Turkey’s traveling film event Festival on Wheels sets out on its 16th annual journey today, unrolling a program that will bring select arthouse and indie films from the world to the big screen in three Turkish cities.
The 16th Festival on Wheels begins in Ankara, its birthplace, where it will stay for four days before moving to the eastern Black Sea city of Artvin next week for its main stint, which will run Dec. 10-16. The Ankara Cinema Association (ASD), which organizes the event, will also take the festival to Ordu, another city on Turkey’s eastern Black Sea coast, with a three-day program that will run from Dec. 17-19.
The festival’s Artvin leg will also see the announcement of the Golden Bull award for its international feature competition, where two films from Turkey are in contention alongside seven other entrants from abroad. “Çoğunluk” (The Majority), the debut feature directing effort by Seren Yüce, which premiered at this year’s Venice film festival, where it won the Lion of the Future Award for debut films; and “Saç” (Hair), Tayfun Pirselimoğlu’s most recent drama that had its world premiere at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival, are the two films representing Turkey in the competitive section.
Two films from Hungary -- “Pàl Adrienn,” Ágnes Kocsis’s Cannes Un Certain Regard prize-winning drama; and “Bibliotheque Pascal,” Szabolcs Hajdu’s Berlin Forum title that was selected as Hungary’s submission for the foreign language film Oscar -- are also in competition.
Other entrants include Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai’s “Rizhao Chongqing” (Chongqing Blues), which ran in the main competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and “Illégal” (Illegal), Belgian Olivier Masset-Depasse’s sophomore feature that has been selected as the Belgian entrant for the 83rd Academy Awards.
Thai filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong’s Rotterdam International Film Festival Tiger Award recipient “Mundane History” and another award-winning debut, “Octubre” (October), by Peruvian brothers Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal, are other films running for the Golden Bull Award for best film, which comes with a cash prize of 10,000 euros.
In accordance with this year’s main theme, “Coup!”, a selection of films that dwell on the concept of military rule and its effects on the society, such as the 2006 Turkish movie “Beynelmilel” (The International), will be offered. A selection of recent films by Turkish directors will be featured in the “Turkish Cinema 2010” section, while a special program of short films by the Swedish duo Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson will also be offered.
Screenings will be held at the Kızılay Büyülü Fener theater and the Goethe Institut. For detailed information visit the festival’s website, www.festivalonwheels.org.