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8 September 2018 / Lifestyle

Antalya International Film Festival

The 55th Antalya International Film Festival starting later this month (29th September to 5th October 2018) promises to highlight Antalya as far more than simply a holiday destination. With 55 films to be screened and a long list of industry professionals set to grace the city streets, the event is sure to push Antalya to the forefront of Turkey's cultural and arts scene, the 2018 festival plugged to be even bigger and more impressive than previous years.   

The Antalya International Film Festival is Turkey's most prestigious and well-known celebration of the TV, stage and screen. It's Turkey's equivalent of the American Oscars or the UK's BAFTAS. Hosted by Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, the event unites the Turkish and international film community and highlights Antalya as a film-friendly location.

During the seven days event there will be 55 film screenings and a number of awards dished out to winners chosen by a jury of industry professionals. There are cash prizes with the best international film, best director, best actor and best actress all walking away with a tidy financial sum and award to grace their trophy cabinets. Special awards will be handed out to the best emerging talent and best Turkish distributor. Film director Ferzan Özpetek, and actor and comedian Cem Yilmaz will also receive lifetime achievement awards.

This year the festival will kick off with the Turkish premier of "Everybody Knows" by Oscar Award winning Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi. This psychological Spanish language drama also opened Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, both hoped to attend the event.

The festival theme for this year is "Human"

This year a theme has been chosen for the festival’s special category "Contemporary Tales".  Mike Downey, Vice President of the European Film Academy and Art Director of Antalya Film Festival, announced that the 2018 theme is "Human". This word was chosen as it aptly describes what's happening in the world, the refugee crisis, the struggle many people face living their daily lives and how film and cinema are a great way to portray a "human perspective". There will be a number of national and international movies featured in this section all making their Turkish premieres during the event.

Antalya's residents encouraged to get involved

Antalya is the largest and most popular city on the Turkish Riviera. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Turkey serving up a wonderful blend of beaches, attractions and Turkish culture. With an international airport flying year round flights, first class facilities, modern marinas and a wide array of luxury hotels, resorts and private properties, it's a great choice of location for the festival. The week is expected to boost tourism in the area significantly with many of the resorts and hotels already gearing up to host film buffs, celebrities and their entourage.

For local residents Antalya International Film Festival is a chance to star-spot and partake in an array of special events. For a week prior to the event, special cinema trucks will visit local schools in an effort to introduce kids to the cinema and encourage a love of performing arts. Perhaps the main highlight is the festival's opening "Cortege". This involves classic cars, cortege trucks and special vehicles running 6km through the city streets from the front of the Glass Pyramid to Fevzi Çakmak Street, via Anafartalar Street and Cumhuriyet Square. There will be brass bands, DJ performances, live entertainment and famous movie characters all entertaining the crowds en-route leading up to the official opening of the event at the Glass Pyramid.

Antalya set to become Turkey's "Cinema City"

Antalya has for many years been associated with Turkey's film industry, the government even eyeing up the city with plans to transform it into a 'Turkish Hollywood' with film sets and studios capable of making big budget blockbusters already in the pipeline. Antalya is the heart of Turkish cinema. It is already on the international map with organisations like the Antalya Film Forum doing wonders to produce and promote Turkish films to an international audience. Turkish movies have come on leaps and bounds over recent years, the Antalya International Film Festival is a well deserved pat on the back for all involved in the industry, but also a celebration of international cinema in general. If you are lucky enough to be in Antalya between September 29th to October 5th, do make sure you attend some of the local events - in true Hollywood style, they are sure to be star-studded and spectacular!

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