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Istanbul Film Festival appoints new director


- Azize Tan steps down after nine years and hands the post to assistant director Kerem Ayan

Istanbul Film Festival appoints new director
Kerem Ayan

The Istanbul Film Festival has announced that it has appointed a new director, Kerem Ayan, who previously served as assistant director. 

Azize Tan, who had been the festival director for the last nine years, stepped down after the controversial 34th edition (4-19 April 2015), which saw a boycott of the national and international competitions due to a censorship row over the PKK guerrilla documentary North. 

At the time, Tan said: “I hope that this situation converts into an opportunity that brings the film industry together to change this regulation. In order to overcome the problems in the industry, I think that a new film regulation should be enacted, and it should secure the freedom to screen films at the festival without any problems.” You can read the full story here

Istanbul is one of the festivals that feature a Cineuropa Award, which also wasn't given out at the last edition, in solidarity with the Turkish filmmaking community. 

Ayan used to work for Cannes, organised the International Literary Adaptation Market in Monaco and launched the Political Films Festival in Barcelona. Since 2006, he has been the assistant director of the Istanbul Film Festival.

Bulgu Öztürk, who has been working as a coordinator at the festival since 2005, has been appointed as assistant director in Ayan's stead.

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