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The 37th Istanbul Film Festival Kicks Off 6-17 April 2018

April 10, 2018 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Vodafone Red, the Istanbul Film Festival’s 37th edition will host 210 films by 218 directors from 43 countries, as well as Q&A’s and festival talks with guest filmmakers, concerts, and other special events until 17 April.

The festival kicked off with the Opening Gala on Friday evening, 6 April at Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, which brought the stars and distinguished figures of the cinema of Turkey together, as well as international guests such as the world-renowned director Peter Greenaway, his wife and multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke, and the celebrated actor Travis Fimmel.

Presented by Cem Davran, the Opening Gala saw the presentation of the Cinema Honorary Awards as well as the gratitude plaques to the representatives of the supporting institutions and organisations. The 37th Istanbul Film Festival Opening Gala was also broadcast live on and Vodafone TV application, with the support of the Festival Sponsor, Vodafone Red.

İKSV General Director Görgün Taner presented the gratitude plaque to Vodafone Turkey CEO Colman Deegan who received it on behalf of Vodafone Red as the Festival Sponsor.

The representatives of the festival’s theme sponsors with the highest contribution Türk Tuborg AŞ, Sabah Newspaper, ATV, NTV, Zurich Sigorta, Volvo Car Turkey and Istanbul Ayvansaray University were also presented gratitude plaques by Görgün Taner. Special gratitude was extended to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey General Directorate of Cinema, supporting institutions of the festival, and the patrons who made weekday screenings available to students from 1 TL, for their generous support.

Festival competitions begin on 8 April

The Opening Gala continued with the introduction of the festival competitions and juries. A total of 57 films will be competing in the International Competition, Human Rights in Cinema, National Competition, the National Documentary and the National Short Film competitions. 12 debut feature fiction films from Turkey will also vie for the Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Prize, presented in memoriam director and producer Seyfi Teoman and supported by CMYLMZ Fikirsanat. The winners will be announced at the 37th Istanbul Film Festival Award Ceremony to be held on Tuesday, 17 April.

Festival’s Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award

The Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award was given to Cevdet Pişkin, a familiar face for film buffs in Beyoğlu, who has served as the Managing Director of Atlas Movie Theatre for 20 years after working at the Saray and Şişli Kent cinemas. Cevdet Pişkin received the award from the Istanbul Film Festival Director Kerem Ayan.

Festival’s Cinema Honorary Awards

The first Cinema Honorary Award was presented to Arif Keskiner, who has produced many films including Otobüs / The Bus, Kapıcılar Kralı, Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım / Red Scarf, Maden / The Mine, Köşeyi Dönen Adam and Piyano Piyano Bacaksız / Piano Piano Kid. Arif Keskiner opened the Film Lovers’ Association Club, a place frequented by cinematographers and artists and where he also carried out the management for a quarter of the century before sharing this rich history in his memoirs. Arif Keskiner was presented his award by Sonay Kanat with whom he worked in film sets for many years.

The second Cinema Honorary Award was presented to author Osman Şahin, who is considered the most adapted writer in Turkish cinema with his 23 stories adapted to film. Şahin’s literature career began in 1970 and he was crowned with many awards since then. He wrote the screenplays to 30 films and collaborated with many esteemed directors, resulting in very special films including Kızgın Toprak, Ayna / The Mirror, Firar / The Escape, Adak / The Sacrifice and also İpekçe / Silky, which will be screened at this year’s festival from its restored copy. Osman Şahin received his Cinema Honorary Award from film critic Atilla Dorsay.

The third Cinema Honorary Award of the festival was presented to filmmaker Aram Gülyüz, who still holds the record for making the most films in a year, has directed 140 films since 1960 in almost every genre from child star Ayşecik franchise to remakes of American films, to adventures and musicals, leaving a trail in the cinema of Turkey. Aram Gülyüz received his Cinema Honorary Award from the actress Perran Kutman.

The last Cinema Honorary Award receiver was actress Perihan Savaş, who at the age of seven enrolled in Istanbul City Theatres Children’s Department and became a most popular actress starring in 130 films as well as many television series and plays throughout her career. Some of her most memorable roles were from the films Esir Hayat, Kaşık Düşmanı, Kırlangıç Fırtınası, Sosyete Şaban, Sis, İpekçe / Silky, Karılar Koğuşu, Köpekler Adası and Bedrana, which brought her the Best Actress Award at Antalya Film Festival in 1974. Perihan Savaş was presented her Cinema Honorary Award from actor Erkan Kolçak Köstendil.

Festival kicked off with Lean on Pete

Following the opening gala, the festival kicked off with the screening of Lean on Pete, directed by Andrew Haigh and brought Charlie Plummer the Best Young Actor Award in Venice Film Festival. Known for his role as King Ragner in the television series Vikings, Travis Fimmel also attended the opening gala to present the film in which he has taken on a lead role.

Also featured in the Vodafone Red Galas section, the opening film Lean On Pete was simultaneously shown at Atlas Cinema in Beyoğlu and Rexx Cinema in Kadıköy at 21.30. Travis Fimmel was also present following the screening at Atlas Cinema to answer the questions of the audience.

The Opening Gala was watched from all over Turkey with the support of Vodafone Red

The opening gala was broadcast live on Vodafone TV and Vodafone Red websites with the contributions of the Festival Sponsor Vodafone Red. Presented by Nefise Karatay and Anıl Kurtuldu right before the gala where special interviews with the guests were held, the Red Carpet was also broadcast live via Vodafone Red.

The video projections that accompanied the presentations were prepared by the İKSV Studio team, Selçuk Metin and Ebru Gümrükçüoğlu. The stage director of the gala was Yekta Kara

A 12-days-long feast for film lovers

The Istanbul Film Festival presents a rich programme in its 37th edition that ranges from the latest productions of world cinema to cult films, to the latest titles from Turkey and classics alike, new discoveries, masterpieces, and hidden gems. The festival hosts a total of 210 films by 218 directors from 43 countries, there will be Q&A’s and festival talks with guest filmmakers, concerts, exhibitions, and other special events. The 37th Istanbul Film Festival films will be screened at nine movie theatres: Atlas (two halls) and Beyoğlu movie theatres, as well as Pera Museum Auditorium in Beyoğlu district, Cinemaximum City’s Nişantaşı (two halls), Cinemaximum Zorlu Center in Gayrettepe, Rexx and Kadıköy movie theatres in Kadıköy.

Festival Daily

Film lovers can check the festival daily on to see the announcements and news of the events and screenings that will take place during the festival, as well as interviews of the festival reporters with the guest directors. The festival audience will also see on the website that all films in the festival programme are labelled with tags in categories to ensure a smoother and easier selection while making their itineraries for the Istanbul Film Festival.

You can follow all updates, further information on the films, events, and guests, as well as tips on the programme of the Istanbul Film Festival on our social media accounts.




(in order of appearance on stage)

Istanbul Ayvansaray University                                                          Doç. Dr. Tolga Yazıcı
Assoc. Prof.

Volvo Car Turkey                                                                                 Sabri Sözen                                                                                                                                         General Manager

Zurich Sigorta                                                                                      Yılmaz Yıldız


NTV                                                                                                      Handan Özsoy

Program Manager

ATV                                                                                                      Fecir Alptekin

Turkuvaz Media Group

Corporate Communication Director

Sabah                                                                                                  Gözde Güleryüz Türkel

Turkuvaz Media Group

Event and Marketing Manager

Türk Tuborg A.Ş                                                                                  Damla Birol


Vodafone Red                                                                                      Colman Deegan

Vodafone Turkey CEO

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