Festivals: call for entries

30th Open festival of the documentary cinema "Rossia", Ekaterinburg, 1-6/10/2019
Read more...
 

Call the entries: The IV International Festival of national and ethnic cinema "Silver Akbuzat" in Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia Federation

 

The IV International Festival of national and ethnic cinema "Silver Akbuzat" in Ufa between 24-27.08.2019. 

Read more...
 

Call the entries: the XI International Youth Film Festival in Kazan

 

The XI International Youth Film Festival will take place in Kazan from the 3rd till the 6th of September.

Read more...
 
Kyrgyz Cinema
Report written by Necla Algan - participant of 2nd Assembly of Asian film-critics

Report written by Necla Algan (Turkey)participant of 2nd Assembly of Asian film-critics - FIPRESCI members at the frame of 17th Dhaka IFF, 13.01.2019 

 

The 2nd Asian Film Critics Assembly - AFCA (13-14.01.2019) in the upcoming 17th Dhaka International Film Festival - DIFF, in association with the International Film Critics Association of Bangladesh - IFCAB. 

 

 

The evolution of the Turkish film industry and the cultural values

 

Turkish domestic film industry, established in the 1950's, was a locally flourished industry highly isolated from the global film market. During the 1960's, we witnessed the rise of social realism in Turkish cinema, in parallel with the international trends. Consequently, Turkish intellectuals did no more appreciate "Yeşilçam" ("Green Pine", stands for The traditional Turkish cinema) films, representing traditional values of Turkish cinema. They would rather prefer occidental cinema or award-winning international classics. But it's important to put emphasis on the fact that even though traditional Turkish cinema was on the decay on behalf of intellectuals, they kept their ties with the local film industry for a long time. 
 
The 1970's was a turning point for the local industry, considering that the political instability and turbulance within the country had a considerable negative effect on the production of new Turkish movies. The television had been in development since the late 1970's and it quickly replaces the old habit to go to the theater, which also contributed to the fall of the Turkish cinema alongside with the political turbulence. 
 
Right after The Turkish coup d'état occurredin 1980, Turkey embarked on a process of economic liberalization, resulted with the adoption of capitalist values by the society. It was the era of rise of the so-called female protagonists in Turkish cinema, representing the liberty of modern western women. The aim was to fill the gap between the local middle class and their respective western peers in terms of fundamental values urged by the newly adopted capitalist system. 
 
The beginning of the 1990's was a milestone for the Turkish cinema: With the launch of big, American style film theaters and the increasing appearance of American movies, the western cinema culture started to grow stronger within the Turkish audience. The transformation of Turkish television and the establishment of private TV channels also supported the dominance of this American oriented culture. 
 
But on the other hand, we should not disregard the fact that Turkish government started to support independent Turkish cinema in the 1990's. Thanks to this state oriented strategy, a brand new generation of Turkish filmmakers found the privilege to show their works and to improve their cinematography. More and more films started to participate to the national film festivals and even jumped into international renowned film festivals.
 
Istanbul International Film Festival, launched in 1983, is also another crossroad for the local film industry. The Festival, whose aim is to encourage the development of cinema in Turkey, to help Turkish cinema attain international recognition and to promote films of quality in the Turkish market opened a peerless window to the Turkish cinema enthusiasts: The festival accelerated the integration of new Turkish cinephiles with the global contemporary cinema movements and helped them to widen their vision. 
 
This period of integration nestled contradictions in itself but despite the negative effects, the integration should always consider as "indispensable" for a prosper future of the Turkish cinema. World-renowned writer, scholar, literary critic, and political and social activist, Edward Said, mostly known with his masterpiece "Orientalism", highlighted that the Eastern and Western cultures are in fact inseparable. Likewise as Raymond Williams said, culture is a living organism that evolves into a living and changing interaction. It cannot remain constant and unchanged, and the values ​​of a national culture can also  coexist through the possible evolution in the future.
 
The Turkish TV series were on rise since the mid-nineties as well as the Turkish film industry. In the space of a single decade, Turkey has gone from being a country with a barren television landscape to being one of the largest exporters of soap operas and drama series in the world. The most popular Turkish TV series were based on Turkish classical novels and filled with cultural and historical references. As a result, those productions managed to reach an international audience and made Turkey an important TV series exporter, especially to the Middle East and to the Eastern America. 
 
It's also important to mention the rising interest towards comedy as a genre. As comedy is an important element of the local culture throughout history, Turkish audience always highly appreciate comedy movies and the industry quickly increased the number of alternatives reflecting this specific genre: The remake of popular American comedies became quickly popular within the market and broke box-office records which encouraged the producers to head back to comedies. As a consequence, Turkish movies were graually challenged American blockbusters in Turkey and even defeated them in box-office lists.
 
In this changing environment, the independent cinema in Turkey is in constant crisis and the situation is deteriorating correspondingly with the current economic and the political erosion. Turkish filmmaker's passion and admiration to the western cinema aesthetics and the visual language leads them to be trapped in their own cage: They started to loose their interest and their link to the local elements and their sense of aestethics became an imitation of the international independent film trends. Even though they became more recognized in aglobal level, they have been lost their authentic and genuine side.
 
On the other hand, Turkish film critics were often be criticised by the mass for their appreiation for Turkish independent cinema and their lack of support for the popular films.
 
To sum up, the Turkish cinema should find the way to differenciate itself from the mass culture in order to develop genuine ideas, thoughts and feelings in an unseen perspective. We cannot evaluate this problematic apart from Turkey's current political, economic and cultural situation where the society is on the verge of a collective collapse.
 
Necla Algan, Turkey
 
Atsuko Saito (Japan) and Necla Algan (Turkey) at the Dhaka IFF