Turkish film festival opens

By Ana de Sousa

Three Monkeys film poster 

Scores of Turkish actors, directors and producers graced the red carpet at the BFI Southbank to celebrate the 14th London Turkish Film Festival (LTFF) this week.

There are close to 150,000 Turkish nationals living in Britain, and a further 130,000 Turkish-speaking Cypriots. Lewisham and Peckham have some of London’s largest Turkish communities, which were honoured in the recent ‘Turks in London’ exhibition.

This year’s LTFF is bigger, brighter and runs longer than previous years, thanks to increased funding, which has allowed it to move from Hackney to venues including the Barbicanand BFI.

Turkish cinema is notoriously overlooked, and has been described by one critic as “one of Europe’s most scandalously neglected film industries”; but a new wave of feature, animation and short film -makers is set to put Turkey back on the movie map.

Many of the films cover common themes in recent Turkish history, such as migration, conflict and frontiers, particularly between East and West. A number are set in Germany, where there is a large Turkish population.

Photographer Murat Tuncer, 26, who was born and raised in the UK to Turkish parents said: “I think it’s really interesting to see Turkish cinema today. It’s a new wave…you can feel that Turkey has moved away from the Hollywood way of doing things, and is really thinking hard about the films being made.”

The festival runs until December 18.

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