Cinematic Cities

The world’s cities are going to be alive with festivals throughout the month of February. And they are inviting us to join them on exciting new journeys. It’s about time we got to know some of those cities, which are the real stars of any festival.

No matter how close cinema brings us to the world, just watching a film is not always enough. Sometimes you get caught up in the spell of the silver screen and want to hit the road yourself. Anyone who loves cinema usually also loves to travel. Sometimes a film festival you really want to see is held in a city you think you know well. Nevertheless, going to festivals where hundreds of films are shown that have been chosen expressly with that city’s spirit in mind can introduce a person to completely different aspects of the place. Berlin, for example, is perhaps not a city you haven’t visited, but you will see it in completely different colors during a festival. The mere thought that an admired actor or actress might suddenly appear coming out of a movie theater is thrill enough. We also get a chance to meet other cinephiles from around the world and to rediscover the city’s familiar streets. And if we want to prolong the fun after the festival is over, we can proudly don a festival T-shirt. There is nothing like a film festival to stimulate the wanderlust. Perhaps not every film is a feast of visual delights, but every scene and every set give us new reason to travel.  Although film festivals go on year-round, February and March are the best time to hit the trail of the magical world of cinema. Here are exactly eight film festivals in different parts of the world where you can combine your passion for travel with your love of cinema.

Held this year for the 60th time, the Berlin Film Festival is again taking place in the movie theaters on Potsdamer Platz. Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’ and Roman Polanski’s ‘The Ghost Writer’ are being shown at the festival, where Turkey will be represented by Semih Kaplanoğlu’s ‘Bal’ and Reha Erdem’s ‘Kosmos’ and Tayfun Pirselimoğlu’s ‘Pus‘. www.berlinale.de

Must-See’s
-Check out the Checkpoint Charlie Museum at the former east-west crossing point in the Berlin Wall, symbol of the Cold War years.
-The numerous flea markets around the city offer a host of items to attract your interest.
-Pay a visit to Museuminsel (Museum Island), a UNESCO World Heritage site.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Berlin and back every day of the week.

The international film festival at Las Palmas, administrative capital of the Canary Islands, a group of islands attached to Spain west of Morocco, is being held this year for the 11th time. A counter to Hollywood for independent film buffs, the festival is also a perfect opportunity for discovering the beauty of these islands.
www.festivalcinelaspalmas.com

Must-See’s
-Tour Columbus House, where Christopher Columbus stayed before setting out on his discovery voyage to the Americas.
-Visit El Museo Canario to learn about the history of the islands between 500 B.C. and the 15th century.
-Enjoy sunbathing on the beaches of this island, where the temperature never falls below 20° C. even in February, thanks to the ocean currents.

How To Get There
Fly Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Madrid and then to the main island of Tenerife. From there you can reach Las Palmas by sea.
 
“I’ve Traveled All Over The World To Follow The Festivals” (Atilla DORSAY-Cinema Author)
Travel and love of cinema are two activities that stem from the same passion: curiosity about the world and other cultures, ways of life and human stories. This interest leads a person to the other end of the earth. Cinema make a good pretext for you to travel to festivals. It’s thanks to festivals that I’ve seen a lot of places in the world from Havana to Sydney, from Hawaii to Andalusia. I’ll be at Berlin Film Festival, which I haven’t missed since 1978, this year, too. You can also go to the Dublin Film Festival to travel around Ireland. I’ve been to Hong Kong, too.

Here is a compelling reason for you to indulge in the pleasures of Dublin, cultural capital of the region. Tickets for the festival, which vindicates the view that ‘small is best’ with its special category devoted to film, range from 10 to 50 euros. You can purchase individual tickets or a 235-euro season ticket over the official website.
www.jdiff.com

Must-See’s
-Be sure to visit Trinity College (University of Dublin), where literary greats like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde were once students.
-Visit the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art with its Anglo-Irish collection on Parnell Square.
 
How To Get There
Turkish Airlines has regular scheduled round-trip flights from Istanbul to Dublin every day of the week

Held in the land of TinTin, the International Animated Films Festival at Brussels transports guests into the enchanted world of the cartoon through a series of films, exhibitions and workshops. More than 150 films have entered the competition, in which prizes will be awarded in six different categories including shorts.
www.anima2010.eu

Must-See’s
-Stop at the Belge de la Bande Dessinée (Belgian Comic Strip Museum) for a visit to this magic world.
-Try the mussels cooked in white wine and asparagus Belgian-style in Brussels’ restaurants, which were once a favorite with famous singer Jacques Brel.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Brussels and back every day of the week.

Traveling all the way to this Portuguese city on the ocean just for a film festival might not appeal at first glance. But you should know that a temperate climate, a captivating city and a rich cuisine also await you here. Held this year for the 30th time, the festival has hosted countless cinema greats from Luis Buñuel and Carlos Saura to David Lynch and Luc Besson.
www.fantasporto.com

Must-See’s
-Stroll through the historic Rua de Flores and see the Baroque palaces, shoeshine parlors and jewelry shops.
-Tour the city’s historic narrow stone-paved streets on a nostalgic tram.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines has regular scheduled round-trip flights from Istanbul to Dublin every day of the week

In distant climes again, China’s art loving city of Hong Kong is hosting its 34th film festival this year with over 250 films from 50 countries. The city’s biggest cultural event, the festival last year attracted upwards of half a million visitors. This cosmopolitan festival is known for giving young directors a chance.
www.khiff.org.hk

Must-See’s
-Take the Peak Tram, a Hong Kong tradition, and climb Victoria Hill for a matchless view.
-See one of the Chinese operas that are still so popular in the city.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Hong Kong and back four days a week.

Finally a festival where you will feel right at home! A choice list of guests from Tony Gatlif to Jasmine Dellal awaits visitors this year at the 21st Ankara International Film Festival. Roman culture is the principal theme of the films, which will be shown in three of the city’s major theaters.

Must-See’s
-Visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and see the rich collection of artifacts from Ankara and the surrounding region.
-Stroll through the cobbled streets inside the Ankara Castle, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Ankara every day of the week

What better treat to offer your children? Apart from the films, the Riga International Children’s Film Festival, held this year for the 9th time, offers a chance to explore Latvian city, one of most beautiful in the world. A mini-jury of children will decide who gets the top prize, ‘Berimor’s Big Pillow’, and the second prize, ‘Berimor’s Small Pillow’

Must-See’s
-Shop at Central Tirgus (Central Market), which was used as a zeppelin hangar during the Second World War.
-Visit Doma Cathedral with its giant tower, the largest church on the shores of the Baltic.

How To Get There
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Riga and back on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. a connecting flight to Porto.