Young turks

By Hu Bei Source:Global Times Published: 2012-6-20 19:15:02

The friendship between the Turkish film industry and the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) stretches back to 1999. In that year, the Turkish movie, Propaganda (a comedy directed by Sinan Çetin) won the Golden Goblet (equivalent to "best film") at the fourth annual SIFF. And last year, Turkish movie, Hayde Bre (directed by Orhan Oguz) picked up the same prize at the 14th SIFF.

This year, there will also be a Turkish movie, Isztambul (Istanbul, 2011) in contention for the Golden Globet. The film is a co-production between four nations: Hungary, Turkey, Holland and Ireland. The film was partly shot in the Turkish capital, Istanbul and partly in Cappadocia in the east of the country. Isztambul tells the story of a Dutch woman, Katalin, who has been betrayed by her husband, but who finds a new love as she travels through Istanbul.

Prominent figure

The director, Ferenc Török is from Hungary, and is a prominent figure among the younger generation of Hungarian filmmakers. His first feature film, Moscow Square (2000) became a cult hit, and focused on his young compatriots in 1989 who were more interested in partying than in the fall of communism happening around them.

In addition, eight Turkish films of different genres will be screened out of competition. They are A Serious Matter (2010), Brought By The Sea (2010), Five Minarets in New York (2010), Home (2011), Zephyr (2010), Toll Booth (2010), To Better Days (2011) and Pomegranate (2011).

A Serious Matter directed by Isa Yıldız tells the story of Adil, a teacher who is respected in his hometown and who is soon to retire. However, one day, he is slapped by a young policeman for an unknown reason. Adil insists on seeking justice, although the police, and everyone else in town, try to persuade him to drop the matter. This is the 35-year-old's first feature film, which he also wrote.

Five Minarets in New York, directed by Mahsun Kırmızıgül, was one of the highest-grossing films in Turkey in 2010. Set in Istanbul, New York and also Bitlis in Turkey, it deals with Islamic paranoia in the US, and also around the world, after the September 11 attacks. The film seeks to answer the question of whether innocence or guilt even matters to someone who lusts for vengeance. Kırmızıgül and Sandal are two anti-terrorism police officers from Turkey who travel to New York in order to repatriate a powerful Muslim preacher back to Turkey to stand trial.

Social turmoil

According to a report about Turkish cinema from Hürriyet Daily News, the oldest English-language daily paper in Turkey, there has been a trend in Turkish movies of late to focus on current politics and "social turmoil" as a way of generating box office interest. The report said many films specifically focus on Turkey's "paternal" role in the Islamic world.

And for the first time, representatives from the Film Producers' Professional Association of Turkey will take part in SIFF's "film market" which acts as a platform for buyers, producers and distributors from China and abroad.

For details of this year's Turkish, and other, films please visit


Posted in: Metro Shanghai

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