The Women Behind The Camera

THE 48TH INTERNATIONAL ANTALYA GOLDEN ORANGE FILM FESTIVAL IS BRINGING FILM LOVERS TOGETHER OCTOBER 8 TO 14. THE THEME THIS YEAR IS … AND WOMAN TOUCHED THE WORLD. AS THE FESTIVAL BEGINS, WE REMEMBER SOME OF TURKEY’S, AND THE WORLD’S, WOMEN FILMMAKERS.

When we talk about the role of women in Turkish cinema, we have to start with Cahide Sonku. Directing her first film in 1951, Sonku paved the way for many other women who followed in her footsteps, among them Nuran Şener, Feyturiye Esen, Bilge Olgaç, Birsen Kaya, Lale Oraloğlu and Türkan Şoray. Nisan Akman and Mahinur Ergun from the generation of filmmakers who got into cinema in the mid-1980’s were in the business of making TV series for a long time. Seçkin Yaşar, Biket İlhan, Tomris Giritlioğlu, Handan İpekçi and Yeşim Ustaoğlu, all of whom shot their first films in the 1990’s, continue to direct and create powerful women characters today. Towards the end of the first decade of the 2000’s, Turkish cinema witnessed the rise of a new generation of women directors, among them names like Aslı Özge, Pelin Esmer and Belma Baş, all of whom have won prizes both at home and abroad.

The first woman filmmaker to leave a mark on world cinema was Alice Guy-Blaché. Other famous French women directors include Germaine Dulac, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis and Catherine Breillat. Among the Germans are Leni Reifenstahl, Margarethe von Trotta, Doris Dörrie, Caroline Link, and Katya von Garnier. Iran too has produced its share of women directors such as Meryam Shahrirar, Rakhsan Bani Etemad, Marziyeh Meshkini, Samira Makhmalbaf and Tahmineh Mileni.

Finally, a look at Hollywood brings us to the Academy Awards, aka Oscars. Distributed since 1928, the Oscar nominations up to now have gone to only four women for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 was the first woman to win the coveted award for her 2009 film, The Hurt Locker. Hollywood’s other women directors include Mimi Leder, Mira Nair, Angelica Huston, Sophia Coppola and Nora Ephron.

OSCAR NOMINEES FOR BEST DIRECTOR

1976  Lina Wertmüller
Yedi Güzel - Seven Beauties

1993 Jane Campion
Piyano- The Piano

2003 Sofia Coppola
Bir Konuşabilse- Lost in Translation

2009 Kathryn Bigelow
Ölümcül Tuzak- Hurt Locker