Uncertainties about the fate of Antalya’s Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) International Film Festival after new Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel came to the post following the March 30 local elections have been clarified as the festival prepares to launch its 51st edition with a brand new team and mindset, as announced in a press conference in İstanbul on Friday.
Organized by the Antalya Greater Municipality, the festival will be marking its 2014 edition from Oct. 10 to 18 under the theme “Gelenekten geleceğe” (From Tradition to Future), Türel and the team members for the festival announced in the conference at the Yıldız Palace Museum. Controversies over the future of the festival emerged after Türel announced the municipality would not be working with the Antalya Foundation for Culture and Arts (AKSAV), the former collaborator of the festival, due to the corruption the foundation is alleged to have committed.
In early July, it was announced that film producer Elif Dağdeviren was appointed as the director of the festival. On Friday’s meeting it was announced the producer was joined by Hülya Uçansu, the founding director of İstanbul Film Festival, Zeynep Özbatur Atakan, the producer of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or-winning “Kış Uykusu” (Winter Sleep), and Alin Taşçıyan, the president of the Turkish Film Critics Association (SİYAD) and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), in the festival committee. Serap Engin will be in charge of the festival’s national section while Nesim Bencoya will be in charge of the international section.
The oldest cinematic gathering of Turkey, Altın Portakal will be offered in a more international scope in 2014 as Türel has applied to Paris-based International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) to give Altın Portakal “A-list” status as it has been in the Competitive Specialized Feature Film Festivals category. In addition, attempts have begun to form a digital archive of the festival.
The festival has also lifted its premiere screening requirement for the national competition of feature-length films. The decision has come on the occasion of Turkish cinema’s 100th year. According to the new rule, films which have had their premieres at other festivals can also be submitted for the competition, unless they receive the best film award in any other festivals. The last date to submit for the national competition is Aug. 26. The longest-running film festival of Turkey, Altın Portakal, will turn the spotlight on the cinema of Spain in its 51st edition.
“Altın Portakal is not the festival of a mayor, it belongs to Antalya and Turkish cinema. … There is not limitation on the [content] of the festival films,” Türel from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was quoted as saying in response to a question as to whether any film about last year’s anti-governmental Gezi Park protests could be in the running in the national competition, by the Doğan news agency.
This year’s festival will honor veteran actor, screen-writer and director Haldun Dormen, actress Nilüfer Aydan and writer Tarık Dursun Kakınç. The festival will also pay the debt of the 50th edition as the festival, organized by the municipality of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) under the former Antalya Mayor Mustafa Akaydın, have not yet given out last year’s cash prizes. For further information and updates, visit www.altinportakal.org.tr.