The !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival, presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Hosting the Turkey premieres for the year’s most talked about films and getting the city up on its feet with parties, !f Istanbul launches in Istanbul on February 18, and visits Ankara and İzmir on March 3-6, 2016! The festival’s theme this year is “!f Istanbul unites!”
Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card and in association with Mars Cinema Group, the 15th edition of !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will take place on February 18-28, 2016 in Istanbul, and on March 3-6, 2016 in Ankara and İzmir. Launching this year with the slogan, “!f Istanbul unites!” the festival will treat audiences to the year’s best independent cinema with the most talked about and award-winning films, provide a fresh alternative to Istanbul’s entertainment and nightlife with !f Music Parties, and take film screenings to 50 different locations in 33 cities through its digital broadcast network !f².
The 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will host screenings on February 18-28 in Beyoğlu Fitaş, Cinemaximum Nişantaşı City’s, Cinemaximum Kanyon, and Cinemaximum Budak movie theaters in Istanbul; and on March 3-6 in Ankara’s Cinemaximum Armada ve İzmir’s Cinemaximum Konak Pier.
Galas: The stars of the year are here!
The Galas section hosts the year’s most eagerly awaited films celebrated at the world’s major festivals from Toronto to Venice, Cannes and Sundance. This year’s selection includes films by Gaspar Noé, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Jean-Marc Vallée, Davis Guggenheim, and Maïwenn, among others.
Known for legendary videos he shot for Radiohead and Muse, as well as his acclaimed documentaries “Joy Division” and “Patience (After Sebald)”, Grant Gee’s “Innocence of Memories”—inspired by Nobel Laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk’s ‘Museum of Innocence’—will be screened in !f Istanbul after making its world premiere in Venice where it was met with great acclaim.
This year’s gala films are:
“A Bigger Splash” (dir. Luca Guadagnino)
“Anomalisa” (dir. Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson) (!f Istanbul opening film)
“Boris sans Béatrice/Boris without Béatrice” (dir. Denis Côté)
“Brand: A Second Coming” (dir. Ondi Timoner)
“Demolition” (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée) (!f Istanbul closing film)
“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” (dir. Marielle Heller)
“The End of the Tour” (dir. James Ponsoldt)
“Green Room” (dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
“He Named Me Malala” (dir. Davis Guggenheim)
“I Smile Back” (dir. Adam Salky)
“Innocence of Memories” (dir. Grant Gee)
“Into the Forest” (dir. Patricia Rozema)
“James White” (dir. Josh Mond)
“Kill Your Friends” (dir. Owen Harris)
“Krisha” (dir. Trey Edward Shults)
“Les Deux Amis/Two Friends” (dir. Louis Garrel)
“Love 3D” (dir. Gaspar Noé)
“Mon Roi/My King” (dir. Maïwenn)
“Nie Yinniang/The Assassin” (dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
“Þrestir/Sparrows” (dir. Rúnar Rúnarsson)
“Tangerine” (dir. Sean Baker)
“This Changes Everything” (dir. Avi Lewis)
“The Wolfpack” (dir. Crystal Moselle)
!f Inspired: The most inspired director of the year!
!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival’s international competition section !nspired continues to look for the year’s most inspired director in its eighth year. 9 films will compete in the contest, open to directors who have directed their first or second film, after which the jury will select the most inspired director of 2016.
The jury responsible for selecting the recipient of the $10,000 prize is comprised of prominent members of the international and Turkish film communities, including director, screenwriter, and actress Desiree Akhavan, MoMA film curator Joshua Siegel, actress and film editor Dounia Sichov, Turkish actor and screenwriter Mert Fırat, and Cinema Scope magazine editor and publisher Mark Peranson.
