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Spotlight on Turkish Cinema
Description:   Every year TIFF places a spotlight on a number of global filmmaking regions. This year TIFF will shine a light upon Turkey, showcasing some of their latest and finest films.

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The History of Cinema stretches back more than a hundred years in Turkey -- almost to the time when moving pictures began their rise in the West as creative art and amusement. The Turkish cinematic age had its innocent start at Ottoman Sultan Abdulhammid's Yildiz Palace in Istanbul in 1896, with the screening of a film whose name goes unrecorded. It must have been tremendously popular though, and in the very next year Sigmund Weinberger, an Hungarian lawyer turned film-buff, wowed Istanbul crowds with foreign film showings in Beyoğlu and Sehzadebaşı. Just 17 years later (in 1914), fledgling Turkish director Fuat Uzkınay debuted the very first Turkish Film, a documentary -- that re-enacted the destruction of the Russian monument in Ayastefanos by activists. The first Turkish films with fictional 'plots' were Himmet Aga'nın Evliliği (The Marriage of Himmet Aga), completed in 1918 by Uzkınay; Pence (The Paw) and Casus (The Spy) both completed in 1917, both produced and directed by Sedat Simavi.

Between 1923 and 1939, the only film director in the whole of Turkey was Muhsin Ertuğrul. And in those years he produced 29 full-length features based on popular novels, operettas, and plays -- and films from abroad. More than any one before or after him, Ertuğrul controlled every aspect of the Turkish Cinema during his two-decades reign. And he firmly planted the seeds of the future Turkish film industry for those who followed him. World War II had a profound effect on the subject matter and direction of Turkish Cinema between 1939 and 1950. And film companies began to proliferate, albeit in a modest way, during that time. The Turkish Cinema continued its progress during the 50's despite the significant political turmoil of the period. And it actually boomed between 1965 and 1975 -- during the era known as the 'Golden Years'.

This program is sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation

The films will be presented for the spotlight are:

Mommo: The Boogie Man
Milk and Chocolate
A Step into the Darkness
My Only Sunshine
The Last Season: Shawaks
Muezzin
Two Lines
The One Note Man



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