2nd Annual Turkish Film Festival
October 14-16, 2005
Harkins Valley Art Theatre

2005 Festival Catalog (pdf) - Click here to download

All screenings were held at:
Harkins Valley Art Theatre
505 South Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 446-7272

Tentative Schedule:
Oct. 14, Friday, 7 pm: Duvara Karsi / Head On
followed by Q&A with Fred Linch, Artistic Director - Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and kick-off party (free turkish food and live music)

Oct. 15, Saturday, 4 pm: G.O.R.A.
Oct. 15, Saturday, 7 pm: Kebap Connection

Oct. 16, Sunday, 4 pm: Yengec Sepeti / Lobster Pot
Oct. 16, SUnday, 7 pm: Kasaba / Small Town (Q&A with Chris Lamont, Executive Director & Co-founder of Phoenix Film Festival)

Sponsored by:


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Duvara Karsi / Gegen die Wand / Head-On

2004, 121 minutes
35 mm, color
German and Turkish with English subtitles
Written and directed by Fatih Akin
Cinematography by Rainer Klausmann
Edited by Andrew Bird
Music by Klaus Maeck
Produced by Stefan Schubert, Ralph Schwingel
Featuring Birol Ünel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Sitriebeck, Güven Kiraç, Meltem Cumbul, Cem Akin, Aysel Iscan, Demir Gökgöl, Mehmet Kurtulus

Synopsis:
Charged with sex, drugs, and palpable chemistry between stars Birol †nel and Sibel Kekilli, Duvara Karsi (Head-On), received international critical acclaim for its gritty portrayal of the relationship between two troubled Turks living in Hamburg. Sibel and Cahit meet in the unlikely setting of a mental institution, where they both end up after unsuccessful attempts at suicide. After her failed episode, Sibel decides that marriage to a Turk is the only thing that can save her from the prison of her devout, conservative family. Reluctantly, Cahit agrees to Sibel's sudden proposal of marriage, perhaps not so much as to save her, as to do something meaningful in his own life. And while Sibel throws herself into Hamburg's nightlife and limitless sexual opportunities, Cahit slowly falls in love with her. A sudden explosion of jealousy results in a violent death, and the couple is forcibly separated. While both Sibel and Cahit are deeply wounded and fragile, the plot twists that ensue take them on new journeys, to new terrain, and toward disparate futures. All the while, director Fatih Akin explores the slippery slope of identity and cultural pride, while eliciting utterly spellbinding performances from his two leading actors. Cutting from shots of the two drinking raki and savoring Turkish fare like dolma to the two dancing and screaming "punk is not dead" in Cahit's wreck of an apartment, Akin captures the many dimensions of hyphenated nationalities, as well as the rage and euphoria of living dangerously.

Critics are calling Duvara Karsi a realistic look at modern-day German-Turkish relationships and a serious glimpse into the daily confrontations between traditional Islamic values and Germany's second generation of Turkish descent, the children of the guest workers who came to help revive the German economy in the late 60s and early 70s.

"'Head-On' may offend those who endorse cultural relativism, no matter how noxious its consequences, or forget that freedom from religion is as essential as freedom of religion. Mr. Akin's commitment to his characters is uncompromising, as is his humanity, which makes a mockery of the kind of politically correct pieties that often plague stories about cultural outsiders. Unlike, say, Ken Loach in his last film, the nauseatingly smug 'A Fond Kiss', Mr. Akin doesn't presume to know how to tie up religious, cultural and sexual differences in a neat packageÉ Despite the tears, the blood and the booze, 'Head-On' is a hopeful film, if for no other reason than Cahit and Sibel can't be sized up or pinned down, their troubles filed under immigration and assimilation. Their tribulations are at once specific and universal, by turns grimly funny and darkly ironic. Set principally against the grubby environs of working-class Hamburg, in dives and derelict apartments, the film has a terrific sense of place. The city's grubbiness works a vivid contrast to the visions of Turkey that flicker throughout the film. Istanbul looks beautiful, but then so, too, does Cahit's wreck of an apartment, where anarchy and the freedom it promises linger as stubbornly as the smell of stale beer and cigarettes."

