Turkeys New Cinema in !f Istanbul

Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card, the 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival brings together the newest and most creative works in Turkey's new cinema. !f Istanbul screens Merlyn Solakhan's Berlin-premiering forgotten masterpiece "Tekerleme" (1984) for the first time in Turkey!


Presented in partnership with İş Bankası Maximum Card and in association with Mars Cinema Group, the 15th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival will take place on 18-28 February, 2016 in Istanbul, and on 3-6 March, 2016 in Ankara and İzmir. Creating an alternative space for experimental and creative films in Turkey, !f Istanbul will showcase a total of 32 films-including shorts and features-from Turkey. 


Hidden in !nspired International Competition

!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival's international competition section !nspired continues to look for the year's most inspired director on its eighth year. The !nspired Competition, open to first and second-time directors, hosts Ali Kemal Çınar's "Veşartî/Hidden" from Turkey this year. Standing out with his debut feature, "Short Film" and occupying a different place in Kurdish cinema owing both to his cinematic language and the subjects he takes up, Çınar in his second feature tells the story of how Ali Kemal and Berfin, a couple living a quiet life, find themselves in a world where sex change acquires strange reality. The director, who lives and films in Diyarbakır invites viewers to an enchanting adventure that plays with gender theory and tradition. 


Love & Change: The year's most creative intervention!

Launched by !f Istanbul two years ago and designed to showcase filmmakers across the world working with activist themes, Love & Change Film Competition will host "Bağlar" as the entry from Turkey, depicting the struggle of the young male basketball team coming from Diyarbakır's poor and middle-class families who try to keep ambition and hope alive despite all obstacles. Co-directed by Melis Birder, the winner of multiple awards for documentaries such as "The Tenth Planet" and "The Visitors", and Berke Baş, known for the films, "What a Beautiful Democracy!" and "Hush", "Bağlar" will have its world premiere in !f Istanbul.


And more.

Ceset/Nekro: Pınar Sinan's thriller portrays the strange and dysfunctional life of a lonely male nurse with social phobia working in a private hospital, and stands out as the first necrophilia film in Turkey's cinema.


Naciye: Starring one of Turkey's top actresses, Derya Alabora, Lütfü Emre Çiçek's horror film which had its world premiere in Screamfest tells the story of Naciye, a woman determined to do whatever cruelty it takes to protect her home. 


#direnayol/#resistayol: Rüzgâr Buşki's documentary is about LGBT individuals' role in the changing political atmosphere in June 2013 during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul as well as the effect Gezi has on them. 


Köpek/The Dog: Known for her award-winning shorts, Switzerland-based Esen Işık lays bare through the stories of three different characters the difficulties of being a woman, transgender individual, or child in Turkey. Işık dedicates her film to Pippa Bacca who walked for peace in 2008 but was raped and killed in Gebze, Turkey. 


Kedi: This colorful and entertaining documentary directed by Ceyda Torun follows Istanbul's cats around districts such as Galata, Cihangir, and Feriköy, looking for answers to the question: "What do the neighborhood cats do when you go home?" 


Mustang: Deniz Gamze Ergüven's moving 2016 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-nominee film about five sisters who choose not to be women or children in Turkey, but to be themselves, will reach 15 thousand viewers at 50 different locations in 33 cities at the same time thanks to !f Istanbul's alternative film distribution and sharing project, !f².  


Doğumyeri: Adana/Born in Adana: David Hovan's short documentary tells the story of his father, 93-year-old Antrarig Teghararian, who in 1915 has to go from Diyarbakır to Aleppo, and then to Adana in order to stay alive. 


Son Nefes/Dying Breath: Ömer Akbaş's documentary features interviews with loved ones of Soma Mine Disaster victims, conducted shortly after the infuriating tragedy in May 2014. Charged with survivors' longing for the victims and with great pain. 


Patronsuzlar/Bossless: Directed by Sidar İnan Erçelik, the documentary tells the story of Kazova workers' resistance, occupying the building and continuing production after being dismissed without compensation when their factory closes down.


Daddy's Girl: This highly personal story on how men from Turkey raise their daughters and how those children come into their own is the work of Finland-born and raised Melisa Üneri of Turkish origin.


Meral, Kızım/Meral, My Girl: Berlin-based Süheyla Schwenk's short film is about a young woman, Meral, who returns to live with her traditional parents where she is confined to her bed while recuperating.


Tekerleme/Tongue Twister: Produced five years after the 1980 military coup in Turkey, Merlyn Solakhan's first film takes up-through the journey of a woman wandering alone in the streets of Istanbul-how people are affected by the experience of living in a city that feels unsafe. Depicting the transformation of a tongue twister into a stammer with an aesthetic never-before-seen in Turkey's cinema, the film had been screened in 1986 in Berlin Film Festivali and later forgotten. The film will have its Turkish premiere after 30 years.