Films Rain Down on Istanbul

April showers are the harbinger of spring, and the International Istanbul Film Festival is harbinger of the festival season

Spring is the time for surprises. You wake up one morning, and suddenly it’s spring, season of festivals! Like spring itself, the International Istanbul Film Festival is suddenly upon us, mingling with the proverbial April showers. But they won’t dampen your spirits in the least as everything from film and theater to music, even jazz, rains down upon you.

One year short of its 30th anniversary, this year’s festival is bringing over 200 films by 243 directors from 57 countries April 3 through 18. Festival venues include the Atlas, Yeni Rüya, Beyoğlu and Sinepop movie theaters as well as Pera Museum in Beyoğlu, CityLife Cinema (City’s) in Nişantaşı, and Kadıköy Cinema on the Asian side.

Promising color, action and fun with everything from memorable oldies to the latest by the world’s most popular directors, not to mention the inevitable surprises on the list, the festival features a total of nine ‘Akbank Gala’ films. Among these festival ‘first’s are American fashion designer Tom Ford’s A Single Man, adapted from the novel by Christopher Isherwood, and Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s latest, Chloe (Big Mistake), which harks back to the Hitchcock thrillers.

A section titled ‘From the World’s Festivals’ features a selection of 23 recent works by prominent directors, most of which have garnered prizes in the world’s top festivals. One of the guests is Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, an award recipient in several countries with his poetic approach that alternates between humor and seriousness.STANBUL IN HIGH FAVOR
Growing by the year with new sections as well as added theaters and prizes, the festival this year includes a selection of Turkish and foreign films about Istanbul, which is in high favor in 2010 as European Capital of Culture. Among the eagerly anticipated offerings in this section, ‘Istanbul Inside and Out’, are 13 feature films ranging from Jules Dassin’s ‘Topkapı’ to Atıf Yılmaz’s ‘Ah Güzel Istanbul!’, as well as a short titled ‘Panorama of the Golden Horn’, made in 1896 by the Lumière Brothers using their experimental camera known as the ‘cinematograph’ to record the first images of Turkey in the history of cinema.
Sure to bring a smile to viewers’ faces are 10 comedy films, including newcomer ‘Antidepressant’, and Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, ‘Whip It’, about a roller derby star.

Sponsored by Akbank, the 29th International Istanbul Film Festival means more than just a chance to see films. Among the festival’s ancillary activities are film classes, interviews, parties and exhibitions, including one of photographs and engravings by one of the most respected directors in American cinema, David Lynch. Opening at Artane on April, it will run through the end of May.

Festivalin yaşam boyu başarı ödülleri; İtalyan sinemasının önde gelen isimlerinden Marco Bellocchio ile Istvan Szabo’nun ‘Mephisto’sundaki rolüyle tanınan Avusturyalı oyuncu Klaus Maria Brandauer’e verilecek.
The festival’s lifetime achievement awards will go to Marco Bellocchio, one of the leading names in Italian cinema, and Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, known for his role in Istvan Szabo’s ‘Mephisto’.