The nominees in the international selection are:
“AAAAAAAAH!”/UK (Dir. Steve Oram)
“Bîranîna Hespa Reş/Black Horse Memories”/Turkey, Iran (Dir. Shahram Alidi)
“Crumbs”/Spain, Ethiopia, Finland (Dir. Miguel Llansó)
“Lu bian ye can/Kaili Blues”/China (Dir. Bi Gan)
“MA”/USA (Dir. Celia Rowlson-Hall)
“Ma dar Behesht/Paradise”/Iran, Germany (Dir. Sina Ataeian Dena)
“Ni Le Ciel Ni La Terre/The Wakhan Front”/France, Belgium (Dir. Clément Cogitore)
“Notes on Blindness”/UK, France (Dir. Peter Middleton, James Spinney)
Turkey’s nominee this year is “Veşartî/Hidden” directed by Ali Kemal Çınar. Shot in black and white, the magical realist, Kurdish-language film handles bold realities of feminist issues, the role of women in traditional Turkish and Kurdish societies, and the ways in which the government deals with them.
In addition, a jury of the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) including Münir Emre Göker, Gözde Onaran and Vecdi Sayar will decide a Special Jury Award.
Love & Change: The year’s most creative intervention!
Eight films from countries including Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Iran, Switzerland, UK, USA and Turkey will compete for this year’s Love & Change award, launched two years ago and designed to showcase activist films from around the world.
This year’s Love & Change Competition jury unites experts from the documentary and art world. The jury that will select “the year’s most creative intervention” includes director and screenwriter Adam Curtis, whose latest film “Bitter Lake” will be screened this year in !f Istanbul; contemporary artist, art critic and writer Şener Özmen, and documentary producer Philippa Kowarsky.
“Bağlar” to have world premiere in !f Istanbul!
Love & Change will be hosting a special selection of the year’s best activist films, from directors who have managed to change the world using a camera.
The international selection will consist of:
“The Russian Woodpecker”/UK (dir. Chad Gracia)
“Bella e perduta/Lost and Beautiful”/Italy (dir. Pietro Marcello)
“Yallah! Underground”/Czech Republic, Germany, UK, Egypt, Canada, USA (dir. Farid Eslam)
“Sonita”/Iran, Germany, Switzerland (dir. Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami)
“Dreamcatcher”/UK (dir. Kim Longinotto)
“A Syrian Love Story”/UK, France, Lebanon, Syria (dir. Sean McAllister)
“When The Earth Seems To Be Light”/Georgia, Germany (dir. Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze, David Meshki)
Turkey’s entry is “Bağlar”, co-directed by Melis Birder, the winner of multiple awards for documentaries such as “The Tenth Planet” and “The Visitors”, and Berke Baş, known for the films, “What a Beautiful Democracy!” and “Hush”. The film, which depicts the struggle of the young male basketball team coming from Diyarbakır’s poor and middle-class families, keeping ambition and hope alive despite all obstacles, will have its world premiere during !f Istanbul.
Home: stories of Turkey with no borders
!f Istanbul’s “Home” section looks at the last year in Turkey’s cinema and brings fresh, new and alternative voices together. This year’s section includes the following films:
“Köpek/The Dog”/Switzerland, Turkey (dir. Esen Işık): The moving fictional—but all too real—film follows four characters on a normal day in Istanbul. Cemo and Mehmet are pre-adolescent boys, who make money by selling tissues on streets. Hayat is a woman from a village, ensnared in the big city by her very ordinary marriage. Ebru is the star of an all too familiar trans female story. “The Dog” is director Esen Işık’s first feature film.
“Kedi/Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul”/Turkey, USA (dir. Ceyda Torun): A great chance to see feline residents of central Istanbul neighbourhoods like Galata, Cihangir, Feriköy and Kuzguncuk, the documentary is Ceyda Torun’s first feature. Nine Istanbul cats take us around the city as humans around them give background information and tell us about their characteristics and habits.
