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 PRESS RELEASE
 
  24th Annual International Istanbul Film Festival
 

ISTANBUL , TURKEY , March 17, 2005 – Spotlighting the most recent daring accomplishments realized in film, while paying tribute to past classics and monuments in cinema, Istanbul will host the 24th Annual International Istanbul Film Festival from April 2 to April 17, 2005. The event, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and sponsored by Akbank, will offer 166 films from more than 60 countries with screenings at legendary venues throughout the city.  As has been the tradition since 1988, the festival will screen all films without the limitations of censorship.

Among all the honors presented this year, the festival will award one of its most prestigious, the Life Time Achievement Award, to film icon Harvey Keitel. One of the most internationally respected actors, Keitel, once a United States Marine, has starred in cinema classics such as “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver” and “Reservoir Dogs” and has worked under the direction of festival favorites like Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott. 

Highlights of the 24th annual event showcase film’s ability to expose humanity and breach human emotion in both “The General” and “The Son of the Sheik.” These monumental films will be accompanied by live music with director Buster Keaton’s silent classic “The General” joined by the Akbank Chamber Orchestra. The 1926 classic “The Son of the Sheik,” Rudolph Valentino’s final movie, will be reinvigorated when paired with the innovations of Sarband, an ensemble known for creating musical synthesis of Orient and Occident.

This year, 13 films will enter the festival’s famed International Competition, competing for the Golden Tulip Award. While the films being screened at the festival – 75 from Europe, 40 from America , 19 from the Far East and 22 from Turkey – have won 456 awards internationally, only these 13 films will be judged by the elite International Competition jury presided over by Jane Campion. Campion, who earned 1993’s Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, was the first female director to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival.

The festival will continue its many popular traditions, such as the Midnight Screenings, as well as break new ground with two major additions to the program. As in years past, six of the festival’s most provocative and inventive films are scheduled for screenings at midnight on Friday nights at the Beyoğlu Movie Theater and at the Atlas Movie Theater on Saturdays during the event. The festival’s commitment to forward thinking will be showcased in this year’s newest program addition – the Coming of Age. This special category of film will tackle the unique dangers, conflicts and journeys comprising the time in life between childhood and adulthood. Most notably, “The Holy Girl” directed by Lucrecia Martel, whose previous festival entries have been among crowd favorites, will be screened in this category of “right of passage” films.

The second addition to the program is the Dark Side of the Future: Dystopia, screening the industry’s pioneering films of dark visions of society’s future. Critically acclaimed films and directors will light up the screen in this collection of anti-utopian cinema, bringing together film greats such as George Lucas, Ridley Scott and Jean-Luc Godard.  

To showcase the presentations, the festival will utilize an eclectic set of venues throughout many of the city’s neighborhoods known for their recent artistic resurgence. Screenings take place daily at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30, 4:00, 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. 

Tickets for the 24th Annual International Istanbul Film Festival can be ordered in advance online at www.iksv.org./english and can be arranged for on-site by the concierges of any of Istanbul ’s many world-class hotels. 

Turkey , the site of two wonders of the ancient world, is a present-day marvel – the cradle of civilization, the very center of world history and a modern Westward-looking republic. It is a country of fascinating contrasts, where antiquity is juxtaposed with the contemporary, the familiar with the exotic; where sun-swept beaches beckon less than an hour away from snow-capped mountains, and everywhere visitors are treated to the extraordinary warmth of the Turkish people.


For information about travel to Turkey, call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY 
or contact the Turkish Culture and Tourism Offices in New York at 212-687-2194 
or in Washington D.C. at 202-612-6800 or in Los Angeles at 323-937-8066
and visit www.tourismturkey.org 
or www.kulturturizm.gov.tr

 

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