Antalya mayor Menderes Turel, a member of the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party, was recently re-elected to the post after a five-year hiatus. He spoke with Variety about his vision for the Antalya Golden Orange fest, which he oversees.
Q: What are your main goals as you return to overseeing the festival?
A: First and foremost, to change the festival and make it stay active throughout the year by collaborating with universities and going digital. Also we want it to become global once again, and Antalya, a powerful brand city, to realize its potential as a film industry driver.
Q: The festival has suffered from budget cuts. Will that be a problem going forward?
A: No, budget cuts are not on the agenda. We are strongly determined to allocate resources to invest in our future.
Q: Last year the festival provided prize money totalling more than $320,000 . Will that continue?
A: Yes, our monetary prizes will never fall short of being motivating. More importantly, we make it our mission to ensure and maintain the diversity of prizes. The prizes and the Antalya Film Forum system, dedicated to supporting co-productions, are indicative of this vision.