×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Istanbul Festival Cancels Competition After Government Bans Doc ‘North’

At a press conference Monday, April 13, Istanbul Festival director Azize Tan was joined by representatives from the fest’s juries in announcing the cancellation of this year’s International, National and National Documentary competitions as a response to the Ministry of Culture’s effective banning of the out-of-competition docu “North,” directed by Cayan Demirel and Ertugrul Mavioglu. The move comes at a time when freedom of expression is a top concern for many in Turkey.

The public screening of “North,” which follows the lives of Kurdish PKK guerrillas in three different camps in the Kurdish region of northern Turkey, was called off on April 12 after the Ministry told the fest that the pic was not eligible to screen because it lacked a formal registration certificate. A law pertaining to films produced in Turkey states that they need such a certificate in order to be screened at festivals. However, given that the Istanbul fest had already screened several other Turkish films without certificates, many at the festival felt that the implementation of the law where “North” is concerned had more to do with its subject matter and is a mere pretext for preventing it from being seen.

As word of the scrapping of the “North” screening spread, members of the Turkish industry met to decide on their response. Many local producers refused to screen their films in solidarity with the “North” team. Instead, they meet with audiences in the lighted theaters and held discussions.

At today’s press conference, Tan and her colleagues called for an end to the law requiring official registration certificates and for a concerted response from the Turkish film industry regarding the Ministry of Culture’s intervention. By cancelling the competitions of the 34th Istanbul film festival, they aim to show that the entire Turkish industry is standing together in opposing censorship of their works and fighting for freedom of expression. Tan summed up by noting that it was a sad occasion, but also an opportunity to press for an end result that would enable all films to be shown freely.

Turkish filmmakers will hold a public meeting April 14 in front of the Atlas Theater in Beyoglu to further discuss these issues.

More Film

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams with Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

  • Aruna and Her Palate review

    Berlin Film Review: ‘Aruna & Her Palate’

    When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]

  • 'Duke' Review: Two Fake Cops Patrol

    Film Review: 'Duke'

    If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]

  • Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in

    Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in Berlin Festival Film 'Sargasso Sea'

    After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    France's Cesar Awards Leads the Way for the Oscars

    Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content