Festival logo as of 2008
The Istanbul International Film Festival (Turkish : Uluslararası İstanbul Film Festivali) is the first and oldest international film festival in Turkey, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. It is held every year in April in movie theaters in Istanbul, Turkey. As mentioned in its regulations, the festival aims to encourage the development of cinema in Turkey and to promote films of quality in the Turkish cinema market.
The Istanbul International Film Festival was first organized in 1982, within the frame of the International Istanbul Festival as a "Film Week" consisting of six films.The theme of the films participating in the Festival was limited to "Arts and Cinema", to keep the event within the context of the International Istanbul Festival. In 1983 the event was realized under the title of "Istanbul Filmdays", taking place throughout the Festival within a span of a month.
Beginning from 1984, the event gained an identity as a separate activity; it was shifted to the month of April. In 1985, two competitive sections, one being national and the other international, were included in the festival program. From 1987 on, "Cinema Honorary Awards" began to be presented.
In the following years, The Istanbul International Filmdays firmly established its position and took its place among the major film festivals of the world with the large number of films shown and the quality and versatility of its program.
At the beginning of 1989 the event was recognized as "a competitive specialized festival" by International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and was accredited. Parallel to this development, "Istanbul Filmdays" was renamed as "Istanbul International Film Festival".
Beginning from 1996, "Lifetime Achievement Awards" along with "Cinema Honorary Awards" began to be presented to international cineastes, actors and actresses.
In 2006, celebrating its 25th year, the festival created a meeting platform for Turkish and European film professionals under the title "Meetings on the Bridge", aiming to bring European film institutions with Turkish directors and producers to discuss funding possibilities. Also in 2006, Azize Tan, the then Assistant Director of the festival replaced Hülya Uçansu as director.
In 2007, the Council of Europe, in collaboration with Eurimages, started to present the Film Award of the Council of Europe (FACE) to a film selected from the entries in the Human Rights and Cinema section of the festival. With its 28th edition in 2009, the festival began to give its Golden Tulip Award also as a result of its National Competition.
Since the beginning of the Festival, a total of 2,065,000 spectators have attended the screenings of 2,330 films from 72 different countries (2005 figures). The festival boasted an audience of 170,000 in 2007, breaking its own record.
In 1988, government inspectors forced the withdrawal of 5 of 160 films that are to be screened at the festival. Jean-Jacques Beineix's Betty Blue and Vedreba (The Plea) by Tengiz Abuladze were among these five works. Vedreba was being blocked on the grounds that it was "anti-Islamic" and cuts from the other four films were demanded because of erotic scenes.
Upon the notification by the censorship board that certain films on the program were to be banned, the then president of the Golden Tulip Jury, Elia Kazan, organised a protest march with the participation of Turkish filmmakers. The Turkish Ministry of Culture subsequently issued a decree holding all international film festivals exempt from censorship.
The selection and programming of the festival films is conducted by the selection committee and the advisory board. The program consists of an international competition open only to feature and animated films on art and artists or literary adaptations, a national competition, non-competitive, informative sections on specific themes which can include documentaries, shorts and feature films.
