Altın Koza festival extends run to nine days

April 04, 2011, Monday/ 16:34:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

Adana's annual Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival is extending its program by three days, to a total of nine, the organizers said last week.

In its 2011 edition, which will mark the festival's 18th year, the event will run Sept. 17-25 in the southern Turkish city.

The festival, which used to be held in June, postponed its 2010 edition by three months, to September 2010, after Israel's infamous Mavi Marmara attack in May. The festival's calendar has thus been shifted from early summer to an already crowded autumn, but organizers seem to be content with the rescheduled calendar despite Antalya, Çanakkale, Mardin and Bursa also holding their annual international film festivals from September through November.

The festival will this year be divided into two main sections, cinema and other entertainment, Altın Koza Executive Board Chairman Bekir Sıtkı Özer told reporters on Friday, although he did not give any hints as to what the entertainment part of the festival would cover.

Noting that the festival received TL 250,000 in financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism last year, Özer told the Cihan news agency that he asked Minister Ertuğrul Günay for more state support in the upcoming editions in order to improve the festival. “The minister said he would consider [our request]. This year our festival will be even better than the previous years,” Özer said.

He also said Altın Koza has been working hard to complete its archive of films that have run and won awards in the festival's national competition throughout its history. “We did not have copies of some of the films we ran in the festival's older editions, but we have now completed the collection,” he said. The festival had been facing criticism from film professionals and critics alike in the past for not having a complete archive of films directed by and/or starring Yılmaz Güney, a legend of Turkish cinema and native of Adana. “We have acquired all of the films by Yılmaz Güney and we now have a very rich film archive,” Özer said.

Yet the biggest problem the festival faces is a lack of movie theaters, Özer said. “The people [of Adana] are showing great interest in the festival. Last year we rented all of the movie theaters in the city [for the festival] and the halls were packed. The festival needs to have its own theaters,” he said.

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