10 - 16 October 2003
WELCOME TO THE FESTIVAL
The Rio's annual celebration of all things cinematically Turkish promises seven days of movies that are entertaining, illuminating, exciting and innovative – sometimes all at the same time! And it's also a unique opportunity to both meet some of today's directors, producers and stars and spot the talents of tomorrow.
This year's Festival comes before the London Film Festival so we are unable to preview the most prestigious success in Turkish cinema this year, the Cannes prize winner UZAK, but this gets a London release next year. We do, however, have the opening night film of the recent Venice Festival Dervis Zaim's MUD, a Turkish co-production with Italy and Cyprus.
The international flavour of the Festival continues with a co-production with Hungary, Yusuf Kurcenli's UNSENT LETTERS, and Bilge Ebiri's very surreal NEW GUY was made in America. There's even a fascinating feature documentary on the legendary Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, THEO'S GAZE.
But it is the already acclaimed combination of Turkish filmmaking and German production that has created two of the Festival's finest films: Fatih Akin's delightfully observed portrait of family life, SOLINO, and Asli Ozge's strikingly original LITTLE BIT OF APRIL.
Delayed international screenings of Ali Özgentürk's BALALAYKA and Tomris Giritlioglu's MISS SALKIM'S DIAMONDS head an outstanding collection of Turkish productions. And of course no Festival would be complete without the year's big box office winner and Mustafa Altioklar's HE'S IN THE ARMY NOW entertains with a wicked mix of farce and satire.
From short films by young local filmmakers to big budget historical epics, there's a lot to enjoy and discover.
We hope to see you soon.
Vedide Kaymak & Charles Rubinstein.
Germany 2001 / 86m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Buket Alakus
Cast: Nursel Köse, Saskia Vester, Audrey Motaung, Tayfun Bademsoy
Anam is a traditional Turkish woman in her forties who lives with her family in Hamburg where she works as a cleaner. When she finds out that her son Deniz has drifted into the drug scene and that her husband Mehmet is having an affair with a colleague her world falls apart. Although desperate she is determined to fight and goes looking for Deniz. Instead she finds his girlfriend Mandy who is also a drug addict. She decides to take care of the girl who is a stranger to her and finds herself confronted with an entirely unknown world.
Sat 11 Oct 6.45pm
Thur 16 Oct 4.30pm
Turkey 2000 / 115m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Ali Özgentürk
Cast: Ugur Yücel, Cem Davran, Yekaterina Rednikova
On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions get on board. Also on the bus are three brothers who have come together after many years to carry out their father's last wish. Passions flare and preconceptions are shattered as the disparate collection of passengers embark together on personal journeys of discovery. A chain of irreversible events make this a journey full of joy, heartbreak and hope.
Fri 10 Oct 5.45pm
Thur 16 Oct 2.00pm
THE DECLINE OF SULTAN ABDÜLHAMID (Abdülhamid Düserken)
Turkey 2003 / 124m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Ziya Öztan
Cast: Meltem Cumbul, Mehmet Kurtulus, Mehmet Ali Alabora, Tarik Akan, Nur Sürer, Halil Ergün, Müjdat Gezen
A fascinating mix of personal love story and public events set against the Second Constitutional Era of 1908-1909. This still influential period of Turkish history saw a major and painful transformation first of all in the Ottoman Empire and then world wide. Major Sefik is a successful officer on the front line of the fight for democracy. He is an executive of the Committee of Progress and Union and falls in love not only with the daughter of a Minister, but also with the power his position brings.
Sun 12 Oct 12.00pm
Tue 14 Oct 8.45pm
Wed 15 Oct 1.30pm
HE’S IN THE ARMY NOW (O Simdi Asker)
Turkey 2002 / 119m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Mustafa Altıoklar
Cast: Özcan Deniz, Ali Poyrazoglu, Yavuz Bingöl
The story of a group of territorial soldiers who are serving as short-term paying recruits in the 5th Private Training Brigade in Çanakkale. This disparate bunch of men live through an entertaining adventure and in spite of all their differences learn to live together in harmony. But as the end of their military service approaches there's an earthquake and an island appears off the coast of the Aegean Sea. Diplomatic tension erupts between Turkey and Greece and soon war is looming.
Fri 10 Oct 8.30pm
Sat 11 Oct 11.30pm
Wed 15 Oct 4.15pm
Thur 16 Oct 8.45pm
LITTLE BIT OF APRIL (Biraz Nisan)
Germany 2003 / 98m
German / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Asli Özge
Cast: Thomas Gerber, Christian Wewerka, Dagmar Gabler
Berlin in April. Luka spends his days looking for the house he has seen in his dreams since he was a child. At night he secretly returns to these houses to see if he can sleep there without having nightmares. One night he meets Vera with whom he once had an affair. His mysterious existence also attracts Tim, a failed writer who cannot accept that his glory days are over. And then there’s Cem who dreams of becoming a famous musician and the beautiful but naive Isa. For each of them, moving to a new house is an end in itself, but also a new beginning.
Fri 10 Oct 1.00pm
Thur 16 Oct 6.30pm
MISS SALKIM’S DIAMONDS (Salkim Hanim’in Taneleri)
Turkey 1999 / 137m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Tomris Giritlioglu
Cast: Zuhal Olcay, Hülya Avsar, Ugur Polat
Nimet and Durmufl move from Nigde to Istanbul where they stay with Durmufl’s old friend Bekir, who finds him a job as a porter. But Durmufl soon becomes dissatisfied with his lowly position and becomes obsessed with the wealth of Mr Halit, the owner of the building where he works. He even covets Halit’s mistress Nefise. But then a new property tax levied on non-muslims living in Turkey means that Mr Halit has to get rid of his immediate possessions in order to be able to pay the taxes for his foreign bride Nora. Eventually this infamous Property Tax will come to affect everyone...
