Arab Spring to bloom at Altın Koza film festival

Arab Spring to bloom at Altın Koza film festival

Mounia Osfour plays the character of young bride Zeinab in Yasmine Kassari’s “L’enfant Endormi.”

September 01, 2011, Thursday/ 16:32:00

A selection of films concerning the tumultuous Arab Spring of 2011 are to be screened at this month's Altın Koza (Golden Boll) International Film Festival, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.

Set to feature around 220 films as well as a range of lectures and workshops, the festival will mark its 18th edition from Sept. 17-25 in the southern city of Adana.

The head of the festival executive committee, Bekir Sıtkı Özer, told Anatolia on Thursday that the Arab Spring section would include 10 films shot in Cairo's Tahrir Square during the intense 18-day protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. “This [section] will mark the Turkish premieres of these films and will allow the audience to experience the reality of those 18 revolutionary days,” Özer said.

Also to be included in the program is the first feature directed by a woman in the Arab world, Tunisian director Moufida Tlatli's 1994 film “The Silences of the Palace,” as well as Belgian-Moroccan director Yasmine Kassari's 2004 film “The Sleeping Child.”

Özer further announced that Sept. 21 would see a range of lectures and speeches from cinema experts and film critics from the Middle East and North Africa, including Hassouna Mansouri from Tunisia, Muhammed El Daracı from Iraq, Merzak Allouache from Algeria, Usama Muhammed from Syria and Turkey's Alin Taşçıyan.

Earlier in the week, the festival also announced the rest of the members of the judging panel for the national feature film competition. Award-winning first-time director Selim Demirdelen, who picked up the Best Director award at last year's competition for “Kavşak” (The Crossing); young actress Beste Bereket, who won the Best Supporting Actress award at last year's festival; screenwriter and actress Ebru Ceylan, the wife of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan; cinema academic Bülent Vardar; actor Taner Birsel and author Yekta Kopan are set to join Turkish-Cypriot director Derviş Zaim on the national feature film competition jury.

The 14 films running in the national competition include Serkan Acar's “Aşk ve Devrim” (Love and Revolution), Ali Özgentürk's “Beni Sev” (Love Me), Onur Ünlü's “Celal Tan ve Ailesinin Aşırı Acıklı Hikayesi” (The Extremely Depressing Story of Celal Tan and His Family), Cemil Ağacıkoğlu's “Eylül” (September), Özcan Alper's “Gelecek Uzun Sürer” (Future Lasts Forever), Erdoğan Kar's “Kadife/Büyük Ana” (Velvet/Grand Mother), Tolga Örnek's “Kaybedenler Kulübü” (Losers' Club), Caner Erzincan's “Mar,” İsa Yıldız and Murat Onbul's “Memleket Meselesi” (Matter of State), Haluk Ünal's “Saklı Hayatlar” (Hidden Lives), Ruhi Karadağ's “Simurg,” Burak Cem Arlıel's “Türk Pasaportu” (Turkish Passport), Mustafa Nuri's “Vücut” (Body) and Muzaffer Özdemir's “Yurt” (Country).

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