Independent Filmmakers In Istanbul

The countdown has begun for !fIstanbul, the 9th AFM International Independent Films Festival. Istanbul, February 11-21, and Ankara, February 25-28.

Independent, Or Experimental?
Get ready for some of the most experimental and independent films you’ll ever hope to see. Especially in ‘Hit Films’ with its endless parties and workshop projects, and the new festival favorite, ‘States of Masculinity’.

Candidate for masterpiece
‘A Prophet’, which took the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is a film that won’t be forgotten for a long time. Probing deep into the world of crime like the ‘Godfather’ series before it, and shying away from nothing it finds there, this film is a candidate for one of cinema’s masterpieces with its dramatic plot and the shadowy world it strives to portray.

A new ‘Clockwork Orange’
Regarded by many critics as the ‘Clockwork Orange’ of the 21st century, ‘Bronson’ is the most-favored film of the festival’s new category, ‘States of Masculinity’. In the director’s chair of this film marked by its frank approach to violence is the Dane, Nicolas Winding Refn, familiar to !f regulars from the action series ‘Pusher’.

Crossed Paths
Another important film in the ‘States of Masculinity’ category is ‘Everyone Else’ by the young German director Maren Ade, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and nominee for the Golden Bear. This film, about a seemingly happy husband and wife whose connection to one another is tested when they cross paths with another couple, shows how relationships can be swept into the maelstrom.

Memories of Lynn Barber
There are many films about young people. So what about films that pay homage to them?  Like the Oscar-winning ‘Juno’ of two years ago, ‘An Education’ is one of those rare films that honors adolescents. Directed by Leon Scherfig of ‘Italian For Beginners’ fame, with screenplay by Nick Hornby, this film is based on the memoirs of British journalist Lynn Barber.

Facebook and twitter
Ondi Timoner’s ‘We Live in Public’ walked off with the Special Jury Price at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The film focuses on the life of eccentric genius Josh Harris, a man who foresaw developments like Facebook and Twitter twenty years ahead of his time. An unnerving yet riveting documentary, it is especially relevant today as the Internet celebrates its 40th birthday.

The world of underground music
‘No One Knows About Persian Cats’ is one of the stellar films in this category preferred by those who like to follow the stars. Set in Tehran’s underground music world, it was shot in 17 days without an official permit. Based on real characters, this film, which blurs the distinction between fact and fiction, is by Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi.

Ordinary lives
‘Silent and Rebellious’ is another of the festival’s new categories. All the films to be shown in this category cast light on lives of ordinary people. Among those of interest is Michel Gondry’s latest film, ‘The Thorn in My Heart’, which tells the story of his own aunt.