ANTALYA, Turkey — The Antalya Film Festival has announced winners of its industry forum dedicated to supporting a new generation of Turkish directors which saw Nisan Dag’s relationship drama “When I’m Done Dying,” set amid Istanbul’s hip-hop scene, and Halit Eke’s environment-themed family drama “No Land” emerge as winning projects in the Fiction Pitching section.
In total 15 awards were handed out Thursday evening during a ceremony MC’d by Antalya Film Forum director Zeynep Atakan, the prominent Turkish producer with long-standing ties to auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan. This year Atakan nearly doubled the number of participating projects at the forum compared with last year and also upped the total cash pot to support them.
Antalya, under new artistic director Mike Downey, who is a British producer, merged the Turkish and international competition sections. The move angered some local film-industry trade groups, which claimed that the festival’s Turkish identity is being diluted for political reasons and organised a boycott that caused at least three projects to be pulled from the forum out of 51 which had made the cut. However the boycott appeared to be limited to that. Atakan underlined in an interview that the forum selection committee is “totally independent.”
Downing noted that the beefed up forum “for sure is a driver for the Turkish industry in the international market.”
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“When I’m Done Dying,” which marks Dag’s followup to Slamdance prizewinner “Across the Sea,” is about a talented young drug-addicted rapper from Istanbul’s Sulukule historic gypsy quarter who falls tragically for a young woman from a higher social class. In “No Land” a land grab for oil production sparks a family rift.
Winning projects in the forum’s Documentary Pitching Platform were writer-director Tayfur Aydin “12 Years Later,” about a performing arts teacher who goes back to visit her onetime children students in the war torn city of Sirnak to sound out their thoughts about the war and their future, and “Mimaroglu,” a doc directed by Serdar Kokceoglu and produced by Esin Uslu about a pair of Turkish free spirits who went to New York at the start of the 1960’s where one became an avant guard musician at Columbia while the other led peace protests.
The Works-in-Progress Award was won by “Trust” a first feature by Sefa Ozturk Colak about a married man and wife whose relationship becomes strained when the woman’s ex-partner comes back into her life years later and is subsequently murdered.
The winners in the Projects Looking for Producers section are Ismail Doruk’s “60 Days” about complications following the Muslim marriage between two young neighbours after the husband finds out his wife is not a virgin and Tugce Aydin’s “The Life of Madame X,” which is about personal items belonging to non-Muslim women who lived in Anatolia in the early 20th century and the hidden stories behind them.
Key partner entities for Turkish producers in attendance included the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Georgian National Film Centre, the European Documentary Network, Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation, the Kosovo Film Centre as well as reps from the Torino Film Lab, the Sarajevo Cinelink and the Sofia Meetings.
Distributors and producers who made the trek include Paris-based Cedomir Kolar of A.S.A.P, Czech producer Rudolf Bierman of In-Film, Hong Kong’s Nansun Shi, Jean Huang, Israel’s Kobi Mizrahi, Christina Liapi from Greece’s Heretic Outreach which has become very active on the Turkish market, the Ukraine’s Alexandr Zakhlyupany, the U.K.’s Sean Bobbit, Gavin Poolman and Robert Neeson of New Wave Films, which is Nuri Bilge Ceylan longtime U.K. distributor.
Winners of the 2017 Antalya Film Forum:
Fiction Pitching Platform:
“When I’m Done Dying” — Director: Nisan Dag; Producer: Muge Ozen
“No Land” — Director: Halit Eke; Producer: Ziya Cemre Kutluay
TRT Project Development Award
“Forgiveness” — Director: Cem Ozay; Producer: Cem Ozay)
Villa Kult Cultural Residency Award
“Little Things” — Director: Kivanc Sezer; Producer Soner Alper
Documentary Pitching Platform
“12 Years Later” — Director: Tayfur Aydin; Producer: Tayfur Aydin
“Mimaroglu” — Director: Serdar Kokceoglu; Producer: Esin Uslu
Work in Progress Platform
“Trust” — Director: Sefa Ozturk Colak; Producers Serkan Acar, Dilek Aydin
“Siren’s Call” — Director: Ramin Matin; Producer: Emine Yildırim
Mojo Fx Post Production Award
“Debt” — Director: Vuslat Saracoglu; Producer: Vuslat Saracoglu
Chantier Films Marketing and Distribution Award
“Brothers”Director: Omür Atay, Producer: Funda Odemis
Projects Looking For Producers
“60 Days” — Writer: Ismail Doruk
“The Life of Madame X” — Writer: Tugce Aydin
“Vefa” — Writer: Zeliha Dogan
RTNT Film Production Consultancy Award
“White Bread” — Writer: Murat Eroglu
Short Film Work in Progress
“Hit me Baby” — Director: Semih Gulen, Producer: Ozan Yoleri
Mojo Fx Post Production Award
“Ad Infinitum” —Director: Murat Cetinkaya; Producer: Dilek Aydin
Karga Seven Post Production and Colour Correction Award
“I Don’t Believe in You But There is Gravity” — Director: Umut Subasi; Producer: Cemre Erul
Sumer Tilmac Antalya Film Support Fund
“The Hunt” — Writers: Emre Akay, Deniz Cuylan; Director: Emre Akay; Producer: Tolga Topcu, Diloy Gulun, Emre Akay