!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival says “To Life!” for 2018 edition!

The 17th !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival, in partnership with İş Bank Maximum Card, has announced its 2018 line-up! Showing 111 films, from 36 countries, the festival’s theme is "To Life!". It runs in Istanbul on February 15-25 and goes to Ankara and İzmir on March 1-4! 

!f Fresh: New Cinema from and about Turkey 

One of the innovations of the !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival this year is !f Fresh. !f Fresh brings together films from the past year produced in Turkey or films about Turkey. It aims to be a showcase for innovative emerging directors bringing new stories about Turkey. These range from "Turkey's “first punk film" Mu Tunç’s “Arada” to “Cano”, the most recent example of Diyarbakır’s ground-breaking independent cinema scene.

Nine films will be shown; seven are Turkey premieres. One film will be given the !f Audience Award. The award-winning film will be shown in CGV Arthouse theaters in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Eskisehir. 

The films to be shown in !f Fresh are as follows: Salih Demir’s indy gem ”Cano”, based in Diyarbakir; Snow, written and directed by Emre Erdoğdu, about Turkey's youth; Anatolian Trip, an amateur rock group's journey through Turkey in 2014, co-directed by Can Eskinazi and Deniz Tortum; Italian director Giulia Frati’s musical documentary “"Istanbul Echoes” started from Sulukule in 2010 and follows the urban transformation in Istanbul; Nejla Demirci’s 2017 TRT Documentary Award winning film "Confrontation" based on people dealing with illness; Volkan Üce's documentary "Displaced", about four young European Turks looking for their roots; "Turkey's “first punk film" Mu Tunç’s “Arada”, tells the story of two young people trapped in the city, torn between reality and dreams.

Lady Bird and Phantom Thread first time at !f in Turkey!

Chosen by many critics as Film of the Year, “Lady Bird” premieres in Turkey at the Opening Night of !f Istanbul and “The Disaster Artist” will be the festival’s Closing Night film.

!f Istanbul’s Gala section features the Turkey premieres of award-winning titles from Sundance to Venice, Toronto to Cannes and festivals around the world that have been widely acclaimed. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread”, Sean Baker’s "The Florida Project", John Cameron Mitchell’s punk film "How to Talk to Girls at Parties”, Ai Weiwei’s “Humon Flow”, Zambian director Rungano Nyoni’s “I am Not a Witch”, famous British director Paul McGuigan’s “Film Stars Don’t Die” will be seen for the first time at !f in Turkey.

One of the surprise films of the Gala section is "Time to Love"!

!f is proud to present the first public screening of Metin Erksan’s “Time to Love” (a classic masterpiece in Turkish cinema) from a recently restored print by Mimar Sinan University’s Sami Şekeroğlu Cinema-TV Centre. “Time to Love” has influenced and inspired many directors in Turkey from Reha Erdem to Nuri Bilge Ceylan. 

!nspired Competition: Who will be the Most Inspired Director of the year?

!f Istanbul's “!nspired International Competition” showcases first or second-time filmmakers who take cinema in new directions. This year’s “!f Inspired International Competition” titles include; Locarno winner Shevaun Mizrahi’s “Distant Constellation”; Iranian-Canadian Sadaf Foroughi’s film “Ava”; German artist and director Helena Wittmann’s second feature which competed in Venice “Drift”; South African Jenna Cato Bass’ “High Fantasy”; Swedish Rojda Sekersöz’ “Beyond Dreams”; Brazilian João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa’s "Araby", Bertrand Mandico’s ““Les garçons sauvages” and Portuguese Pedro Pinho's , “The Nothing Factory”. 

This year’s “!nspired International Competition” jury includes the Tony-winning British actor Alex Sharp; US film critic and film curator Eric Hynes and one of the best actresses in Turkey, Jale Arıkan. 

Love & Change: Documentaries of the year compete

!f’s Love & Change Competition features films with an activist ethos, interested in issues of social change. This year’s Love & Change Competition titles: from the United States Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous film “The Work”, Canadian Laura Bari's "Primas”, Serbian director Mila Turajic’s "The Other Side of Everything"; Till Schauder's film "When God Sleeps; Simon Lereng Wilmont’s film "Distant Barking of Dogs”; Paraguayan artist Paz Encina's "Memory Exercises" and Ayşe Toprak’s “Mr. Gay Syria”. “The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov” will be shown out of competition. 

The jury includes British writer Juliet Jacques; writer-journalist Karin Karakaşlı; screenwriter and musician and actor Teoman Kumbaracıbaşı. They will choose ‘the most creative intervention of the year’. 

!f’s ‘cinema club’ The New !f² in 33 cities and 50 different locations!!f’s first of its kind project !f², this year in partnership with The New Film Fund, takes The New f² name and shows !f movies across Turkey and neighboring countries. 

With the support of the Movies that Matter and the Netherlands Consulate General, the New !f², will be showing the most up-to-date and exciting documentary and fiction films one Saturday each month from Afyon to Batman, Ramallah to Nicosia, in 33 cities and 50 different locations, to 15 thousand people. The directors Q & As will be broadcast live after the screenings. Thus, participants from cities will be able to follow the conversation and ask the directors questions. 

The first theme is “Women’s Stories, to Life!”. Under this theme, Nejla Demirci’s 2017 TRT Documentary Award winning film "Confrontation"; one of the most talked-about recent film debuts by Iranian Sadaf Foroughi, “Ava”; Jane Goodall’s "Jane"; the shorts Zeynep Köprülü's "Dancing Girls" and Ayşe Kartal's "Bad Girl" will be shown. Nejla Demirci, Sadaf Foroughi and lead actress Mahour Jabbari will be on hand to answer audience questions.

This year’s festival has 15 exciting themed sections including !nspired International Competiton, Love & Change, Galas, !f music, Play, Rainbow, Art & Life, !FCHOLİC, !f Fresh, Dark & Edgy, !f Cult, Special Screenings; Ways of Seeing, Shorts from Turkey, !f Istanbul Events and !f music Parties. A total 111 films, from 36 countries will be shown.