Three debut films from Turkey to run for the Heart of Sarajevo

June 17, 2012, Sunday/ 23:32:00

Three feature films from Turkey will be in the running for the top prize in next month’s Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia in what its organizers bill as a “showcase of maturity in Southeast European cinema.”

Running from July 6-14 in the Bosnian capital, the 2012 festival, the 18th edition of the annual event, will open with award-winning young Bosnian filmmaker Aida Begic’s most recent effort, “Children of Sarajevo,” which is also the first film on the festival’s international feature competition program.

Two of the Turkish films, “Tepenin Ardı” (Beyond the Hill), directed by Emin Alper, and “Babamın Sesi” (The Voice of My Father), by Orhan Eskiköy and Zeynel Doğan, will have their regional premieres in Sarajevo while the third film, “Şimdiki Zaman” (Present Tense), by Belmin Söylemez, will make its international premiere. All three are debut features and they make up one-third of the nine feature films in the running for the Heart of Sarajevo prize.

Alper’s “Beyond the Hill,” which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won two awards, tells of a feud between two families through its original mixture of genres such as Western, thriller and family drama. “The Voice of My Father,” which premiered in January at the Netherlands’ International Film Festival Rotterdam, recounts the fictional story of a young man who tries to find out about his father through old tapes after learning that he is to become a father. Söylemez, the only female filmmaker among three Turkish entrants, tells of an unemployed, lonely and unhappy woman who tries to save money by telling fortunes in order to go to the United States in “Present Tense,” which premiered at this year’s İstanbul Film Festival.

“This year we [present] a mature lineup of films made by a generation … of filmmakers who have already made their way and debut filmmakers who are the names to look out for in the near future,” Elma Tataragic, the program selector for the festival’s feature film competition, was quoted as saying on the festival’s website, www.sff.ba.

“This year’s selection presents four films directed by female directors, which also shows how the face of regional cinema has changed in the past 10 years,” she said, adding: “Overall, the 10th edition of our competition brings an exciting crossover of what is happening in Southeast European cinema today. With four debut films and four films directed by female directors, this is a true birthday of matureness of regional cinema.”

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