“Mustang”/France, Turkey, Germany (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven): The unregimented attitude of five orphaned girls living with their grandmother and uncle in the Turkish town of Inebolu, requires them to be captured first between the four walls of a house, then in womanhood and marriages. Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s first feature film, “Mustang” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.
“Life, goes on: a compilation”: “Born in Adana”/Canada (dir. David Hovan); “Son Nefes/Dying Breath”/Turkey (dir. Ömer Akbaş); “Patronsuzlar/Bossless”/Turkey (dir. Sidar İnan Erçelik). In “Born in Adana” we listen to 93-year-old Antrarig Teghararian, as he tells the true story of his father trying to survive in 1915, travelling from his hometown Diyarbakır to Aleppo and then to Adana. “Dying Breath” takes us to the people waiting for their sons, fathers, husbands, at the gate of the mine, just after the Soma mine disaster. In “Bossless”, the workers of Kazova factory stand their ground for a fair life.
“Isan Tyttö/Daddy’s Girl”/Finland, Turkey (dir. Melisa Üneri): An autobiographical first documentary by director Melisa Üneri, about her separation from her Turkish father, who raised her by himself in Finland.
“Meral, Kızım/Meral, My Daughter”/Germany (dir. Süheyla Schwenk): Following an accident, Meral returns to live with her traditional parents where she is confined to her bed while recuperating.
!f²: !f Istanbul in 33 cities and 50 locations at the same time
!f Istanbul’s pioneering ‘alternative film distribution and sharing’ project !f² will reach more than 40 different locations this year from Abu Dis to Kyrenia. Organized in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card and İş'te Üniversiteli, !f² will take 5 films being screened in Istanbul on the last three days of the festival, February 26th–28th, to 33 cities, 50 locations and 15 thousand people at the same time. Q&A sessions with directors following the screenings in Istanbul will be broadcast live, and participants in these cities will be able to watch the conversation and ask questions to the directors. “Speed Sisters”, “Into the Forest”, “Sonita”, “Paradise” and “Mustang” are the movies that will be screened this year within the scope of !f² in 27 cities in Turkey as well as Abu Dis, Kyrenia, Gyumri, Jerusalem, Yerevan and Ramallah.
Play: The most playful of films!
“Play” brings together films that create playgrounds in cinema and invite the audience to participate in remaking new and parallel worlds. This year’s selection brings together wacky documentaries, new cult films of fascinating weirdness, and surreal fantasies—namely, these ten films: “Bakemono no ko/The Boy and the Beast” (dir. Mamoru Hosada); “Just Jim” (dir. Craig Roberts); “Entertainment” (dir. Rick Alverson); “Speed Sisters” (dir. Amber Fares); “Creative Control” (dir. Benjamin Dickinson); “Der Bunker/The Bunker” (dir. Nikias Chryssos); “Mænd Og Høns/Men & Chicken” (dir. Anders Thomas Jensen); “Liza, a Rókatündér/Liza, the Foxy Fairy” (dir. Károly Ujj-Mészáros); “El Apóstata/The Apostate” (dir. Federico Veiroj); “Queen of Earth” (dir. Alex Ross Perry).
Art & Life: Which came first, art or life?
Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card, the 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival’s “Art & Life” section featuring stories where art and life mesh together once again presents eagerly-awaited documentaries; from Marlon Brando to Robert Mapplethorpe, John Berger, director Howard Brookner, comedian Tig Notaro, illustrator Hilary Knight, and eccentric and lively New York style icon Iris Apfel, “Art & Life” films will provide the opportunity to glimpse into the lives of artists and icons whose talent and discipline we truly admire.
Among this year’s films is “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” (dir. Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato), straight out of Sundance and Berlin—the first documentary on the provocative life and works of legendary American photographer, featuring archival footage, samples of his work, and testimonies by Debbie Harry, Blondie, Fran Leibowitz, Brooke Shields and Patti Smith.
