Turkey’s Antalya Film Festival, whose next edition runs Oct. 21-27, is upping its profile as an international film hub with the appointment of British-Irish producer Mike Downey as artistic director and Sarajevo Film Festival chief Mirsad Purivatra as strategic consultant.
Downey, who serves as the deputy chairman of the European Film Academy, is CEO of Film and Music Entertainment. He has produced or co-produced more than 60 movies. Recent credits include Mariam Khatchvani’s “Dede,” which won the East of the West Special Jury Prize at this month’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Downey has previously served in senior leadership roles at the Motovun and Pula film festivals.
This year’s Antalya festival will see the merger of the international and national competition sections. Other sections include Gala Screenings, playing “some of the most anticipated world cinema releases,” the Children and Family section, Retrospectives and the Culinary section.
The festival also hosts the Antalya Film Forum, which presents film projects to some 200 international industry professionals. The section is led by Zeynep Atakan, producer of Palme d’Or-winning film “Winter Sleep,” directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
In a statement, Downey said: “In the next edition of [the festival] we would like to reach out to world cinema and international authors of scope and stature to join with the public of Antalya in a program that not merely entertains, but inspires, engages and elevates.”
He added that the festival would not only grant “access to the best in cinematic art from all over the world, but allow an intimate portrait of that work to be described personally by the artists involved – and for the audience to have a direct personal engagement with these creative people.”
Downey said he, Purivatra and Atakan would “like to curate a festival, which as far as possible, mediates the best in world cinema through the artists themselves” for the “avid cinemagoers of Antalya.”
(Pictured Mike Downey, left, with Antalya mayor Menderes Turel, Zeynep Atakan and Mirsad Purivatra.)