Ben O Değilim (I'm Not Him)
Director: Tayfun Pirselimoğlu
Screening: Friday, March 27 at 7:00 pm
Post-screening Q&A with Tayfun Pirselimoğlu
(Winner of Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the Istanbul Film Festival and Winner of Best Screenplay at the Rome Film Festival)
Prolific writer – director Tayfun Pirselimoğlu’s latest feature is a haunting cinematic meditation on the philosophical themes of identity, self and “the other”. Nihat, an introverted employee in a hospital cafeteria, is confused by Ayşe, a mysterious woman who just started working there as a dishwasher. Reluctantly, Nihat accepts Ayşe's invitation to dinner at her house. This is the beginning of a strange and dangerous liaison. When Nihat discovers a picture of the woman's imprisoned husband and realizes that he looks almost exactly like him, the relation becomes even more toxic.
Director: Ozan Açıktan
2014; 106 min.
Screening: Saturday, March 28 at 8:00 pm
(Winner of Best Director of Photography at the Istanbul Film Festival)
Consequences is an urban crime thriller, a rare genre for Turkish cinema. On a hot summer night, after a hip part, Ece goes to Cenk's place. Suddenly a thief appears, but somehow manages to escape from the apartment. A moment later another thief, Tatfun appears from the darkness. In self-defense Ece hits him with a heavy object. Tayfun collapses onto the floor, covered in blood. From this point on a chain of unexpected events, relationships, and consequences are set in motion, which keep the audience guessing until the very end.
Annemin Şarkısı/ Song of My Mother / Klama Dayika Min
Director: Erol Mintaş
2014; 103 min.
Screening: Sunday, March 29 at 6:30 pm
Pre-screening reception and post-screening Q&A with Erol Mintaş
(Winner of Best Film and Best Actor at the Sarajevo Film Festival)
Erol Mintaş's moving debut feature reflects on the themes of family, aging and cultural identity. Ali lives with his aging mother Nigar in Istanbul's Tarlabaşı district, home to many Kurdish immigrants since the 90's. When the ongoing gentrification forces them to move, they end up in the soulless concrete desert of the city's outskirts. Convinced that her old neighbors have moved back to their village in Eastern Turkey Nigar roams the city every day, in search of her village and the song that keeps returning in her dreams. Meanwhile Ali discoveres that his girlfriend is pregnant, yet he is not ready to become a father.
Köksüz (Nobody's Home)
Director: Deniz Akçay Katıksız
2013; 81 min.
Screening: Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 pm
(Winner of Best Debut Feature and Audience Award at the Istanbul Film Festival)
This strong directorial debut tells the story of four people who cannot become a family again after a loss and who destroy themselves with each passing day. After her husband's death, Nurcan gives her eldest daughter Feride her father's responsibilities. Devoted to his late father as the only son, İlker reacts fiercely when authority is seized by Feride. Alienated from the family İlker acts out in increasingly destructive ways, while his teenage sister Özge tries hard to be noticed within all this drama. Each character is portrayed compellingly and the performances of real life mother and son Lale Başar and Savaş Alp Başar are exceptional.
Director: Derviş Zaim
2014; 80 min.
Screening: Thursday, April 2 at 6:00 pm
The latest feature film from Derviş Zaim, is an allegorical story that focuses on the human-nature relationship. Set in a small fishing town "Fish" follows the story of Kaya, a fisherman who's trying hard to make ends meet for his family. Unable to cope with the pressures arising from his daughter's mysterious illness and his financial difficulties, Kaya begins to use a dangerous and illegal fishing method. This decision has heavy consequences not only for the lake but also for all of the key characters in the story. Dealing with one of the most pressing issues of our time "Fish" explores the dilemma arising from our need to exploit nature versus the long term necessity to protect our fragile eco-system.
Kumun Tadı (Seaburners)
Director: Melisa Önel
2014; 89 min.
Screening: Thursday, April 2 at 8:15 pm
Melisa Önel's visually evocative debut feature follows Hamit, who commutes between Istanbul and a desolate border town on the Black Sea coast, not too far from the big city. Working for Ali, a coal merchant-turned-human trafficker, Hamit trucks coal into the city and illegal immigrants out of it; his sole consolation being Denise - a botanist who is in Turkey for a research project. Hamit cannot let her know that he works as a human trafficker, but Denise is increasingly tired of his mysterious behavior. Seaburners, which premiered at the Berlinale, focuses on the physical as well as symbolic borders and barriers between people, places, and dreams.
Director: Ramin Matin
2013; 95 min.
Screening: Friday, April 3 at 7:00 pm
Post-screening Q&A with Ramin Matin
(Winner of Best Film and Best Director at Antalya International Film Festival, Best Foreign Film at Mexico International Film Festival, Best Film Romania International Film Festival)
In Ramin Matin's powerful second feature two sisters in their early thirties find themselves once again in the summer cottage of their late grandmother. While their vacation starts well enough with sunny skies, blue seas and playful jokes, an uneasy tension soon starts to develop between the sisters. The film intricately builds towards the climactic revelation of a devastating secret, which will either bring them closer than ever or push them apart forever. "The Impeccables", which has received much international attention, is part of a new wave of Turkish films.
Unutursam Fısılda (Whisper If I Forget)
Director: Çağan Irmak
2014; 123 min.
Screening: Saturday, April 4 at 7:00 pm
Pre-screening reception and post-screening Q&A with Mehmet Günsür
The latest film from Çağan Irmak, one of Turkey's most beloved and popular filmmakers, tells the emotional love story of Ayperi and Tarık as they struggle against all odds to achieve their dreams of fame and fortune. The story is told in flashbacks as remembered by aging Ayperi who arrives back at her family home after many years and has to confront and resolve her problematic relationship with her sister. A musical feast set in the 70s "Whisper If I Forget" explores the themes of love, friendship, ambition and betrayal.