Manohla Dargis, The New York Times Film Critic

Festivals and Awards
2005 Göteborg Film Festival (Sweden)
2005 Goya Awards (Spain): Best European Picture
2004 Berlin International Film Festival (Germany): Golden Bear, FIPRESCI         Competition Film Award
2004 Cannes Film Festival (France)
2004 International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania)
2004 Nuremberg Turkish-German Film Festival (Germany): Best Actor (Birol Ünel), Best Actress (Sibel Kekilli)
2004 German Film Awards (Germany): Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actress (Sibel Kekilli), Best Leading Actor (Birol Ünel), Best Cinematography
2004 Seville Film Festival (Spain): Audience Award
2004 European Film Academy Awards: Best Film, The Jameson People’s Choice Award for Best Director
2004 Film+2004: Best Editing
2004 International Film Camera Festival Manaki Brothers (Macedonia): Golden Camera 300
2004 German Camera Award (Germany): Best Feature Film
2004 Guild of German Art House Cinemas (Germany): Gold German Film
2004 German New Faces Award (Germany): Best Actress (Sibel Kekilli)
2004 Oslo Films from the South Festival (Norway): Best Director

From Fatih …zgźven
Duvara Karsi / Head-On

Head-On is a blast-against-the-wall as its original German title Gegen die Wand promises. The wall in question is the Turkish-German community in Berlin and the characters are its third generation members, young people searching for a way out of the traditional existence suffocating them; finding themselves up against a wall. For Sibel, a young Turkish girl who wants to escape the confines of traditional family values, the solution is a faked marriage with Cahit, an older, totally estranged Turkish man, a long time resident of Berlin, a bachelor, a bohemian and a perfect cynic. Nevertheless, blood being thicker than water, Fatih Akin’s film has its roots in the melodramas of the golden era of Turkish film (Yesilçam), and cynicism and deceit soon give way to hopeless passion. The girl leaves for ‘the City’, Istanbul, where lie her roots and where she intends to live out her unhappiness; all that blood, sweat and tears. Inevitably the man follows. Head On is a Turkish melodrama updated with just the right touch of timeliness and with a lot of Turkish music and some Turkish cuisine thrown in, spices and all. Fatih Akin, whose earlier German films (especially Short Sharp Shock) were energetic, vibrant studies of the conditions of the Turkish diaspora in Germany, extends the pain and passion to his homeland and discovers that one may not after all be able to escape one’s roots, both literally and metaphorically.

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G.O.R.A.

2004, 128 minutes
35 mm, color
Turkish with English subtitles
Directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak
Screenplay by Cem Yilmaz
Cinematography by Veli Kuzlu
Edited by Çagri Türkkan, Mustafa Preseva
Music by Ozan Çolakoglu
Produced by Necati Akpinar, Nuri Sevin
Featuring Cem Yilmaz, Özkan Ugur, Erdal Tosun, Safak Sezer, Cezmi Baskin, Idil Firat, Engin Günaydin, Muhittin Günaydin, Özge Özberk, Ozan Güven

Synopsis:
Arif is a carpet salesman, tour guide, and travel agent who is obsessed with UFOs. Ever the businessman, he stages a series of fake UFO sightings (most of which involve a ceramic dish held up against the horizon), and taking full advantage of technology, “captures” them on film for local tabloids. Ironically, one day he is abducted by real UFOs and taken to the planet G.O.R.A. While Arif’s primary goal is to escape, he finds himself waging a war against Logar, the human-hating commander of the alien army who wants to take control of the planet and enslave the human race. With his strong desire for power, coldhearted Logar is making plans to marry Ceku, the beautiful daughter of G.O.R.A.’s president. Luckily, Arif is not the kind to easily accept captivity or defeat. With the help of his wannabe Bob Marley friend and an android named 216, Arif manages to save the planet from imminent disaster, and of course, gets the girl.

Starring and written by Cem Yilmaz, and directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak (Vizontele), G.O.R.A. is much more than your typical comedy. While parodying blockbusters like Star Wars and The Matrix, the film smartly mixes in cultural references that give this comedy a very Turkish twist. The film is also the first of its kind in the Turkish film industry. Coming a long way from films like Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World), the film was shot using HD technology and the post-production process was carried out in a digital atmosphere aiming to reflect the results of combining the real surroundings with two and three dimensional effects. In order to create the set, an imaginary planet was built inside the Antalya Film Studios, with construction carried out in seven different factory plants.

Festivals and Awards
2005 Montreal Fantasia Film Festival

From Atilla Dorsay
Surprise! We have a sci-fi parody!
G.O.R.A.


The most expensive, most ambitious, most delayed (more than two years!), most gossiped about, most anticipated and most promoted film of recent Turkish cinema, G.O.R.A. is an exceptionally successful movie that delivers high-quality, laugh-out-loud comedy from start to finish.

This film is a parody, which is a very rare genre in Turkish cinema. The few examples of parody in Turkish film history include Arabesk (Arabesque), which is a satire of old YesilŤam (the Turkish equivalent of Hollywood) clichŽs, Amerikali (The American), which makes fun of the foreign blockbusters of the early 90s and Kahpe Bizans (Perfidious Byzantium), which pokes fun at Turkish period pieces. With a nod to the great Sadri Alisik, one can think along the lines of Turist …mer Goes to Space and not earlier Turkish sci-fi attempts like the cult-fave Dźnyayi Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World).

