Organized by the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality for the 52nd time, the International Antalya Film Festival announced the festival's program for the International Feature Film Competition Category. Turkey will be represented by two productions: "Rüzgarın Hatıraları" (Memories of the Wind) and "Kalandar Soğuğu" (Cold of Kalandar). A number of highly acclaimed films that won awards at prestigious international festivals will make their premieres in Turkey at the film festival in Antalya.
The International Feature Film Competition will give a 50,000-euro prize to the best film. For the first time in the festival's history, awards will be handed out for Best Director, Best Scriptwriting, Best Music, Best Female Actress and Best Male Actor. The winners from these categories will be announced during the closing ceremony of the festival on Dec. 6.
The films featured in the 52nd International Antalya Film Festival's International Feature Film Competition Category were carefully selected to increase the prestige and power of the festival in the international arena.
"Bridgend" is based on a true story. The film follows Sara and her father, Dave, as they move to Bridgend, a town haunted by a series of child suicides. Dave becomes the new police officer in the town and tries to end the mysterious suicides, while Sara begins a romantic relationship with Jamie. Starring Adrian Rawlins, known for his roles in Lars Von Trier's "Breaking the Waves," the Harry Potter series and "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself," "Bridgend" is a journey to the dark side of the relationship between adults and teenagers. Directed by Jeppe Ronde, the film won awards for Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Officially, 79 suicide cases were recorded in Bridgend County between December 2007 and January 2012. The cases mostly involved teenagers and attracted much attention as none of the victims left suicide notes behind.
"Pojkarna" (Girls Lost) is a provocative production directed by Swedish Alexandra-Therese Keining. Adapted from Jessica Schiefuer's namesake novel, which sparked a debate in Sweden due to its provocative plot, the film tries to depict how girls experience adolescence. "Girls Lost" tells the stories of 14-year-old girls Kim, Bella and Momo as they discover their sexual identities, love and bravery. Apart from Mandus Berg, the other lead actors make their debut roles in the film.
"Bîranînen Lî Ser Kevîr" (Memories on Stone) is about Kurdish childhood friends Hussein and Alan who want to direct and produce a film about the genocide of Iraqi Kurds during the Anfal campaign in 1988. They learn that to discover and then expose the truth via cinema, it's worth putting everything on the line, even their own lives. Director Shawkat Amin Korki compares shooting a film in the Middle East to entering the Bermuda Triangle. He also says that a tragic plot might also turn into a comedy due to the unique circumstances in the region, and he gives great importance to the originality of his films. Winner of the UNESCO award at the 2014 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the film stars Hussein Hassan, Nazmi Kirik, Shima Molaei and Ala Riani.
"Pionery-Geroier" (Pioneer Heroes) is directed by Natalya Kudryashova and is a story about growing up. The film starts in 1984 when Olga, Katya and Andrew, who all attend the same school in Moscow, decide they want to be pioneers in the Soviet Union. Andrew wants to find a cure for mortality, Olga wants to go after sinister agents, and Katya wants to be a politician. However, when they reach their 30s, they lose their dreams and hopes. Olga acts in a TV series. Katya works at a huge PR agency and falls in love with a married man. Andrew is a political scientist who tries to get rid of stress by playing video games. All they want to do is maintain a stable life like everybody else. Director Kudyashova plays Olga in the film.
"Vergine Giurata" (Sworn Virgin) is Laura Bispuri's first feature length film. Adapted from Elvira Dones' namesake novel, the film competed for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and won the Nora Ephron Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Hana Doda sacrificed her womanhood for freedom. Years later, she has to sacrifice her honor to regain her womanhood. Hana escapes her destiny of being a wife and servant, the fate ascribed to most women living in the inhospitable mountains of Albania. Under the guidance of her uncle, she appeals to the old law of the Kanun and swears her eternal virginity, thus becoming a "sworn virgin." She then identifies herself as a man and calls herself Mark. Years later, Mark goes on a journey to Italy to rediscover Hana and transform his identity once more. Actress Alba Rohrwacher, who was applauded for her performance in "Hungary Hearts," plays Hana and Mark in Bispuri's film.
"Masaan," director Neeraj Ghaywan's first feature length film, won multiple awards at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is the story of people looking for a better life. A poor young man, Deepak, falls in love with a girl with a higher social status. Devi struggles with her guilty consciousness after her first love disappears. Devi's father, Pathak, who is a victim of police abuse, ultimately trades in his morals for money. On the other hand, little Jhonta looks for a family that he can call his own. Set in the city of Benares, which is located near the holy Ganges River, the film captures the clashes between traditional and modern life.
"The Idol" is the story of Asaf the wedding singer. Palestinian director Hani Ebu Essed made a name for himself with his films "Promised Heaven" and "Omar." The film presents a story from the Arab version of the famous TV show "American Idol." At the beginning of the film, the audience meets 10-year-old Asaf and his 20-year-old sister Nur who shares Asaf's passion for music. Asaf decides he wants to buy a musical instrument and form a band with his friends, Eşref and Ömer. Nur puts her dreams away and starts making her brother's dreams come true. In the eyes of Gazans as well as Palestinians, Asaf becomes the embodiment of hope. The story is proof that the young people of Gaza can tear down every barrier with their talent.
"Enklava" (Enclave) is set in Kosovo five years after the war. Nenad, a 10-year-old Christian boy, is determined to cross enemy lines to organize a proper burial for his late grandfather. He wants to befriend someone in the Muslim community and get them to help him with the burial of his grandfather. "Hatred is based on the fear of differences and diversity between the two ethnic communities. On the other hand, fear is the lack of love," said Goran Radovanovic, the director of the film. Starring Filip Subaric, Denis Muric and Nebojsa Glogovac, "Enclave" won the Audience Award at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Memories of the Wind
"Rüzgarin Hatıraları" (Memories of the Wind) is a new film from director Özcan Alper, who hopes to make another Turkish cinema classic after his debut film "Sonbahar" (Autumn) won several awards. In his new film, Alper searches for the lost treasures of Anatolia. Aram, a dissident poet and painter, has to leave Turkey at the end of World War II and hides in a small mountain village near the Soviet border until his travel papers are arranged.
Aram's journey gets more complicated as the film progresses. The film stars Onur Saylak, who impressed critics with his performance in "Sonbahar," Mustafa Uğurlu, Sofya Khandamirova, Murat Daltaban, Ebru Özkan and Tuba Büyüküstün. The film won an award for its script at CINEMED as part of the Montpellier Film Festival and received scriptwriting funding from the Rotterdam Film Festival's Huberts Bals Fund. "Rüzgarın Hatıraları" was also granted the Work In Progress Award at last year's Antalya Film Forum.
Cold of Kalandar
"Kalandar Soğuğu" (Cold of Kalandar) is one of the Turkish productions competing in the International Feature Film Category. Director Mustafa Kara, who won Best Director and the Audience Award at the Tokyo Film Festival with his feature film "Umut Adası" (The Island of Hope) in 2007, returned to his homeland to shoot his latest film. The film centers on a man, Mehmet, who lives in a mountainous village in the Black Sea region. In addition to raising livestock, he hunts for valuable minerals and precious stones in the mountains. When he gives up his passion for mining, he decides to start bull fighting in Artvin. "Kalandar Soğuğu" received high praise during the Toronto Film Festival and will make its Turkish premiere at the International Antalya Film Festival.