directors has also written an essay about the movie he or she nominated that will become part of a commemorative book, along with photos of the directors at Istanbul movie houses that will be on display in the Atlas arcade on Istiklal Caddesi.

Read more on The New York Times: At Istanbul Festival, Foreign and Homegrown Films

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