As the curtains draw on the country’s leading Festival, Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, the spotlight was on Turkey. For the first time, a high level delegation of over 42 of the leading CEOs from the Film and TV Industry in Turkey, leading Producers, Directors and production houses, who were here to attend the Festival and showcase some of their best films to Indian audiences. They took active part in the Festival which opened on the 20th of October in Mumbai.
The festival brought together a selection of 10 of the best Turkish films especially curated for the Indian audience. The ten films that were screened to packed auditoriums at the Festival were — Album, My Mother’s Wound, Bride, Snow Pirates, Winter Sleep, Ember, Blue Bicycle, Dust, Whisper If I Forget and 8 Seconds.
The Indian media had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Huseyin Yayman, the President of TESIYAP, Mr. Birol Guven, famous, leading actors in Turkey, Hazal Kaya, Sarp Levendoglu and Kaan Tasener. This media briefing was hosted by Turkish Ambassador H.E. Burak Akcapar and Mumbai Consul General H.E. Sabri Ergen. There was a large contingent of Indian media present who showed great interest in the meeting where important messages were conveyed. It was an interesting engagement.
Alin Taşçiyan, Film Critic & President of FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) and Curator of the Turkish Films being screened at Jio MAMI this year moderated the press briefing session. Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Huseyin Yayman invited Indian Filmmakers to Turkey and said:
“We want to increase the cultural and political values between Turkey and India; We believe art and culture to be above politics”
In his speech, Mr. Huseyin Yayman said,
“You already see images of Istanbul in the series but I invite you to come and stay in Istanbul. Between Turkey and India, there are such important historical bonds. I have come to offer you to go further in increasing the culture-art relations between Turkey and India on behalf of our President and Prime Minister. When we develop culture and art based exchanges, and build enduring we build really long lasting relations. In this sense, the Mumbai Film Festival is very important to us.”
Indicating the progress of relations between Turkey and India, H.E. Mr. Burak Akcapar, the Turkish Ambassador to India from New Delhi, pointed out the global importance of the relation between Turkey and India. And he added,
“Having cinema for the whole progress in political, economical and cultural relations will build a bridge between two countries.”
Consul General of Turkey in Mumbai, H.E. Mr. Sabri Ergen indicated that the delegation had chosen specifically to attend this Festival and highlighted their intent saying,
“We want to showcase our series, movies and talent.”
Festival Director, Anupama Chopra who accompanied the Turkish delegation at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival, said it was exciting to welcome Turkey as a guest country.
“We are delighted to have Turkey as our Country of Focus at this year’s Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star. We reached out to the Counsel General of Turkey, H.E. Erdal Sabri Ergen, who immediately swung into action about the idea of putting together films and various initiatives from Turkey. From a long list we chose 10 films across genres that represents this country, but more importantly, defines this country’s persona. There’s a film from 1973 (The Bride) as well as the recently highly acclaimed ‘Winter Sleep’, and a host of other contemporary films, all of which give you a perspective of the country as good films should.”
Addressing the media, the President of Tesiyap, Mr. Birol Güven, Spokesperson of the Delegation and CEO/Founder/Producer of Mint Motion Pictures highlighted that they want to have co-operation and co-productions and said:
“We are here to know you better and to see your culture. And we want to tell more about ourselves because we don’t know each other, even though we have so much in common. I would like to warn you that when you start seeing our Turkish series you will not be able to stop. But don’t worry, we have a lot of series”
Leading Turkish Actress, Hazal Kaya, the star of ‘Adini Feriha Koydum’ (Feriha) series which was shown in India said that she is so excited about attending the festival.
Pointing out that Feriha was shown in Turkey five years ago, Kaya said,
“Getting this interest in India for Feriha is so exciting for us. Actually Turkish series are shown in many countries. But seeing the result of this in India, is a different happiness for me. My mother grew up watching Indian movies. That’s why I am so happy to make her proud.”
An engaging Turkey-India Entertainment Forum (TV and Film) was held on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. This session was co-chaired by Festival Director, Anupama Chopra, and the President of TESİYAP (Television & Cinema Producers Professionnal Organization of Turkey), Mr Birol Güven. The primary objective of the Industry Forum is to forge new relationships between the Film and TV industries of India and Turkey that will pave the way for collaborative productions, to build the legal foundation for co-production agreement and to contribute to the political, economic, artistic and cultural cooperation and solidarity between the two countries.
From the Turkish Delegation, special invitees included Turkish Ambassador in New Delhi Burak Akçapar, Turkey’s Vice-Minister of Culture & Tourism Hüseyin Yayman, Turkish Consul General in Mumbai Erdal Sabri Ergen, as well as prominent Turkish producers, Birol Güven, Ali Gündoğdu, Faruk Turğut, Şükrü Avşar, Ömer Atay, ATV and Kanal D Representatives, Mars Distribution CEO Ferhat Aslan; successful Turkish directors Reha Erdem, Çağan Irmak, Ömer Faruk Sorak, Murat Şeker, Ümit Köreken, Faruk Hacıhafızoğlu participated in the panel discussion.
Representing the Indian film industry on the panel was India’s leading Filmaker, Vidhu Vinod Chopra of Vinod Chopra Films.