Also in this section are: “Listen to Me Marlon” (dir. Stevan Riley); “Uncle Howard” (dir. Aaron Brookner); “Iris” (dir. Albert Maysles); “The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger” (dir. Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Bartek Dziadosz, Tilda Swinton); “It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise” (dir. Matt Wolf); “The Show of Shows” (dir. Benedikt Erlingsson); and “Tig” (dir. Ashley York, Kristina Goolsby).
David Bowie classics at !f
In memory of legendary artist David Bowie whom we lost last week. Remastered copies of the cult science fiction film, “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (dir. Nicholas Roeg) and the revolutionary vampire movie, “The Hunger” (dir. Tony Scott) will be screened for the first time in Turkey in !f Istanbul within the “David Bowie is…” section, commemorating the prolific, multidisciplinary, and highly influential artist.
!f cult: Funeral Parade of Roses!
!f Istanbul hosts Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 classic “Bara no sôretsu/Funeral Parade of Roses” in one of its signature sections, !f cult. A cornerstone of Japanese New Wave Cinema, “Funeral Parade of Roses” constitutes the fourth feature in famed short and documentary filmmaker Matsumoto’s career that he ended in 1988. This half-fiction half-documentary film that roams the depths of Japanese subculture is also considered a masterpiece of avantgard cinema. “Funeral Parade of Roses” will have its Turkish premiere in !f Istanbul.
Dark & Edgy: For those who want to jump in their seats!
For to film buffs open to creativity and new experiences, the “Dark & Edgy” section comprises everything from bleak and disturbing productions to the year’s most talked-about fantastical and avantgard films, and those that throw the doors of perception wide open, destroying the audience’s “ways of seeing”.
Two films from emerging directors from Turkey will be screened as part of this year’s “Dark & Edgy”: One is “Ceset/Nekro”, a bold and chilling feature debut by Pınar Sinan about a hospital maintenance worker with a terrible secret. The other, Lütfü Emre Çiçek’s innovative feature debut “Naciye” challenges conventions of Turkey’s horror films and culture in general, by having a woman (played by famous actress Derya Alabora) be the subject of a horror story.
Other films in this section include “Yakuza Apocalypse” (dir. Takashi Miike), “Turbo Kid” (dir. Anouk Whissell, François Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell), “Kung Fury” (dir. David Sandberg), “Der Nachtmahr” (dir. AKIZ), and “The Invitation” (dir. Karyn Kusama).
Altered States: the latest from avantgard cinema
Co-curated by !f Istanbul and FOL Cinema, “Altered States” is a new section special to this year. Sure to please fans of avantgard and experimental cinema, the section includes “TEKERLEME/Tongue Twister” (dir. Merlyn Solakhan [Merlin Ecer]), a soon-to-be cult classic, lost out of sight after being screened in the 1986 Berlinale, only to be rediscovered 30 years later by !f Istanbul. The film will finally have its long-deserved Turkish premiere in the festival.
Other films in the section are: “The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers” (dir. Ben Rivers); “88:88” (dir. Isiah Medina); “Counting” (dir. Jem Cohen), “No Home Movie” (dir. Chantal Akerman); and “In Jackson Heights” (dir. Frederick Wiseman).
Special Screenings featuring Curtis and Hara!
Charting unknown territories in cinema since its inception, !f Special Screenings will be exploring different directions this year. Manoel de Oliveira, who passed away in 2015, made “Visita ou Memórias e Confissões/Visit, or Memories and Confessions” in 1982 and stated that it could only be screened publicly after his death. Screened at Cannes for the first time ever, it is a letter to the future sent from the past, and a precious gift for cinephiles from this master of cinema.
Kazuo Hara is one of the cult directors of documentary cinema who has explored the extreme conditions of human experience and influenced many of the greatest contemporary filmmakers throughout his short filmography. Two of Hara’s unforgettable works, “Gokushiteki Erosu: Renka 1974/Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974” and “Yuki Yukite Shingun/The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On” will be screened as a special tribute, with the director himself present.
