!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival offers free online festival films

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

if istanbulThe 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival, set to begin this Thursday, is preparing to offer an exciting “New Subversive Cinema from Turkey” selection for free online, in partnership with Festival Scope—the online hub for festival films.

Following on from the success of similar partnerships with the film festivals in Venice and Rotterdam, !f Istanbul Online will allow viewers worldwide to watch 7 new films from up-and-coming directors in Turkey, as well as a curated selection of shorts. Most of the films will be available worldwide except from Turkey, for the duration of the festival.

The films will be available to watch via Festival Scope at the same time as the !f Istanbul Festival during February 18-28. Each film will be screened to a maximum of 400 viewers, much like in a real theater. “The goal is to allow a broader audience to tap into new offerings from Turkey that they might otherwise find hard to access,” says festival director Serra Ciliv.

The selection includes:

“Hidden”, Ali Kemal Çınar’s entertaining and surprising film was chosen as part of this year’s !nspired International Competition line-up and challenges the conventions of Kurdish cinema;

Selected as Turkey’s entry for the activism-themed Love & Change Competition Melis Birder and Berke Baş’s documentary “Bağlar” tracks the fate of a boys basketball team in Turkey’s conflict-torn southeast;

Pınar Sinan’s first feature “Nekro” is a thriller that tells a strange and bold story of a hospital orderly with an unusual pastime.

Lütfü Emre Çiçek’s Screamfest-premiering horror film “Naciye” stars veteran Turkish actress Derya Alabora as Naciye, a woman determined to do whatever it takes to protect her home;

Esen Işık’s feature debut “The Dog” depicts how four characters change when confronted with those stronger than them;

Finnish-Turkish director Melisa Üneri’s intimate and captivating documentary “Daddy’s Girl” charts her attempt at understanding a troubled relationship with her father and grandmother;

“#resistayol”, Rüzgâr Buşki’s documentary speaks of LGBTI activism in Turkey, filmed in Istanbul during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

In addition to these feature films, several selected shorts will also be shown online via Festival Scope. These are from !f Istanbul’s “Shorts from Turkey” section and feature Yakup Tekintangaç’s “Azad” about a young Kurdish boy who has to spend his days locked up at home when his mother goes to work; Ziya Demirel’s fictional “Tuesday” about three different encounters experienced by a young woman in Istanbul during a school day; Leyla Toprak’s experimental documentary “Distant” about women’s resistance against ISIS in Kobane; Fatma Belkıs and Emre Birişmen’s “Evernight” where during an endless night, Man and Woman leave civilization to return to nature; Serkan Ertekin’s first film, “Belonging”, a fiction about people who feel they don’t belong; Derya Durmaz’s fiction “Mother Virgin No More” about a daughter whose laugh gives away to her mother that she is no longer a virgin, and Süheyla Schwenk’s “Meral, My Girl” about Meral, a young woman who returns to live with her traditional parents where she is confined to her bed while recuperating. All of these are part of the project.

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