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South Caucasus
Turkish Film Festival in Armenia


Turkish fiction, documental and animated films about Turkey will be shown in Armenia within the framework of the 2nd "23.5" Turkish film festival to be held on March 25-27.

"Modern-day Turkey, people's issues, concerns and views are at the core of the films. The films are produced by Turk film directors living in Turkey and abroad," director of the festival, Head of the Caucasus Center for Peace-making Initiatives Georgi Vanyan told "A1+".

The first festival was held in March 2009 and the results will be summed-up during festival. The winning film will receive the "Sympathy of the Audience" award which is the festival's only category.

The audience's vote, and not the jury, will determine which film is the most successful. This year we received 77 applications, the jury selected 10 and 3 films for the program that is not part of the competition," informed Georgi Vanyan.

The festival will open with the short-length films "New Day" and "Pieces", which tells about Armenian traditions in Turkey. The program "Festival on Wheels" will be held this year and there will also be a library of the two festivals.

How will Armenian audiences perceive the films about Turkey in the context of Turkish-Armenian relations? In response, the festival director said the festival must not be viewed from the political angle.

"We never have political speculations. Today the word "Turk" is associated with different feelings, while the Turkey we know is the Turkey of propaganda. We will try to present the real Turkey. This festival is aimed at opening a small gap in the wall between our nations," Georgi Vanyan told "A1+".

As far as perspectives for organizing Armenian festivals in Turkey are concerned, according to Vanyan, previous experience has shown that Armenians are not ready for that yet.

"We tried to organize it last year, but many directors took back their applications at the last minute," said Georgi Vanyan.

The Turkish films Festival 2010 will be held at the AUA Business Center.

It was supposed to be held at the State Chamber Theater, but according to the director, the theater administration liquidated the contact a couple of days before the festival.

To find out more information, we asked artistic director of the Chamber Theater Ara Yernjakyan who mentioned that there had been an agreement on organizing a screening of films, not a festival.

"There were no talks on holding a festival, much less a Turkish film festival. We talked about screening some films and they were on a different scale. We were surprised to find out that a large-scale festival is scheduled to be held at our theater," Yernjakyan told "A1+".

According to Yernjakyan, the termination of the agreement had nothing to do with the fact that the films are Turkish. "It is simply an issue of lack of confidence. We let them know that we were terminating the agreement 10 days before the festival."