TURKISH WAVES – Major Turkish cultural event in Brisbane featuring 4 Australian premiere screenings presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism

The Asia Pacific Screen Academy in association with the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will present for the first time in Brisbane, Turkish Waves, a Turkish cultural program in conjunction with the 2nd Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) and the 9th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).
Curated and programmed by Turkish producer and APSA Academy member Zeynep Özbatur Atakan (Producer of the 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep) the Turkish screen culture partnership with APSA and BAPFF will include a 9-film screening program including the Australian premieres of Semen Tuzen’s APSA UNESCO Award nominated Motherland direct from its world premiere in Venice Critics Week, Emin Alper’s Frenzy (Abluka), and from their world premieres at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, Kutlug Ataman’s The Lamb (Kuzu) and Emine Emel Balci’s Until I Lose My Breath (Nefesim Kasilene Kadar).
Celebrating the rich and diverse arts and culture of Turkey, Turkish Waves will also include musical performances, including performer Neva Özgen on the traditional Turkish instrument, the Kemençe and the creator of the Adjustable Microtonal Guitar, Tolgahan Çoğulu, joined by Turkish pianist and composer Selim Atakan.
Turkish Waves will culminate in a reception hosted for the first time in Brisbane, similar to the Turkish events held annually at the A-list film festivals Cannes, Berlin and Venice.
A delegation of Turkish filmmakers will be immersed in the 4-day APSA international networking events for filmmakers, and participate in screenings and panel discussions at BAPFF.
General Manager of Turkish Cinema of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Erkin Yilmaz expressed his gratification with these words: “The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is highly regarded and well known to the Turkish Cinema industry which has taken significant part since the Awards were first introduced in 2007. We are thrilled to be bringing into light our long lasting friendship through this presentation of Turkish cinema at Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and APSA as one of our contributions to the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.”
Turkish Waves curator Zeynep Özbatur Atakan said “The 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Commemoration has the utmost importance for Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, and has been the inspiration for highly artistic events including ‘The Gallipoli Symphony’. Turkish films have always been well-represented across many categories at APSA and we are proud to present this selection of films from classics to modern for the cinema lovers of Brisbane.”
Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk welcomed the creative partnership “Australia has a long and enduring connection to the people and culture of Turkey, as witnessed in the many events commemorated throughout this year around the anniversary of Gallipoli. By holding this event in Brisbane, we have a remarkable opportunity to celebrate the culture of these important regional neighbours and further forge our bonds of friendship.”
Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy, Michael Hawkins said “The Asia Pacific Screen Academy is thrilled to work together with the Turkish Government and APSA Academy member Zeynep Özbatur Atakan in presenting this country focus in the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, and welcoming the involvement of the Turkish film industry to the many important networking and cultural events in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards program.”
Turkey’s representation and involvement at APSA has grown since APSA’s inception in 2007. In eight years, over 45 Turkish films have competed and countless film practitioners, artists and cultural representatives have played their part in APSA’s development. Turkish filmmakers have sat on the International Jury three times enjoyed 21 APSA nominations and 11 APSA wins.

Zeynep Özbatur Atakan was a member of the APSA International Jury in 2012, following being awarded the Jury Grand Prize in 2011 for Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon A Time In Anatolia. The film was also awarded Achievement in Directing and Achievement in Cinematography. Films produced by Zeyno Film have been awarded a total five APSAs from nine nominations for Three Monkeys, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia and 2014’s Winter Sleep. In 2012, Zeynep was awarded an MPA APSA Academy Film Fund development prize, offered exclusively to APSA Academy members via the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival screens November 19-29 encompassing the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony on November 26. The full program of films and cultural activities will be announced closer to BAPFF.

The Bride (GELİN)
97 mins | Unclassified 15+
Young Meryem, her husband and their little boy move to Istanbul to live with the in-laws. It’s tense. Her husband’s domineering father, Haci, has invested the family’s meagre fortune into a grocery store in the ghetto. Desperate to expand the business, Haci takes out hefty loans and scrapes together enough money to buy a space in the city centre. At the same time, Meryem’s child falls seriously ill and requires a costly surgery.
When Haci hesitates to help by offering the money earmarked for the business, Meryem bravely takes matters into her own hands. The Bride, shot almost entirely with a fixed camera, takes on a documentary feel as director Omer Lutfi Akad deftly maintains the emotional weight of this gripping and dramatic story.
BAPFF screening: Tuesday 24 November, 6.30pm
Palace Barracks 5

Frenzy (Abluka)
Turkey, Qatar, France
119 mins | Unclassified 15+
Australian Premiere
This intensely affecting drama from director Emin Alper (Beyond the Hill, Best Feature Film winner at 6th APSA), premiered in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival and received the Special Jury Prize.
Set in a dystopian, politically-violent Istanbul, prisoner Kadir makes a secret deal with the government for an early release. In exchange, he becomes a part of an intelligence-gathering unit of garbage collectors, sniffing through trash for potential explosives and other materials terrorists could use to make bombs. Through chance, Kadir reunites with his younger brother, Ahmet, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years. Ahmet’s reluctance to reconnect leads Kadir to concoct conspiracy theories to explain his avoidant behaviour. There’s no escape from Alper’s masterful treatment of this paranoid drama.
BAPFF screening: Wednesday 25 November, 9pm
Palace Barracks 3

