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ISTANBUL 2019 Meetings on the Bridge

Istanbul’s Meetings on the Bridge readies its 14th edition


- The Istanbul Film Festival’s industry platform showcases upcoming Turkish productions and also has a special focus on neighbouring countries

Istanbul’s Meetings on the Bridge readies its 14th edition
Director Banu Sıvacı, whose project Thin Long Road has been selected in Meetings on the Bridge’s Film Development Workshop

The 14th edition of Meetings on the Bridge (MoB), the international co-production and networking platform of the 38th Istanbul Film Festival (5-16 April), will take place from 7-12 April. Divided into three main sections – Film Development Workshop, Work in Progress and Neighbours Platform – MoB is dedicated to showcasing projects from Turkey and its neighbouring countries, and providing opportunities for collaboration and co-production.

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In the Film Development Workshop, 13 projects – 11 fiction films and two documentaries – chosen from among over 120 submissions will be competing for both the Meetings on the Bridge Award and the CNC Award. Starting with previously awarded directors, Seren Yüce (who won a prize for his Venice-premiered debut, Majority) and Ahu Öztürk (who scooped a trophy for her Berlinale-screened sophomore feature, Dust Cloth [+see also:
film review
interview: Ahu Öztürk
film profile
) are presenting their new projects. Also, Banu Sıvacı (The Pigeon [+see also:
film profile
), Zeynep Dadak (The Blue Wave [+see also:
film profile
) and Elif Refiğ (Ships) are bringing along their sophomore efforts. Some of last year’s MoB-winning producers are also rocking up with new projects: Engin Palabıyık with an LGBT+ road movie by Ali Erciyan, and Müge Özen with a thriller by Orçun Behram, while Emine Yıldırım is presenting a fantasy project which is also her directorial debut. Finally, filmmakers Can Eren, Nuri Cihan Özdoğan and Pınar Yorgancıoğlu, who have all won awards with their short films, round off the selection with their debut features.

The full list of selected Film Development Workshop projects is as follows:

Apollon ny Day Athena by NightEmine Yıldırım
Producers: Dilde Mahalli, Emine Yıldırım (Giyotin Film)

Electric SleepZeynep Dadak
Producers: Zeynep Ekmekçi, Pınar Bağcı (Fenafilm)

FuneralOrçun Behram
Producer: Müge Özen (Solis Film)

Good LuckElif Refiğ
Producers: Elif Vatansever, Oya Özden (Terminal Film)

Growing MorassCan Eren
Producer: Neslihan Oskay

GüneşNejla Demirci (documentary)
Producer: Mesut Ulutaş (Ney Film)

HunchbakAhu Öztürk
Producer: Münire Armstrong (Roni Film)

MasqueradeNuri Cihan Özdoğan
Producers: Orçun Günebakan, Nuri Cihan Özdoğan

PostSeren Yüce
Producer: Serkan Çakarer (+90 Film)

SeldaAmber İşbilen (documentary)
Producer: Leyla Hamedi (Infidel Films)

The ExileAli Ercivan
Producer: Engin Palabıyık (Harikulade Film)

Thin Long RoadBanu Sıvacı
Producers: Zeynep Koray, Mesut Ulutaş (Anagraf Film)

Those Who Whistle After DarkPınar Yorgancıoğlu
Producer: Sarah Seulki Oh

For the eighth edition of the MoB Work in Progress section (11-12 April), five Turkish projects, three fiction features and two documentaries, at the post-production stage will be presented. The selection includes Pelin Esmer’s (Something Useful [+see also:
film review
interview: Pelin Esmer
film profile
) latest film along with Emre Akay’s The Hunt, which was awarded at Antalya (see the news). The other titles are the sophomore movies by Kıvanç Sezer (My Father's Wings [+see also:
film review
interview: Kivanc Sezer
film profile
) and Nesimi Yetik (Spirit of Dust), and the Turkish-Israeli-Danish co-produced documentary Miss Holocaust Survivor by Eytan İpeker.

The Work in Progress selection is as follows:

The HuntEmre Akay
Producer: Diloy Gülün (Karma Film)

La Belle Indeference – Kıvanç Sezer
Producers: Hatip Karabudak, Kıvanç Sezer, Kanat Doğramacı, Tolga Karaçelik (Zebra Productions, Asteros Film, Karaçelik Film)

It’s All About Peace and Harmony – Nesimi Yetik
Producer: Betül Esener (Özminimalist Film)

Miss Holocaust SurvivorEytan İpeker (Turkey/Israel/Denmark)
Producers: Yoel Meranda (Kamara), Eitan Mansuri (Spiro Films), Katrin Pors (Snowglobe)

Queen Lear [+see also:
film profile
 – Pelin Esmer
Producers: Dilde Mahalli (Sinefilm)

Furthermore, three feature films by debutant directors from neighbouring countries have been selected for the Work in Progress Neighbours section. Greek writer-director Minos Nikolakakis is presenting his modern-day fable Entwined [+see also:
film review
interview: Minos Nikolakakis
film profile
, Romanian cinematographer Tudor Platon his personal documentary House of Dolls and Afghan filmmaker Tareq Daoud a drama that takes place in modern-day Turkey.

The Work in Progress Neighbours selection is as follows:

Entwined [+see also:
film review
interview: Minos Nikolakakis
film profile
Minos Nikolakakis (Greece/UK)
Producers: Minos Nikolakakis, Lilette Botassi (Inkas Films), Panos Bisdas (Authorwave), Giorgos Georgopoulos (Multivision), Kostas Koutsoliotas (Melancholy Star)

House of DollsTudor Platon (Romania)
Producers: Ada Solomon, Alexandru Solomon, Carla Fotea (Micro Film), Tudor Platon (Film Cartel)

YabanTareq Daoud (Switzerland/Turkey)
Producers: Xavier Derigo (IDIP Films), Çiğdem Mater (Ret Film)

Finally, the Neighbours Platform presents seven feature-film projects originating from Turkey’s neighbouring countries – Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon, Romania and Ukraine. Among the projects competing are those directed by Egyptian documentarian Mohamed Siam (Amal [+see also:
film profile
), MIDPOINT Feature Launch participant Ana-Maria Comănescu (see the news) and Georgian writer-director Nana Janelidze, with a biopic on Ukraine’s foremost writer Lesya Ukrainka.

The Neighbours Platform projects are as follows:

CarnavalMohamed Siam (Egypt/France)
Producers: Mohamed Siam (Artkhana Films), Guillaume de Seille (Arizona Productions)

CommediaMyriam El Hajj (Lebanon)
Producer: Myriam Sassine (Abbout Productions)

Death of SohrabMasoud Soheili (Iran/UK)
Producers: Alireza Shojanoori, Ajay Rai (In Front of the Top of the Bottom Films)

HoriaAna-Maria Comănescu (Romania)
Producer: Ada Solomon (Micro Film)

Lesia UkrainkaNana Janelidze (Ukraine)
Producer: Julia Sinkevych (JS Films LLC)

SamgleIva Fezuashvili (Georgia)
Producers: Tinatin Kajrishvili (Gemini), Lasha Khalvashi (Studio Artizm)

VisaDima Al-Joundi (Lebanon/Spain)
Producer: Isona Passola (Massa D’or)

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