By this time last year, we were having a different excitement. We were excited about being the new team that were going to take over the weight of a big festival, which were going to be held for the seventh time. Working with devotion all year long with expected hardship, unexpected easiness and various phases, we finished the 7th Malatya International Film Festival, home and dry. By the time we were leaving the festival behind with occupancy rates up to 90 per cent, with vast interest from the public and with appreciation form film industry for its every aspect, we aimed to sustain the same excitement for the next edition. Our duty became more difficult, the expectations decreased after a successful festival and everyone became solicitous about Malatya and the preparations of this year’s festival. The same team rolled their sleeves up once more, taking along the experience and excitement from the previous year, they set out for preparations for the whole year, this time for the eighth edition. Time passed in the blinking of an eye, we completed our preparations and now we are having the happiness of getting together with the cinema lovers once more, in Malatya, for the 8th Malatya International Film Festival.
As we frequently express; Malatya International Film Festival aims to provide a meaningful meeting in cinema with a perspective that is inclusive to various lands of the world as well as giving support to our local cinema scene. We believe that cinema is a powerful discipline of art, which overcomes borders and impossibilities and brings the differences together and on that note, we are taking important steps towards positioning our festival as a “discovery festival”. And for that exact reason, we chose our festival’s main theme to be “Cinema Makes the Far, Close”. Accordingly, we took crane, which is an important figure of Anatolian folk culture and that is symbolized as the courier of the emotions in tales, folk songs and poetry, to our festival poster.
Based on this understanding, we created an enriched international programme that is compiled with original films from various countries around the world. Along with master filmmakers’ powerful pieces and new generation, successful directors’ innovative and genuine films, our international programme consists of films that almost each one is going to be having its Turkish premiere.
Late era Turkish cinema’s pioneer director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, undertakes the head of international jury role. Ceylan, is going to join the Masterclass within the Malatya Film Platform and share his experiences with filmmakers. His last film The Wild Pear Tree will be meeting cinema lovers from Malatya. Our international jury consists of Vernice Klier; academician and acting coach of numerous Oscar awarded actors, Giulia Achilli; Italian director and producer, Ivana Roscic; Croatia’s well-known actress and from our neighbour Iran, master actor Masoud Rayegany.
Once again this year, our National Competition has this year’s promising productions. Distinguished director Reis Çelik will be the head of jury for the national competition, where thirteen films will be competing. Besides his works on social rights and union rights in film industry, Çelik is leading the way for his distinctive path with his experimental and courageous films. The great actress Şerif Sezer who delivered many unforgettable performances in many important productions The Road being the first place, the cinematographer of awarded films, Gökhan Tiryaki, fitting so many important projects to his young age, editor Ali Aga and besides his works as an actor, the director of three films, our cinema’s bodacious kid Haluk Piyes are the precious figures that consist our National Jury.
This year, we will be presenting the Honorary Awards to three important figures of our cinema. Neither this text nor even pages would be enough to tell of great actors Şener Şen and Perran Kutman. Having these two great actors, who have brought iconic films to our lives with their remarkable performances, is a great joy for us. famous comedian Cem Yılmaz will be presenting his award to great actor Şener Şen. Well-loved actor, Zafer Algöz, will present Perran Kutman’s award. The owner of the other Honorary Award, path-breaker of small screen with his innovative TV series, seeker of different quests with his films, great director Osman Sınav will receive his award from accomplished actor Mehmet Aslantuğ.
Created last year with the intention of vitalising our local cinema with production supports and various educational events, Malatya National Film Platform’s content has been enlarged with additional sections. We also added another section to our platform which has gained a vast attraction last year; Malatya International Film Platform. We have taken the first step with Azerbaijan for the platform, which we believe is going to turn into a big support fund that will cover Turkey’s surrounding countries. We believe that this fund, which TRT took part with its contributions, is going to highlight strongly both Turkey’s and Malatya’s efficiency in this field.
We have no doubt that 8th Malatya International film Festival will become a ground for vast excitement and joy with Festival is Here, Maybe a Film Comes to the Village, Cushion Conversations, Dark Ride, Comedy Showcase, Students at Festival and many more special events. I thank our festival team who has been working with great enthusiasm throughout the whole year in each phase, to our distinguished supporters, particularly to TRT, and I express my gratitude to Malatya Metropol Municipality and its esteemed Mayor, dear Hacı Uğur Polat for owning this festival and making effort with sincerity to take the festival to a better place.