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Butterfly's Dream ( Kelebeğin Rüyası) 

Director: Yılmaz Erdoğan
2013; 138 min.

Post screening Q&A with actor Mert Fırat.

The visually stunning Butterfly's Dream was Turkey’s Oscar nominee this year. Set during WWII, the story evolves around two young poets (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Mert Fırat) with tuberculosis germs in their lungs and a love of poetry in their heart. They create a competition to gain the attention of the mayor’s pretty daughter (Belçim Bilgin). Meanwhile, the two young men have to deal with disease, poverty, and compulsory work in the mines. Director Yılmaz Erdoğan, a favourite with Turkish audiences, conveys this heartbreaking story with a soothing lightness and a distinct love for poetry.

Screening:  May 16 at 7:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.


Yozgat Blues

Director:  Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun
2013; 92 min

Post-screening Q&A with director Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun.

Yavuz (performed by Ercan Kesal), a musician who sings old fashioned French chansons at shopping malls, decides to take on a job singing in a run-down nightclub in the provincial town Yozgat. His former student Neşe (Ayça Damgacı), who is also in search of a new start, follows him along. They settle in a hotel room and perform together. When they become friends with Sabri, (Tansu Biçer), a local barber, their relationship turns complicated.

Screening:  May 17 at 8:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.


Love Me (Sev Beni)

Directors:  Maryna Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadır Er
2013; 90 min.

Cemal (Ushan Çakır), a young Turkish man betrothed by his family to a girl he has never seen, is dragged to Kiev by his cousin for his bachelor party. In Kiev, Cemal stumbles into beautiful Sasha (Viktoria Spesivtseva), an independent and confident young woman with an agenda of her own. Despite their language barrier, the two soon find themselves falling in love. Love Me is Gorbach and Er’s second collaboration following the celebrated Black Dogs Barking (2009), and had its premier at the World Film Festival in Montreal.

The film had its premier at the World Film Festival in Montreal and came back with three awards from the 34th Oporto International Film Festival.

Screening:  May 25 at 5:00 pm Click here to buy tickets.


Blue Wave (Mavi Dalga)

Directors:  Zeynep Dadak, Merve Kayan
2013; 96 min.

Post-screening Q&A with directors Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan.

At the end of the summer, 16-year-old Deniz (Ayris Alptekin) and her family close up their holiday house and head back home to Balıkesir - a provincial town. Deniz goes back to school and connects with her girlfriends, talking about boys and what universities they would like to attend. The year brings new freedoms and dreams for the girls as it does new longings and fears, along with plentiful advice from well-intentioned adults in their lives, which will be summarily ignored as these girls chart their own paths into adulthood.

Screening:  May 23 at 7:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.



 

Particle (Zerre)

Director: Erdem Tepegöz
2012; 80 min.

Particle tells the story of a single working woman - a rarity in Turkey’s cinema. Zeynep (Jale Arıkan) is already stretched thin to make ends meet when she gets fired from her job at a textile mill. The beautifully shot film closely follows her in and out of workspaces as she searches for a job to support her mother and handicapped daughter. The film captures the desolate streets of Tarlabaşı - a neighborhood suffering from unruly gentrification -  through Zeynep’s eyes, portraying them as dark and suffocating. Particle is the winner of the Best Film award at Moscow International Film Festival.

Screening:  May 25 at 7:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.

 

 

Ships (Ferah Feza)

Director:  Elif Refiğ
2013; 97 min.

Ali (Uğur Uzunel), while working for his father as a ship supplier, spends his time day dreaming in shipyards and harbours. He longs for a more satisfying life, taking time to ponder the nature of coincidences. His search for meaning in signs leads him to a graffiti artist, Eda (M. Sitare Akbaş), with whom he will share a journey through Turkey's ports looking for their escape. Ships won the Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI prize at the European Film Festival in 2013.

Screening:  May 17 at 6:00 pm Click here to buy tickets.

 

Stranger (Yabancı)

Director:  Filiz Alpgezmen
2013; 96 min.

