Turkish Film Festival 2019 brings the beauty and the kitsch of Turkish cinema to Australia

August 26, 2019

The rising young star of Turkish film industry Esra Bilgic will attend the opening gala night of Turkish Film Festival 2019 on 5 September at Palace Cinemas Norton in Sydney, as the festival is bringing the best of Turkish cinema to screens across Australia for the 3rd year in a row.
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Turkish Film Festival 2019 brings the beauty and the kitsch of Turkish cinema to Australia

The rising young star of Turkish film industry Esra Bilgic will attend the opening gala night of Turkish Film Festival 2019 on 5 September at Palace Cinemas Norton in Sydney, as the festival is bringing the best of Turkish cinema to screens across Australia for the 3rd year in a row.

The festival is also giving platform to talented young Turkish Australian filmmakers, and among the films is a 1973 spoof of the legendary sci-fi franchise Star Trek.

The Turkish Film Festival, in its third year and with a growing network of supporters and sponsors, is hosting Turkey’s up and coming superstar Esra Bilgic, who is better known as the Halime Sultan of the popular Netflix series Resurgence: Ertugrul.

“Bilgic has a huge following globally and is one of the most talented young Turkish stars in recent times. Her first feature film is currently in production. With her attendance at our gala night we are hoping to reach out to larger audiences beyond the Turkish community, and do our part in promoting the love of cinema in Australia,” said the festival executive Huseyin Atayman.

Paramount Pictures marking the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture on 14 September across the globe, with Stan Australia recently announcing the acquisition of rights to the series. The Turkish made spoof, Star Trek: Tourist Omer predates the original motion picture by 6 years.

“We wanted to join the global celebrations. Turkish cinema in the early 1970s localised many global franchises, helping them gain audiences in a massive non-English speaking market. Superman, Batman and Dracula were all remade with limited technical abilities, resulting in truly kitsch films. Featuring the legendary comedian Sadri Alisik, Star Trek became one of the most watched among such films,” Atayman added.

The festival will screen Semih Kaplanoglu’s Grain, a dystopian story inspired by a verse in the Quran about environmental refugees. Kaplanoglu’s new film has been nominated for the Academy Awards as Turkey’s entry. Crossroads, a love story in the grim background of post-war Balkans, as well as Dervis Zaim’s Dream, about an ambitious female architect in the overdeveloped Istanbul fighting her demons in a parallel world.

“We also give platform to young Australian Turkish filmmakers, such as Mert Demirbilek and Alper Kasap during the festival, screening their short films. Our aim is to promote everything Turkish in Australia,” said the Director of Australian Turkish Mutual Alliance, Omer Incekara. Australian Turkish Mutual Alliance is a not-for profit community organisation founded to promote Turkish culture in Australia. ATMA’s brand events include Taste of Turkey and Turkish Film Festival.

Other films such as Money Trap, Uncle Aykut, Best Friends and Kill Me, My Darling have been the biggest screen hits in Turkey in 2018 and 2019, and have been loaned to the festival by Turkey’s largest distributor, BKM films, co-owned by The Water Diviner’s ACTAA winner Yilmaz Erdogan.

The festival will take place between 5 and 15 September at Palace Norton, Central Park Mall in Sydney and Palace Como in Melbourne.

Tickets can be purchased for the gala night via this link: https://www.australianturkish.org.au/events/turkish-film-festival-2019-sydney-gala-night

For films and sessions:

https://www.australianturkish.org.au/films