Special Screenings will also host BAFTA award-winner BBC documentarian Adam Curtis and “Bitter Lake”, his latest and extremely relevant work of art about our tumultuous time. Curtis will hold an !f talk and serve on the jury of !f’s international Love & Change Film Competition.
Rainbow: There’s room for us all under the rainbow!
!f Istanbul’s “Rainbow” section prepares once again this year—as it does every year since the inception of the festival—to host films of those who say there’s room for us all under the rainbow. This year’s “Rainbow” features “#direnayol/ #resistayol” (dir. Rüzgâr Buşki), a documentary on LGBTI activism in Turkey, filmed during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.
Other films coming up in this section are: “Desire Will Set You Free” (dir. Yony Leyser); “Loev” (dir. Sudhanshu Saria); “Mów mi Marianna/Call Me Marianna” (dir. Karolina Bielawska); “Nasty Baby” (dir. Sebastián Silva); “Grandma” (dir. Paul Weitz); and “Viva” (dir. Paddy Breathnach).
!f music: !f’s music festival on its 5th year!
Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, !f music, presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card, continues to bring music to film and film to the stage, and to animate Istanbul’s nightlife through its parties. Films about cult musicians from Janis Joplin to Blur, Kurt Cobain, and The Residents will be screened this year for the first time in Turkey.
This year’s selection is comprised of “Janis: Little Girl Blue” (dir. Amy Berg), “Cobain: Montage of Heck” (dir. Brett Morgan), “Blur: New World Towers” (dir. Sam Wrench), “Fresh Dressed” (dir. Sacha Jenkins), “Thru You Princess” (dir. Ido Haar), “Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents” (dir. Don Hardy).
!f music parties
Eagerly awaited !f music parties will greet music lovers this year in Babylon. Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card, !f music opens !f Istanbul on February 20 with KAZAMADA’s life giving music and Maryam Saleh’s enchanting voice!
This year’s edition of !f Istanbul’s fabled and fabulous Rainbow Party will be taking place on February 26, also in Babylon. Inspired by the !f Rainbow film “Desire Will Set You Free”, underground music from Berlin will set the tune, starting with the film’s music supervisor Joey Hansom’s special set followed by Venezuelan singer and DJ Aérea Negrot—also one of the actresses in the film—and culminating with nightlife sensation Mr. Sür. !f music party tickets will be available on biletix.com for 35 TL for students and 45 TL for adults.
Shorts from Turkey: The year’s best shorts all together
This year’s “Shorts from Turkey” selection is made up of three compilations:
“Dreams and Walls”, containing shorts about survival through and within art: “Azad” (dir. Yakup Tekintangaç); “Kameralı Çocuk/The Boy with Camera” (dir. İbrahim Yeşilbaş); “Merkür/Mercury” (dir. Melis Balcı and Ege Okal); “Rodi/The Roadie” (dir. Emre Sert and Gözde Yetişkin); and “Su Birikintisi/The Puddle” (dir. Serdar Yılmaz);
“Elephants in the Room”, which has shorts about the unspoken, namely “Dağınık Yatak/Unmade Bed” (dir. Eytan İpeker); “Veratarts/The Return” (dir. Hale Güzin Kızılaslan); “Güneh/The Sin” (dir. Gülistan Acet); “Savaş Bölgesi/Warzone” (dir. Oğuzhan Kaya); “Orman/The Jungle” (dir. Onur Saylak and Doğu Akal); and “Hepgece/Evernight” (dir. Fatma Belkıs and Emre Birişmen);
“Cannot be trapped!”, which borrows its name from a Baba Zula song, comprising “Aidiyet/Belonging” (dir. Serkan Ertekin); “Dûr E…/Distant” (dir. Leyla Toprak); “Meral, Kızım/Meral, My Girl” (dir. Süheyla Schwenk); “Salı/Tuesday” (dir. Ziya Demirel); “Tuhaf Zamanlar/Weird Times” (dir. Mehmet Emrah Erkanı); and “Ziba” (dir. Ali Farkhonde).
