The 31-year-old Turkish actress from Istanbul essayed her powerful lead role in Huseyin Karabey’s “My Marlon and Brando,” based on her own true story of crossing a war zone to reach the love of her life, Iraqi-Kurdish actor Hama Ali Khan. Damgaci brings the power of emotional authenticity to a performance that bodes well for her career; she already has won the Heart of Sarajevo in 2008 for best actress.


Although her first feature, “Mrs. Salkim’s Diamonds,” was received with critical acclaim in 1999 and picked up a clutch of Turkish awards, Giritlioglu returned to producing and directing TV series until latest film, “Pains of Autumn,” which explores events around the tragic anti-Greek pogrom in Istanbul in September 1955, which remains a sensitive issue. Film recently was released in Greece following a gala screening in Athens.


Alper’s directing debut feature, “Autumn,” is about a man’s struggles to come to terms with his life after release from 10 years in jail as a political prisoner. The film won best director at March’s Sofia Intl. Film Festival. Alper, a writer-director whose first work was the 25-minute Armenian-language short “Momi” in 2001, has established his credentials as a member of the new wave of Turkish arthouse fare.


In the 10 years since she moved from advertising into the film industry, 42-year-old Ozbatur has proved herself a key player in the Turkish film industry. The producer of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Three Monkeys” and “Climates,” Ozbatur set up Zeynofilm in 2007, dedicating the company to discovering “new people who have high potential for bringing Turkish cinema to international fields.” She recently began collaborating with provocative new director Ismail Necmi (“Should I Really Do It?”) on his next feature.