Özgür (Sezin Akbaşoğulları) is the Turkish daughter of parents who, following the coup of 1980, took refuge in France. Her mother passed away when she was a child and Özgür was raised by her father in Paris, having never visited Turkey. Özgür is a young woman who is seriously disconnected from life, a “stranger” to everything but mostly to herself. In Istanbul, she finds out that in order to bury her father, who is no longer considered a Turkish by the government, she must overcome almost impossible bureaucratic problems. These problems force Özgür into a journey through Turkish bureaucracy, Istanbul, herself, and her new-found extended family.

 Screening:  May 24 at 8:00 pm Click here to buy tickets.

 

Documentary Films

 

 

Girls of Hope (Umudun Kızları)

Director:  Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent
2013; 82 min.

Post-screening panel discussion with director Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent and other experts on girls' empowerment globally and telling their stories on film.

Girls of Hope is an ambitious documentary that follows five girls from the Southeast Turkey  who are fighting for their education.The film interviews these girls and their families, who sometimes prevent them from pursuing high school, giving us insight into the girls' pursuit of education against tremendous difficulties. Almost half of the girls in this region are illiterate. This inspiring documentary won the Special Mention at RIFF in Italy.

Screening:  May 21 at 6:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.


My Child (Benim Çocuğum)

Director:  Can Candan
2013; 82 min.

Post-screening Panel discussion with director Can Candan and other experts on LGBT rights.

My Child is a documentary that follows a courageous and inspiring group of parents in Turkey who have children who identify as LGBT individuals. They have not only gone through the path of accepting their children for who they are, but have also opened up and shared their experiences publicly by forming a support group called LISTAG. In this documentary, parents intimately share their feelings and tell the story of their experiences, redefining what it means to be a family in a conservative society. My Child is a powerful film that challenges social prejudices against LGBT individuals. It was screened at numerous festivals worldwide and won many awards, bringing previously taboo issues to headlines and into the living rooms in Turkey.  This screening is co-presented with Human Rights Watch Film Festival.  

Screening:  May 18 at 6:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.

 

Short Film Collection

Screening:  May 18 at 5:00 pm Click here to buy tickets.

After Shave (Dir: Nail Pelivan)

The master has to teach the detail of craft to his assistant. People need justice. If law is not enough, people find the way to sort their problems out in every age.

Alzheimer (Dir: Neslihan Siligür)

The story of a man who is sentenced to be forgotten by his beloved after having lived long and happy years together.

Mesut The Fish (Dir: Hakan Hücum)

The story of Şefik, a traditional Turkish man who is grubby and grumpy, and his wife Nalan. Şefik and Nalan are stuck in a cycle whereby they argue, Nalan leaves for her mother's house and Şefik follows her. But one day when Şefik decides to cook the fish himself, they are able to break out of their old routines.

Scarecrow (Dir: Adem Demirci)

A young woman who lives in a small town is mourning the death of her husband. Although she is by herself now, she still feels as if her husband was standing tall in the centre of her life. She is scared and tries to evade this feeling through a ritual with a scarecrow.

Vanished into Blue (Dir: Abdurrahman Öner)

A commentary on marriage is achieved via a single shot film in which a TV is broadcasting a matchmaking program. Meanwhile, a woman is preparing dinner for her husband. The couple has been married for decades and their marital hostility is contrasted with the ongoing prattle of the matchmaking TV program.

Conscience Films

Screening:  May 24 at 6:30 pm Click here to buy tickets.

Sponsored by the Hrant Dink foundation, the project named “Let’s Take a Look Through Our Conscience” invited people around the globe, amateur or professional filmmakers, to take to display the different faces of conscience via short films. The Hrant Dink Foundation was established in 2007, following the painful event of January 19th. Later, in 2009, this project was initiated as part of the foundation’s various activities aiming to ensure freedom of speech, democracy and human rights for everyone regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural origin or gender. It invites everyone and anyone to make a film of maximum 5 minutes about a topic that touches their conscience. The New York Turkish Film Festival will show a composite of films selected from the submissions by the international jury. These films will move you, educate you, and mostly touch your conscience. For further information you may visit:  www.filmsaboutconscience.org