Sun 12 Oct 8.30pm + Tomris Giritlioglu
Mon 13 Oct 11.30am
Italy-Turkey-Cyprus 2003 / 98m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Dervis Zaim
Cast: Mustafa Ugurlu, Yelda Reynaud, Bülent Emin Yarar, Taner Birsel, Tomris Inceer
Four 40-something friends are haunted by the violent past of a divided Cyprus. Temel wants desperately to speak about the crimes of vengeance he committed as a teenager. Halil would rather keep the past buried. Ali would speak out, if only he had not lost his voice to a mysterious illness. Despite numerous failed attempts, gynaecologist Aisha still believes science will help her brother Ali. When Ali stumbles on an ancient fertility statue buried in the mud, Halil sees a potential opportunity to make them lots of money. But his get-rich-quick scheme puts everyone in danger.
Sun 12 Oct 5.30pm + Dervis Zaim
Wed 15 Oct 9.00pm
Thur 16 Oct 11.45am
NEW GUY (Ilk Gün)
USA 2002 / 85m / In English / Cert. 15
Director: Bilge Ebiri
Cast: Kelly Miller, Scott Janes, Jonathan Uffellman
On his first day at his new job Gregg finds himself in a very strange world: his cubicle is covered in a sea of Post-It notes. One employee stands disconsolately by a fax machine all day long; another can't stop chatting with his girlfriend on the phone; two girls stand gossiping by a coffee machine, oblivious to everything around them. Grown men cry in public. As his day progresses and he learns more about his strange surroundings, Gregg begins to fear for his life. And someone – or something – has bigger plans for Gregg...
Tue 14 Oct 2.15pm
Wed 15 Oct 6.45pm
SECRET CHILDREN (Sir Çocuklari)
Turkey 2002 / 115m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Directors: Aydin Sayman & Ümit Cin Güven
Cast: Firat Tanis, Özgü Namal, Mehmet Ali Alabora
Ten-year-old Cemil runs away to Istanbul because of his stepfather’s cruelty and takes refuge with the street kids he meets at Haydarpafla. The leader of the group, Velit, wants to collect money to help Cemil return home. Cemil’s mother Münevver comes to Istanbul looking for her son and stays with her younger sister Zeynep. Meanwhile, Cemil finds life on the streets tough going and becomes ill. While Velit tries to find a way to express his love for Zeynep, something happens to Cemil that turns everything upside down. There is no way back for these people whose lives and destinies are hanging by a thread.
Fri 10 Oct 3.15pm
Mon 13 Oct 6.15pm
Germany 2002 / 120m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Fatih Akin
Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Barnaby Metschurat, Antonella Attili
Romano and Rosaand and their sons Gigi and Giancarlo move from sunny Italy to the industrial heartland of 1960s Germany and open the first pizza parlour in the neighbourhood. While Romano is soon completely wrapped up in his work Rosa continues to suffer from homesickness. Gigi and Giancarlo enjoy their new found adolescent freedom but they will soon become rivals in the quest for love and success – and each of them wants to be the first to answer the big question: What is really important in life?
Sat 11 Oct 8.45pm
Mon 13 Oct 2.15pm
Tue 14 Oct 6.15pm
UNSENT LETTERS (Gönderilmemis Mektuplar)
Turkey-Hungary 2003 / 110m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Yusuf Kurçenli
Cast: Türkan Soray, Kadir Inanir, Melike Demirag
A film about love; the love between a woman and a man, two sensitive people, who have pasts and problems. Does suffering nourish love, or does love knock on the door of suffering? Is everything a state of being carried away? What if that which we call destiny is really the design of others? This is a wintry film of profound emotions and one that truthfully explores the inner world of its characters.
Sun 12 Oct 2.45pm + Yusuf Kurçenli
Mon 13 Oct 8.45pm
Tue 14 Oct 11.45am
THEO’S GAZE (Theo’nun Bakisi)
Turkey 2003 / 52m / Documentary / English subtitles / Cert. 12 A
Director: Necati Sönmez
With Theo Angelopoulos, Petros Markaris, Yorgos Arvanitis
A portrait of Greek film director Theo Angelopoulos (The Travelling Players, Ulysses’ Gaze) as a contemporary Homer, a teller of tales whose heroes are the Agamemnons, Oresteses and Odysseuses of our time. From his first film up to his latest project, he has constantly reminded us that history is not dead, but only sleeping. This is the first documentary on a master movie maker whose work has crossed boundaries not only of countries but of cultures, history, mythology and poetry. There are interviews with everyone from close collaborators to extras on the set of his latest epic, and of course the director himself.
Sat 11 Oct 3.15pm
Mon 13 Oct 4.45pm
NO WINNERS (Kazanan Yok)
UK 2003 / 95m / English subtitles / Cert. 15
Director: Kenan Hüdaverdi
Cast: Kenan Hüdaverdi, Dimitri Andreas, Vanda Rapti, Charlie Mooney
A young refugee making a new life in London sees drugs being taken from the door panels of a car at the garage where he works, and sets off a train of events which he is powerless to stop. He turns for help to his brother in law, Takus, who takes matters into his own hands, putting his family and friends in great danger. When tragedy strikes Takus’ closest family, he realises he has nothing left to lose, and sets about seeking revenge, regardless of the cost to himself. Set in North London, the film takes us through the seedy world of illegal drugs, ruthless gangsters and corrupt police, to its tearjerker ending.