By Leah Hochbaum Rosner
The resort town of Antalya is once again getting ready to host Turkey’s premier national film event. Preparations are underway for the 44th annual Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which will take place October 19-28, 2007. The event, jointly organized by the Foundation of Culture and Arts in Antalya (Antalya Kültür Sanat Vakfı, AKSAV) and the Foundation of Turkish Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (Türkiye Sinema ve Audiovisuel Kültür Vakfı, TÜRSAK), will also host the third edition of the International Eurasia Film Festival — which began as the international section of Antalya but has quickly become a major global draw.
Considered the Golden Orange Film Fest’s “international gateway to the world,” the Eurasia event will open with Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, the latest film from the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain director. Other flicks that will screen both in and out of competition include Control, a biopic about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis; Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park; Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Daniele Luchetti’s My Brother is an Only Child; Catherine Breillat’s An Old Mistress; and Robert Thalheim’s And Along Come Tourists.
Prizes will be awarded by a jury of expert film critics from European and Asian countries. A new feature of this year’s Eurasia festival will be a special jury prize from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC).
This year, Antalya has created the Script Development Fund, a new resource with the goal of encouraging Turkish co-production initiatives. TURSAK (the festival’s organizing committee) has asked that co-producers (at least one of whom must be of Turkish origin) send in applications as well as screenplay treatments (10-15 pages long) to the TURSAK Foundation in order to be considered. The top five projects will then be chosen by an electoral body from the Antalya Festival, and will be announced on October 10. The producers and scriptwriters of the chosen projects will then be invited to the festival to make presentations about their scripts and explain why their movie should win the $20,000 pot.
In addition, Eurasia is launching the Eurasia Production Platform, which was designed to be a global congregation of sorts, wherein producers from all over the world can meet, greet and trade production tips. This year’s platform will host internationally operating producers Joachim von Vietinghoff (The Man From London), Antoine Simkin (Fissures), Rustam Ybragimbekov (Nomad) and Andrei Sigle (Sun, Alexandra), who will discuss their new projects.
Eurasia will also include an homage to recently passed silver screen auteurs Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni. The festival will honor the directors’ impressive contributions to the film canon by showcasing some of their most famous works. Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage and Saraband will be featured to Antalya attendees, as will Antonioni classics Beyond the Clouds and Blow Up.
German actress Hanna Schygulla will be on hand to accept a special “Honor Award” for her eclectic oeuvre and lifetime achievement. Schygulla has worked with pioneering directors of the New German Cinema movement, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders.
Aside from the many prizes, the International Eurasia Film Festival is a great place to watch international movies that are making waves the world over. While this part of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival is only in its third year, festival organizers surely realize that after acting global, there’s no thinking local.