Turkish Film Festival comes to Los Angeles

Carl Robinette

The Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival opens for the first time Thursday at the Egyptian Theatre and will showcase some of the best work in Turkish cinema, with the goal of bringing more attention from the west to the country’s film industry.

The festival lasts until March 4 and will include a short film competition, Q&A’s from leading Turkish filmmakers and screenings of five award-winning films.   The red carpet will be rolled out for the award ceremony Sunday.

“I am thrilled to have such a prominent group of judges at our first festival,” said Cenk Erturk, the festival’s director in a recent press release. “We received more than 200 entries from Turkish filmmakers and we will present the ten strongest finalists.”

Subject matter for the ten finalist films ranges from romance to hard-hitting drama involving war and suicide bombings.

The judges of the short film competition include Barbara Boyle, chair of University of California Los Angeles film department, and Kathy Smith, chair of University of Southern California film school’s animation and digital arts department.  As the festival’s jury president Dervis Zaim will also be screening his feature film “Shadows and Faces,” winner of several international awards.

“I am incredibly excited,” Boyle was quoted in the festival’s media release. “I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing these new voices.”

A panel discussion will be co-hosted by Elvis Mitchell, host of KCRW’s “The Treatment” and one of the short film competition jurors, along with AlinTa?çiyan and Fadik Sevin Atasoy.  They will discuss how literature, music, art and theatre impact the film medium.