The story starts when con man and carpet dealer Arif is abducted by aliens and taken to the planet G.O.R.A. The scene is then set for the film to take on the science-fiction genre with humor stamped with a classic Cem Yilmaz attitude. The audience will burst into laughter as Arif introduces G.O.R.A.'s inhabitants to raki, belly dance, Turkish machismo, and Beyoglu slang. But to say that the film is a prolonged Cem Yilmaz show or comedy sketch would be a disservice to the screenplay, …mer Faruk Sorak's energetic direction, the extraordinary supporting cast, and the well-executed and timed special effects. I especially liked the performances of Rasim …ztekin, Ozan Gźven, and …zkan Ugur.

This is a highly successful and entertaining film that doesn't compromise quality in trying to capture a large audience - don't miss it!

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Kebab Connection

2004, 96 minutes
35 mm, color
German with English subtitles
Directed by Anno Saul
Screenplay by Fatih Akin, Ruth Toma, Jan Berger, Anno Saul
Cinematography by Hannes Hubach
Edited by Tobias Haas
Music by Marcel Barsotti
Produced by Ralph Schwingel and Stefan Schubert
Featuring Nora Tschirner, Denis Moschitto, Gźven KiraŤ, Hasan Ali Mete, Sibel Kekilli, Adnan Maral

Synopsis:
Young Turkish immigrant Ibo idolizes Bruce Lee and wants to be the director of the first German kung-fu film. Since his ambition is rivaled only by his lack of experience, he has to begin on a small scale. He sets out to make a commercial spot for his uncle’s kebab joint, all the while trying to prove his skill at making martial arts films. The commercial turns out to be a raging success, and everything on Ibo’s horizon looks bright – until his German girlfriend tells him she is pregnant. The thought of Ibo having a child with a gavur (unbeliever) infuriates his father, and Ibo finds himself out on the street having managed to anger both his family and his girlfriend. His uncle promises to help him patch things up in return for another commercial. But when Ibo’s second spot results in a fiasco, he becomes desperate and agrees to make a commercial for a Greek restaurant run by his uncle’s worst enemy. Once the mafia gets involved, Ibo can finally put his kung-fu talents to the test. An inspired example of the ethnic comedy genre, Kebab Connection takes a satirical turn, moving away from the often heavy-handed, moralistic treatment of the German-Turkish problem.

Festivals and Awards
2005 Brooklyn International Film Festival (U.S.A.)
2005 Festival of German Cinema (Spain)
2005 Raindance East Film Festival (U.K.)
2005 Festival of German Films (Australia)
2005 Febiofest (Czech Republic)
2005 Turkish-German Film Festival (Germany)
2005 Berlin International Film Festival (Germany)
2005 Göteborg Film Festival (Sweden)
2005 Tromso International Film Festival (Norway)
2005 Max Ophüls Film Festival (Germany)
2004 Lünen Film Festival (Germany)
2004 Hofer Film Days (Germany)

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YengeŤ Sepeti / Lobster Pot

1995, 96 minutes
35 mm, color
Turkish with English subtitles
Written and directed by Yavuz Ozkan
Cinematography by Ertunç Senkay
Edited by Sedat Karadeniz
Produced by Yavuz Özkan, Aycan Çetin, Fatih Aksoy, Kadir Yilmaz
Featuring Sadri Alisik, Macide Tanir, Mehmet Aslantug, Derya Alabora, Ege Aydan, Sedef Ecer, Oktay Kaynarca, Sahika Tekand, Berna Tunali

Synopsis:
Yengeç Sepeti
(Lobster Pot) is a must-see movie by Yavuz Özkan, which won fourteen different film awards at various film festivals, including the Antalya Film Festival Best Actor Award for legendary actor Sadri Alisik. Lobster Pot is the story of a family reunion held by an elderly couple at their lakeside country house. The weekend union makes it painfully clear that the attempt at maintaining the illusion of a good home will fail as social circumstances have destroyed the relationships within the family. Among the invitees are Ömer the son, his undemonstrative wife who knows about Ömer's mistress, Ömer's children, the other son who also brings his seductive lover, and the daughter, a divorcee, who brings her child. Mayhem ensues when the daughter's ex-husband makes a surprise appearance at the house, claiming his little daughter’s custody on grounds of his ex-wife’s allegedly indecent life style. His brother in-law beats him almost to death. The incident unleashes a hidden violence poisoning the seemingly peaceful and caring relations of the family members. The microcosm of the family shakes as all the forgotten conflicts, long suppressed hatred and fury surface one by one. A wrong move or a wrong word can embitter the atmosphere, but then, almost as easily, comes the temporary calm; love, understanding, pity, and repentance bring them close to each other, until….

