12th International Istanbul Puppet Festival

This festival, which up to now has brought audiences a wide array of 150 puppet and shadow theater groups not only from Turkey but from countries as disparate as Argentina, Norway, Japan and Iran, is welcoming audiences this year at the French Culture Center and Kukla Istanbul on Taksim Square, Profilo Culture Center in Mecidiyeköy and Sultanahmet Square and, on the city’s Asian side, at the Caddebostan Culture Center and the Ümraniye Square Shopping Center.

With the backing of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency, this year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Dr. Metin And, who made significant contributions to traditional Turkish theater, the cornerstone of the history of theater in Turkey.

This year as every year, the festival features examples of traditional and modern puppet shows from a number of different cultures. A documentary film, made by Larry Read, will also be shown, illustrating an Indonesian shadow play artist and Metin Özlen’s Karagöz production and puppet operating techniques. In addition to three separate documentaries to be shown about Karagöz artists in Turkey (Shadow Master, The Life of Shadow, and Imagination), a Mediterranean Puppet Symposium and workshops to be held in various parts of the city constitute the other attractions of this year’s festival, which includes seven shows by five groups from Turkey and sixteen foreign groups from ten different countries.