Turkish film industry demands new regulations and formation of a film centre
by Vladan Petkovic
- More than 300 filmmakers and 30 organisations have signed the letter of demands, which was read at the Istanbul Film Festival's main venue
After the boycott at the Istanbul Film Festival following a censorship row, in which Turkish filmmakers pulled their films and all of the competitions, including the international one, were cancelled in solidarity (read the full story here), the representatives of the local film industry have issued an open letter to the public, demanding changes to the system.
The letter was read at the Istanbul Film Festival’s main venue, the Atlas Cinema. In it, more than 300 filmmakers and over 30 institutions, including independent cinemas, production companies, film festivals and trade associations, demand the following:
1. Classification and evaluation regulations related to the official registration of cinema films must be rearranged in the light of scientific criteria and international practices.
2. Local films screened at film festivals, or all types of similar cultural and artistic events should, as is the case with foreign films, meet their audience without the requirement of any official documents, on the basis of the account of the filmmakers, and under the responsibility of the managements of such festivals or events.
3. The authority of the assessment boards of the Ministry to issue prohibition decisions regarding the commercial circulation and screening of films must be revoked.
4. The Film Law, currently in draft, should be revised in consultation with film institutions and must come into force in the shortest possible time.
5. Work must be carried out with the ultimate aim of founding the Film Institution of Turkey.
The letter also invites Ömer Çelik, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, to organise an urgent meeting with professional bodies in order to make immediate changes to the laws and regulations that enable censorship.
The full text of the letter and the list of signatories can be found here.