Movie buffs in the southern Turkish city of Adana on Monday finally welcomed this year’s Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival. The festival was a belated inauguration for the fete’s 17th edition, which was originally to take place in June.
The event is organized annually by the Adana Metropolitan Municipality. It takes place this year from Sept. 20-26th, due to last minute rescheduling by the festival’s organizers. The organizers cite the Israeli attack in late May on a Gaza-bound Turkish vessel in an international aid convoy which resulted in the deaths of nine activists.
The festival will have its official opening tonight with the Turkish premiere of “La mujer sin piano” (Woman without Piano), directed by Javier Rebollo.
Ten recent Turkish films are running for prizes in the national feature competition in this year’s festival. Among them are such critical favorites as Semih Kaplanoğlu’s Berlinale-winning “Bal” (Honey), which was selected late last week as the Turkish entrant for next year’s foreign language Oscar race. Another title in the running is Onur Ünlü’s “Beş Şehir” (Five Cities), which premiered at last year’s Altın Portakal film festival in Antalya. Another notable title is Levent Semerci’s box office-champ debut feature “Nefes: Vatan Sağolsun” (The Breath).
Among Adana’s guests from overseas is world renowned Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos. Angelopoulos is the guest of honor at this year’s festival. A batch screening of Angelopoulos’ films including “The Beekeeper” (1986), “Landscape in the Mist” (1988), “The Suspended Step of the Stork” (1991), “Ulysses’ Gaze” (1995) and “Eternity and a Day” (1998) are offered in a special program dedicated to the 75 year old director.
Palestinian filmmakers Nasri Hajjaj and Liana Badr are also expected to take part in a special program dedicated to films and documentaries that tackle Mideast issues. Hajjaj’s newest documentary “As The Poet Said” and Badr’s 2006 documentary “The Gates Are Open. Sometimes!” are among eight films to be offered in the program. The program is titled “Palestine: Longing for Peace.” It will also feature a panel discussion titled “Making Movies in Palestine.”