Culinary cinema event enlivens 54th Antalya Film Festival

Published 26.10.2017 00:11
Updated 26.10.2017 00:14
ROCA BROTHERS (Jordi, Joan and Josep)
ROCA BROTHERS (Jordi, Joan and Josep)

‘The Turkish Way,' a culinary cinema event that livened up the 54th Antalya International Film Festival by bringing different cultures together through cuisine, was held on Oct. 23 at 7 Mehmet restaurant

The 54th Antalya International Film Festival has assumed an "international identity" with aims to become a distinguished and well-renowned event that exceeds the boundaries of the country and creates excitement throughout the world when its name is heard.

The annual gathering brought participants together with its official anthology, special sections and activities, which are the focus of interest throughout the world.As the "International Competition" is awaited with bated breath, the festival promised a rich cinema experience with a wide variety of dramas, comedies and creative documentaries, in which today's masters of international film deal with modern-day issues through distinctive approaches.

In addition to the competition, the festival will hold the Antalya Film Forum, which is the principal project that supports the field of industrialization in Turkey.

The Antalya Film Forum is a joint production and project development market. Made even stronger this year, it aims to promote the projects coming out of Turkey to the world and the professionals in the world, to increase the opportunities for production, to develop strategy and to encourage filmmakers who wish to make films.

For the third year in a row, the forum is the focal point of the festival. The project is an area of discovery for new filmmakers and it ensures that they can come together with professionals from all over the world to participate in the festival.

One of the most important innovations this year was strengthening the kid's section, which targeted the children and youth of Antalya. Allowing them to be closely engaged with art and cinema with this newly reinforced section, the children are supported in developing their vision by utilizing examples from world cinema.

Eyüp Kemal Sevinç

Likewise in this context, a platform for the children has been made where they can enjoy themselves in workshops and conversations with surprise guests.

Another attractive and innovative aspect of the forum is the gastronomy section, where world cultures are brought together. This section involves films related to gastronomy, where famous chefs are able to present participants with the tasty menus that they created with inspiration from the big screen.

Speaking about the festival's gastronomy section, the artistic director of the festival, Mike Downey, said, "Antalya is a food lover's paradise. When I first visited Turkey decades ago, almost before gastronomy became fashionable as we know it today, I was aware that I had entered a food lover's nirvana."

"With a festival in the epicenter of so much amazing fresh produce, great restaurants and great chefs, the natural next step was to include a message about food to the film experience," Downey said. "Add to that the increasing number of films in the marketplace which represent active engagement with the foods that we eat and how they are produced to the final version of how these ingredients will be all put together, and our choice for this section becomes a platform which specifically showcases films that explore our relationship with food and provides a space to reflect on the decisions and rituals around food happening the world over, in the context of great chefs and great produce from the region."

One of these culinary inspired films titled, "The Turkish Way," combines not only gastronomy and cinema but also different cultures, in this section, through which the wealthy food culture of Antalya is introduced to the whole world. The documentary film, which was screened on Oct. 23, was followed by a dinner of special tastes given to the participants.

The Turkish Way tells the story of the Roca brothers, who are the owners of El Celler de Can Roca, one of the best restaurants in the world. The brothers, who come from Spain to Turkey, are on a unique journey to experience Turkish culture and cuisine in the film. The documentary is an interesting combination of cinema and gastronomy that introduces several meals, desserts and wines, and it also includes familiar but exciting moments and various surprises.

Starting with the introduction of the three brothers, the documentary brings together many chefs who turn their passion into profession. The Roca brothers, Joan, Joseph and Jordi, meet with Turkish chefs in Istanbul province, which is a place located on the Spice Route with various tastes.

After first tasting Turkish coffee, Joan Roca tries many Turkish foods such as kebap, döner, Turkish-style pickles and stuffed squash blossoms. While Jordi Roca tries Turkish desserts such as baklava, künefe and Turkish delight, the other brother, Joseph, is responsible for wine tasting. At the end of the documentary, these three chef brothers are left thoroughly impressed by their new discovery of the Turkish cuisine.

The film, which introduces Turkish cuisine to the world through the Roca brothers, brings together not only various chefs and cultures but also the languages of Spanish, French and Turkish. With the screening of the film as part of the 54th Antalya International Film Festival, the people of Antalya were also given the opportunity to rediscover Turkish cuisine.

Directed by Luis Gonzalezi, "The Turkish Way" is written by the trio, Luis Gonzalezi, Andrea Gomez and Angel Lafuente. The director of cinematography is Jaime Rebato and Miguel Burgos took care of the editing and the film's soundtrack was prepared by Sophie Abraham Ebbinge. Additionally, Sabiha Apaydın, Maksut Askar and Mehmet Gürs accompanied the Roca brothers in the film.

The ensuing dinner at the 7 Mehmet restaurant was selected from a menu prepared by famous Turkish chef Eyüp Kemal Sevinç. The participants watched a short introductory film about the chef and his documentary-inspired menu as they waited for their food.

The dinner joined together Turkish favorites such as Ezine cheese, squash blossoms with other tastes from around the world. The chef used Turkish techniques combined with other techniques from around the world for items on the menu like Alexandretta shrimp with rocket sauce, which made the experience all the more delicious.

The feast ended with a short speech given by chef Sevinç, who expressed his thanks to everyone for their contributions to the event and introduced the diners to his team that helped him with preparations. When dinner was over, the guests left the restaurant with the happiness of having witnessed and tasted the results of this cultural combination.

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