The 2008 program which includes 200 films comprises the following sections:
These awards are presented within the context of the festival:
|1987||Guard Me, My Talisman (Khrani menya, moj talisman)||Roman Balayan|
|1988||Travelling Avant||Jean-Charles Tacchella|
|1989||A Film with No Name (Za Sada Bez Dobrog Naslova)||Srdjan Karanovic|
|1990||Pomegranate and Cane (Nar O Nay)||Saeed Ebrahimifar|
|1992||Life on a String (Bian Zou Bian Chang)||Chen Kaige|
|1993||Manila Paloma Blanca||Daniele Segre|
|1994||The Blue Exile (Mavi Sürgün)||Erden Kıral|
|1995||The Silences of the Palace (Saimt el Qusur)||Moufida Tlatli|
|1996||Little Sister (Zusje)||Robert Jan Westdijk|
|1997||The King of Masks (Bian Lian)||Wu Tian-ming|
|1998||Ayneh (The Mirror)||Jafar Panahi|
|1999||El Viento se Llevó lo Qué (Gone with the Wind)||Alejandro Agresti|
|2000||Clouds of May (Mayıs Sıkıntısı)||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|2001||No Place to Go (Die Unberührbare)||Oskar Roehler|
|2003||Suddenly (Tan de repente)||Diego Lerman|
|2004||Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Bu San)||Tsai Ming-liang|
|2005||La Femme de Gilles||Frédéric Fonteyne|
|Café Lumière||Hou Hsiao-hsien|
|2006||A Cock and Bull Story||Michael Winterbottom|
|2008||Egg (Yumurta)||Semih Kaplanoğlu|
|2009||Tony Manero||Pablo Larraín|
|2010||The Misfortunates||Felix Van Groeningen|
|2012||The Loneliest Planet||Julia Loktev|
|2013||What Richard Did||Lenny Abrahamson|
|2016||Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas||Rodrigo Plá|
|2017||The Ornithologist||João Pedro Rodrigues|
|2019||House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae / 벌새)||Kim Bora|
|1985||Bir Yudum Sevgi (A Sip of Love)||Atıf Yılmaz|
|1986||Züğürt Ağa (the Agha)|
Amansız Yol (Desperate Road)
Adı Vasfiye (Her Name Is Vasfiye)
| Nesli Çölgeçen |
|1987||Anayurt Oteli (Motherland Hotel)||Ömer Kavur|
|1988||Biri ve Diğerleri (One and the Others)||Tunç Başaran|
|1989||Don't Let Them Shoot the Kite (Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar)||Tunç Başaran|
|1990||Karartma Geceleri (Blackout Nights)||Yusuf Kurçenli|
|1991||Camdan Kalp (A Heart of Galss)||Fehmi Yaşar|
|1992||Gizli Yüz (Secret Face)||Ömer Kavur|
|1993||İki Kadın (Two Women)||Yavuz Özkan|
|1994||Bir Sonbahar Hikayesi (An Autumn Story)||Yavuz Özkan|
|1995||İz (Traces)||Yeşim Ustaoğlu|
|1996||80.Adım (The 80th Step)||Tomris Giritlioğlu|
|1997||Akrebin Yolculuğu (Journey of the Clock-hand)"||Ömer Kavur|
|1998||Masumiyet (Innocence)||Zeki Demirkubuz|
|1999||Güneşe Yolculuk (Journey to the Sun)||Yeşim Ustaoğlu|
|2000||Mayıs Sıkıntısı (Clouds of May)||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|2001|| Dar Alanda Kısa Paslaşmalar (Offside)|
Herkes Kendi Evinde (Away From Home)
| Serdar Akar |
|2003||Uzak (Distant)||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|2004||Karpuz Kabuğundan Gemiler Yapmak|
(Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds)
|2005||Anlat İstanbul (Istanbul Tales)||Ümit Ünal, Kudret Sabancı, Selim Demirdelen, Yücel Yolcu, Ömür Atay|
|2006||Beş Vakit (Times and Winds)||Reha Erdem|
|2007||İklimler (Climates)||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|2008||Summer Book (Tatil Kitabı)||Seyfi Teoman|
|2009||Men on the Bridge (Köprüdekiler)||Aslı Özge|
|2010||Vavien||Yağmur Taylan, Durul Taylan|
|2011||Saç (Hair)||Tayfun Pirselimoğlu|
|2012||Tepenin Ardı (Back of Hill)||Emin Alper|
|2013||Thou Gild'st The Even (Sen Aydınlatırsın Geceyi)||Onur Ünlü|
|2014||Ben O Değilim (I Am Not Him)||Tayfun Pirselimoğlu|
|2016||Toz Bezi (Duster)||Ahu Öztürk|
|2017||Sarı sıcak (Yellow Heat)||Fikret Reyhan|
|2018||Borç (Debt)||Vuslat Saraçoğlu|
|2019||Kız Kardeşler (A Tale of Three Sisters)||Emin Alper|
Famous visitors since 1982 include:
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