The International Istanbul Puppetry Festival which every May transforms the metropolis into a visual feast of colorful puppets, begins today for the 16th year in a row.
The festival, which will run until May 19th, will be hosting puppetry masters from Turkey, England, Spain, Italy, Austria, Mexico, Norway and Greece to name a few. In addition to a series of puppetry performances, the festival will also feature workshops, film screenings, conferences and exhibitions.
The festival opens today with a gala performance of the joint German-French-Swiss production of "Hotel de Rive" at the French Culture Center in Istanbul. The performance is based on four surrealist texts by Swiss sculptor Giacometti.
In an interview with SABAH, the festival's founder and art director Cengiz Özek explained that when they first held the International Puppetry Festival 16 years ago there were only four foreign groups and maybe just four to five Turkish groups that performed. "This year art lovers will get to watch 30 performances from 15 different countries. We are able to observe that every year the festival is held there has been an increased interest by audiences and artists interested in the art of puppetry. We have introduced tens of thousands of Istanbullites to puppetry through the performances and exhibitions we have held in public spaces. This is really important to us," said Özek.
HONOR AWARD GOES TO CITY THEATERS
The 16th International Istanbul Puppetry Festival will also be presenting this year's Award of Honor to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theaters (İBB City Theater) for their regular showing of a variety of puppetry performances. The İBB City Theater will be presenting three separate performances; "The Dance of the Drops", "The Three Siblings and the Amazing Wolf" and "The Mermaid".
This is a translation of an article originally written by Fırat Karadeniz.