The Istanbul International Short Film Festival, a celebration of 156 short films from all over the world, is set to kick off tonight at 8 p.m. at the French Cultural Center in Taksim.
Now celebrating its 23rd edition, the festival, which runs through Nov. 30 at a number of central venues, including the Dutch Chapel, the French Cultural Center and the German Culture Center, not only opens up the way for a magical and informative cinematic journey for Istanbul audiences but also provides a dynamic networking platform for young directors on both a national and international scale.
The guest speaker at the opening reception this year will be Turkish director, screenwriter and author Ümit Ünal, who will be delivering a speech on the “Art of Cinema and Short Film.”
A total of 870 film applications from countries, including Belgium, France, Greece, the UK, Brazil, Hungary, Iran, Bulgaria, Poland, Australia, Thailand, the US, Spain, Italy, India, Canada, Germany, Armenia, Austria, Lebanon, Moldova, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Holland, Romania, Switzerland, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Argentina, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden were received for consideration for this year’s festival.
This has now been whittled down to 156 films, each of which will be screened twice over the festival period. Five of them are from the Netherlands:
BRIDGE / Animation / 6′ / Gerben Agterberg
BROKEN MOON / Fiction – Animation / 11′ / Arno Dierickx
DIRKJAN RULES / Animation / 3′ / Wilfred Ottenheijm & Remco Polman
I AM A GIRL / Documentary / 15′ / Susan Koenen
SUGAR / Fiction / 9′ / Jeroen Annokkeé
The program will be organized under four main titles: “Fiction Films,” “Animated Films,” “Documentaries” and “Experimental Films.”
A selection of short German films that were shown at the 2011 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in February is to be included in the festival. Following in the tradition of past years, the program includes films recommended by the organizations Unifrance, the Hungarian Film Union, the Krakow Film Foundation, the Cervantes Institute, the Goethe Institute and the organization board of the RIFF Rome Independent Film Festival held annually in Italy.
Films to be shown at the festival include Abdulla Alkaabi’s “The Philosopher,” Daniel Florêncio’s “Awfully Deep,” Vincent Mariette’s “Le Meilleur Ami de L’Homme” (Man’s Best Friend), Volker Schmitt’s “Schattenlinie” (Shadowline), Richard Wilhelmer’s “Strange Love” and Enrico Maria Artale’s “Future in Your Hands,” to name a few.
This year’s theme of the festival workshop is “Meaning and Importance of Art Direction in Cinema.” Art Director Natali Yeres, who has been the art director of many movies and has received many awards for her work, will be sharing her experiences with the audience.
The International Istanbul Short Film Festival runs in parallel with the National Short Film and Documentary Competition. As part of the competition, the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul will present the Best Fiction Film Award to a selected fictional film.
The national competition award and closing ceremony of the festival will be held Nov. 30. Directors of the award-winning films and the creators of this year’s poster, Eylem Arbak and Baran Gündüzalp, will be presented their awards.
All screenings are free of admission and will be shown at the French Culture Center, German Culture Center and Dutch Chapel halls.
For more information about the program see