Tickets via biletix!
Tickets of the 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will be available on pre-sale with a %10 discount via biletix on 5–7 February for Istanbul and 19–21 February for Ankara and İzmir. Festival tickets will be available for sale this year via biletix and ticket offices of participating movie theaters.
Ticket prices in Istanbul:
Weekday Screenings: 9 TL (all showings before 7 pm)
Weekday Screenings at 7 pm and onward and All Weekend Screenings: Adult: 18 TL Student: 15 TL
Screenings at 9:30 pm and onward: 20 TL
Ticket prices in Ankara and İzmir:
Weekday Screenings: 9 TL
Weekday Screenings at 7 pm and onward and All Weekend Screenings: Adult: 17 TL Student: 14 TL
Screenings at 9:30 pm and onward: 17,5 TL
Special advantages for İş Bankası Maximum Card cardholders
A 50% discount on tickets will be available through the “Maximum Film” and “Maximum Music” packages prepared specially for İş Bankası Maximum Card cardholders. İş Bankası Maximum Card cardholders will be able to buy 4 to 20 movie tickets with the “Maximum Film” package, and 2 to 6 party tickets with the “Maximum Music” package, all with a 50% discount. İş Bankası Maximum Card cardholders who prefer not to get a package will still have a 20% discount on film and party tickets during the pre-sale period.
Add !f as a friend!
As the festival with the most followers in Turkey, this year !f Istanbul adds Snapchat and Periscope to its social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow !f Istanbul everywhere from the username @ifistanbul, and include the hashtag #if2016 to join the conversation.
Watch !f Istanbul’s new TV ad here and !f 2016 Festival Program Teaser here. To download the TV ad and festival program teaser of the 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival in TV broadcast quality, please click here.
Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card and in association with Mars Cinema Group, the 15th edition of !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will start its 15th year journey on 18–28 February in Istanbul and complete it on 3–6 March in Ankara and İzmir.
!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival would like to thank its partner and !f music partner İş Bankası Maximum Card; !f music co-sponsor Hayat Bu Kapağın Altında; airline sponsor Pegasus Airlines; accommodation sponsor Eresin Hotel; media sponsoru Hürriyet; newspaper sponsors Agos, Birgün and Cumhuriyet; magazine sponsors Bant Mag, Istanbul Art News, Marie Claire, Rixos Magazine, Trendsetter Istanbul, Vogue Turkey and XOXO; radio sponsor Radyo Eksen and Radyo ODTÜ; internet sponsors artfulliving.com, beyazperde.com and bugunbugece.com; corporate sponsors Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Beyoğlu Municipality, Kadıköy Municipality, British Council, the Portuguese Embassy, Goethe Institut, the French Culture Institute of Turkey, the Japanese Embassy and the U.S. Embassy; web sponsor Solidpark; technology sponsor İLTEK; on-screen advertisement sponsor Mars Media; !f² sponsors İş’te Üniversiteli, Mediatriple, Anadolu Kültür and Kamusi; festival supporters Rafineri, Randomworks, Daylights Films, PPR, Sentro Translation, Editör, Atlas Post Production, Fitaş, Kanyon, City’s Nişantaşı, Caddebostan Culture Center, Afiş Adam, Stöer Kentvizyon, Doluca Winery; !f Ankara supporters Armada Shopping and Business Center, Başkent University, Bilkent University, İLEF; !f İzmir supporter İzmir Konak Pier.
For further information:
!f Istanbul Media Assistant
T: +90 533 390 30 48
A: Dereboyu Cad. Ambarlıdere Yolu No:4 Kat:1
Ortaköy – Beşiktaş, Istanbul
!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival
18–28 February 2016 Istanbul
3–6 March 2016 Ankara & İzmir