Excerpt from the website of mtv.com

Festivals and Awards
1995 Berlin International Film Festival (Germany), Panorama Section
1995 International Istanbul Film Festival (Turkey): Special Jury Prize; FIPRESCI
        (The International Federation of Film Critics) Award: Best Director,
        Best Actor (Sadri Alisik),
        Best Cinematography
1995 Alexandria International Film Festival (Egypt): Special Jury Award
1995 Association of Turkish Cinema Critics Award (Turkey): Best Second Film,
        Best Cinematography
1995 Adana Film Festival (Turkey): Best Third Film
1995 Ankara International Film Festival (Turkey):
        Best Supporting Actress (Derya Alabora), Best Editing
1994 Antalya Film Festival (Turkey): Best Film, Best Director,
        Best Actor (Sadri Alisik, Mehmet Aslantug),
        Best Supporting Actress (Derya Alabora), Best Editing
1994 Turkish Ministry of Culture Achievement in Cinema Award
1994 MGD Golden Lens Award (Turkey): Best Director

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Kasaba/ Small Town

1997, 82 minutes
35 mm, black and white
Turkish with English subtitles
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Screenplay by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cinematography by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Music by
Produced by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Featuring Mehmet Emin Toprak, Havva Sa_lam, Cihat Butun, Fatma Ceylan

KASABA (The Small Town) had its world premiere at 48th Berlin International Film Festival in February 1998.

Synopsis:
The world and its lessons are reduced to a year in a tiny Anatolian village (the childhood home of Ceylan) in this triumph of personal filmmaking. Told from the perspective of two children, and in four parts which run parallel to seasons, KASABA describes relationships between members of a Turkish family in a small town. The first part is in a primary school where the family's 11 year old doughter is a pupil. It shows the social environment to which she has to adopt, and its difficulties. She faces with her feeling of shame and some merciless clues of life... The second part is in spring. We see the girl with her brother, who is four years younger, and their journey to the corn field where their family are waiting for them. As they pass through the countryside, they encounter the mysteries of nature and wildlife... In the third part the brother and sister witness the complexities and darkness of the adult world... The fourth part takes place at home. This is a tranquil sequence moving between reality and dream. Self-produced with a crew of two, this film is based on a short story by Ceylan's sister.

Festivals and Awards
Caligari Prize, 1998 Berlin Film Festival
Tokyo Silver Prize, 1998 Tokyo Film Festival
Special Jury Prize, 1998 Nantes Film Festival
Fipresci and Special Jury Prize, 1998 Istanbul Film Festival
Special Jury Prize, 1999 Premier Plans Film Festival
Best Film, Best Cinematography, 1999 Cologne Film Festival

Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan was born in Istanbul, Turkey, 1959. After graduating from Engineering Department of Bosphorus University, he studied Film Making for two years at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul. He made his cinema debut with a low-budget but a high-impact short film, Cocoon (Koza, 1995), which tells the story of an old couple reuniting with the burden of their painful past, and was officially selected for the Short Film Competition of the 48th Cannes International Film Festival. His first feature film, The Small Town (Kasaba, 1997) brought him 18 international awards, including Caligari Prize in the 1998 Berlin Film Festival. Clouds of May (Mayős Sőkőntőső, 1999), telling the story of a young director returning to his small town to make a film, had its world premiere in the 50th Berlin International Film Festival in 2000 and has won awards in many international competitions. Ceylan’s most recent work, Distant (Uzak, 2003), was described by Variety as “an arthouse film par excellence, a consummately made study of loneliness and frustration that confirms the emerging talent of Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan" and was named as one of the best films of the decade by the Guardian. Among many others, Distant received the Grand Jury Prize and Best Actor Award in the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and was screened in the movie theaters worldwide.

Filmography
1995 - KOZA (Cocoon). Short film. 35mm. 20min. Black&White
1997 - KASABA (The Small Town). 35mm. 85min. Black&White
1999 - MAYIS SIKINTISI (Clouds of May) .117min. 35mm. Color
2002 - UZAK (Distant) . 110min. 35mm. Color

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For information on on-screen advertising during the Festival and rates,
please contact kilic@bosphorusartproject.org

Venue Information:
HARKINS VALLEY ART THEATRE
505 South Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 446-7272
Theater Express Code: 027
Click here for map and directions

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