Festivals         7th Malatya International Film Festival, 9-16 November, 2017

The young festival aiming high


The 7th edition of the young, lively and booming Malatya International Film Festival, one of the Turkish most popular film events, is set in the beautiful city of Malatya, one of Anatolia’s ancient cities, renowned for being the biggest world producer of best quality apricots. Hence, the apricot the city and festival symbol.


 (Malatya, one of the most important cities of Turkey, with its geographical location, climate, and socio-economic setting, is known as the home of many Turkey’s politicians and of the world’s cultural heritage. The history of Malatya dates back to Paleolithic age, with the findings from research and excavations in the region showing important information about the human history. Surrounded by many natural beauties and cultural monuments, Malatya region can also boast of a magnificent Nemrut mountain National park, with graves and sculptures as the most brilliant remnants of Hellenistic age, declared as world cultural heritage by UNESCO.)

Headed by Suat Köçer and aided by a formidable professional team of programme director Alin Taşçiyan and coordinators Belkis Bayrak, Mustafa Gürbüz and Merve Genç Kurşun, as well as by dedicated and enthusiastic army of super-kind, big-hearted and always ready to help volunteers, the new edition embarks on its festival journey with a new team and an innovative perspective. The festival’s rich programme includes recent Turkish film productions, while world cinema makes its Turkish premieres. The rich, vibrant festival sections include International feature competition, National feature competition, International and National short film competitions, 60 Years of Cinema, with this year’s homage to South Korean cinema, Panorama, showcasing this year’s most critically acclaimed films from around the world, screened and awarded at most prominent world film festivals, Little apricots, dedicated to animated films, Borders are pointless, dedicated this year to Iranian short film selections, with Honorary Awards, showcasing retrospectives of Nacer Khemir, Halil Ergün, Bilge Olgaç Rakhshan Banietemad,  Tributes to Andrey Zvyagintsev and Mesut Uçakan, In memoriam: to Halit Refiĝ, with many other segments of special screenings and a great number of juries to evaluate various separate sections.

This wide variety of films to watch is enriched this year, in order to attract more Malatya residents, by new sections: Rural Film Screenings, expanding the screenings to Malatya’s four districts and Festival is here, dedicated primarily to children with Down’s syndrome, but also to children’s home residents, hospitalised children, nursing home residents, cinephiles with disabilities, and the war refugees in Turkey.

Another innovation of this edition is the launch of Malatya Film Platform, hosting many prominent cinema figures, workshops, talk sessions, panels and events, including two competitions of 12 film projects for two different awards: a family-themed project is awarded with 100,000 TRY prize money as Ertem Eĝilmez Family Films Support Award, while the other project receives the TRT Production Support Award, thus contributing to further development of Turkish film industry.

With such rich film programmes, vibrant film talks and panels, numerous awards (including the highly rewarding and stimulating money prizes), the admirable dedication to the mission of socially responsible activities, exciting various side-bars, and the great professional team, the Malatya International Film Festival has managed to secure its special ranking as a great meeting place of cineasts not only from Turkey and Asian film industries, but from the whole world, thus marking its place on the wider international festival map as a festival not to be missed by any serious film-maker or film professional.

This year’s winner of NETPAC jury, consisting of Jeffrey Jeturian, Sabire Soytok and myself, is Blue Silence (Mavi Sessizlik), directed by Bülent Őztürk.

Using elaborate and sophisticated cinematic tools, the film unveils, in a touching way, not only the harsh reality of Turkish minorities, but also that of the persecutors, offering a final poignant statement on the inhumanity of innocent victim and cruel culprit-executioner relationship - they are all losers in this tragic impasse, that resonates universally all around the globe.

Maja Bogojević

MALATYA: More / Daha directed by Onur Saylak won the Best Film Award in the National Competition of the 7th edition of the Malatya IFF at the closing ceremony on 16 November 2017. The Best Film Award of the International Competition went to the Azerbaijan film Pomegranate Orchard by Ilgar Najaf.
More also won the Special Jury Award of the International Competition and Best Actor for Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan and Best Promising Young Actor for Hayat Van Eck in the National Competition.

At the opening ceremony, the festival bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on Kim Dong-ho, founder and chairman of the Busan International Film Festival. The festival’s Honour Award was given to director Nacer Khemir. National honourary awards were presented to Turkish director Mesut Ucakan, actor Halil Ergun, actress Meral Orhonsay and dubbing artist Belkis Ozener. At the closing night ceremony an Honorary Award went to Iranian director Rakhshan Banietemad.

 International Awards

Crystal Apricot Best Film Award: Pomegranate Orchard (Azerbaijan)
Directed by Ilgar Najaf
Crystal Apricot Special Jury Award: Hayat Van Eck
More / Daha (Turkey)
Directed by Onur Saylak
International Best Short Film: Summer Time with My Mother (US)
Directed by Diana Lu

Special Awards
NETPAC Award: Blue Silence / Mavi Sessizlik
Directed by Bülent Öztürk  

SIYAD AWARD: Grain / Bugday
Directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu

Kemal Sunal Audience Award: Serial Cook / Sofra Sirlari
Directed by Ümit Ünal

Malatya Film Platform Awards

Trt Pre-Production Support Award: Birlikte Olecegiz
Family Films Production Support Award: Julia’ya Asik Olmak  

National Awards
Crystal Apricot Best Film Award: More / Daha
Crystal Apricot Best Director Award: Fikret Reyhan for Yellow Heat / Sari Sicak
Crystal Apricot Best Script Award: Fikret Reyhan for Yellow Heat / Sari Sicak 
Crystal Apricot Best Cinematography Award: Giles Nuttgens for Grain / Bugday
Crystal Apricot Best Actress Award: Basak Koklukaya for Something Useful / Ise yarar bir sey
Directed by Pelin Esmer
Crystal Apricot Best Actor Award: Ahmet Mumtaz for More / Daha
Crystal Apricot Best Editing Award: Omer Gunuvar, Fikret Reyhan for Yellow Heat / Sari Sicak
Crystal Apricot Best Art Director Award: Naz Erayda for Grain / Bugday
Crystal Apricot Best Film Award Best Music Award: Korhan Futaci for The Bank of Broken Hearts / Kirik Kalpler Bankasi
Directed by Onur Ünlü
Crystal Apricot Special Jury Award: Eksi Bir for Orhan Oguzy
Crystal Apricot Best Supporting Actress Award: Oyku Karavel for Something Useful / Ise yarar bir sey
Crystal Apricot Best Supporting Actor Award: Mehmet Ozgur for Yellow Heat / Sari Sicak
Crystal Apricot Best Promising Young Actress Award: Incinur Dasdemir for Murtaza
Directed by Özgür Sevimli
Crystal  Apricot Best Promising Young Actor: Hayat Van Eck for More / Daha 

Best Short Film Award: Ground Level / Kot Farki
Directed by Ayris Alptekin
Second Best Short Film Award: Story of a Job Interview / Bir Is Gorusmesi Hikayesi 
Directed by Alkim Ozmen
Third Best Film Award: Toprak
Directed by Onur Yagiz
Special Jury Best Short Film Award: Vadi
Directed by Salih Toprak, Can Erkan


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