Hope (Umut)[Restored]
99 mins | Unclassified 15+
Cabbar, an illiterate Kurdish horse cab driver, struggles to support his elderly mother, wife and five children. When one of his horses is struck by a car, destitute Cabbar moves heaven and earth to buy a replacement, while creditors swoop in and sell his carriage. All hope seems lost, yet Cabbar’s naïve optimism is unshaken. Under the advice of a holy man, he ventures into the desert in quest of a mythical lost treasure.
Palme d’Or winning filmmaker Yilmaz Guney directed and starred in this faithful depiction of 1970s Turkey. Considered Guney’s first masterpiece, Hope was initially banned in Turkey and subsequently smuggled abroad and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This digitally restored version premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
BAPFF screening: Friday 27 November, 6.30pm
Palace Barracks 5

Ivy (Sarmaşık)
104 mins | Unclassified 15+
Queensland Premiere
A massive cargo ship, Ivy, had just weighed anchor in Egyptian waters when the crew receive troubling news: the shipping company has gone bankrupt and the owners have disappeared, along with any chance for the seamen to collect their pay.
While the majority of the ship’s crew are allowed to go ashore, the ship’s captain and five other crew members are obliged to stay aboard to prevent the Ivy from being impounded by the local authorities. As supplies run low, nerves fray and the rising tension among the men is primed to take a deadly turn.
With the aid of his strong cast and the magnificent photography, Karacelik’s slow-burning suspense will stay with you long after its haunting finale.
BAPFF screening: Tuesday 24 November, 8.45pm
Palace Barracks 4

The Lamb (Kuzu)
Turkey, Germany
85 mins | Unclassified 15+
Australian Premiere
As Eastern Anatolian village tradition requires, Medine must serve oven-roasted lamb at her five year old son Mert’s circumcision feast. Poor but determined, Medine puts the family to work cutting branches to earn something towards the price of the sheep.
Her unemployed husband Ismail is concerned by his wife’s assertive behaviour. Envious of the attention, Mert’s elder sister tricks him into believing that if a sheep is not found their father will instead slaughter Mert, sending the now terrified boy on a desperate search for the animal.
Premiering at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, this funny, touching film tells a timeless tale of human fear and desire. the flame of timeless rituals into a world that has almost forgotten them.
Director Kutlug Ataman in attendance. Screening followed by a panel discussion with international Turkish delegation including curator of ‘Turkish Waves’, Zeynep Özbatur Atakan.
BAPFF screening: Sunday 22 November, 6.30pm
Palace Barracks 2

Turkey, Greece
96 mins | Unclassified 15+
Australian Premiere
Nesrin is an urban, middle-class woman recovering from a divorce. She quits her office job, abandons Istanbul and moves into her deceased grandmother’s country house to finish a novel and live out her childhood dream of being a writer.
When her conservative and increasingly unhinged mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of a peaceful village life turn bitter as the two are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds.
Just as Nesrin is torn back and forth between love and hatred, Motherland is a complex and brave portrait of humanity’s struggle between modernity and conservatism. Director Senem Tüzen’s first feature, Motherland premiered in the Critics’ Week section at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
BAPFF screening: Saturday 28 November, 8.30pm
New Farm Cinemas Red

Qatar, Turkey, France, Germany
94 mins | Unclassified 15+
Queensland Premiere
“A beautifully mounted story about the demonization of young female sexuality” – Variety
First-timer Deniz Gamze Ergüven won hearts at the Sarajevo Film Festival when her captivating drama Mustang was awarded Best Feature and Best Actress for the ensemble cast of daughters.
Set in a village by the Black Sea, far from Istanbul, five sisters spark controversy after they swim and cavort with local school boys. Societal pressure to confine their sexuality becomes a literal lock and key as the girls are stripped of their mobile phones, make up, tight-fitting clothes and forced to take virginity tests until they are cajoled into arranged marriages.
With artful, award-winning performances and a beautifully shot narrative reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’sVirgin Suicides, Mustang’s gripping portrayal of youthful rebellion will have your heart racing.
BAPFF screenings:
Saturday 21 November, 6pm – Palace Barracks 5
Sunday 22 November, 4pm – Palace Barracks 2

The Small Town (Kasaba)
82 mins | Unclassified 15+
Based on childhood memories, The Small Town was the debut feature by Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Winter Sleep, Palme d’Or winner and Best Director winner at 8th APSA).
Through the perspective of two children, The Small Town captures the lives of a family in a dreary town in Turkey. The film’s four chapters depict an 11 year old girl struggling within the social web of primary school and encountering the mysteries of nature while journeying through a cornfield with her brother, a family campfire where they witness the complexities and darkness of adulthood, and the return to the family home, floating between reality and dream.
Admired for its striking black-and-white visuals and contemplative pace, The Small Town, from one of Turkey’s modern greats is not to be missed.
BAPFF screening: Wednesday 25 November, 6.30pm
Palace Barracks 2

Until I Lose My Breath (Nefesim Kesilene Kadar)
Turkey, Germany
94 mins | Unclassified 15+
Australian Premiere
Serap, a stubborn late teen, works as a runner in a cramped sweatshop. Fed up with her abusive brotherin-law and detached sister, Serap longs for the chance to move into an apartment with her father, Mustafa.
To everyone but Serap, it’s clear that this is never going to happen. Mustafa does everything he can to avoid being tied down, accepting trucking jobs and lying to Serap that each will be the last. Serap’s emotional dependence on her neglectful father pushes her forward as she deprives herself meagre comforts and secretly saves cash for their future.
Delving into the dark and gritty underclass of Turkey, director Emine Emel Balcı’s debut feature premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
BAPFF screening: Saturday 28 November, 6pm
New Farm Bronze

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