The first film showing in Turkey was held
in the Yildiz Palace in 1896. Public shows by Sigmund Weinberger in the
Beyoglu and Sehzadebasi districts followed in 1897. The first Turkish movie,
a documentary produced by Fuat Uzkinay in 1914, depicted the destruction of
the Russian monument in Ayastefanos by the public. The first thematic
Turkish films were "The Marriage of Himmet Aga" (1916-1918), started by
Weinberger and completed by Uzkinay, "The Paw" (1917) and "The Spy" (1917),
both by Sedat Simavi. The army-affiliated Central Cinema Directorate, a
semi-military national defence society, and the Disabled Veterans Society
were the producing organizations of that period.
In 1922 a major documentary film, "Independence,
the Izmir Victory," was made about the first war of Independance. The same
year, the first private studio, Kemal Film, commenced operations.
From 1923 to 1939, Muhsin Ertugrul was the
only film director in the country. He directed 29 films during this period,
generally incorporating adaptions of plays, operettas, fiction and foreign
films. The influence of the theater dating back to Uzkinay, Simavi, Ahmet
Fehim and Karagozoglu is very strong in Muhsin Ertugrul's work.
The years between 1939 and 1950 were a
period of transition for the Turkish cinema, during which it was greatly
influenced by the theater as well as by World War II. While there were only
two film companies in 1939, the number increased to four between 1946 and
1950. After 1949, Turkish cinema was able to develop as a separate art, with
a more professional caliber of talents.
Between 1950 and 1966, more than fifty
directors practiced film arts in Turkey. Omer Lutfi Akad strongly influenced
the period, but Osman F. Seden, Atif Yilmaz and Memduh Un made the most
films. The film "Susuz Yaz" (Dry Summer), made by Metin Erksan, won the
Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1964.
The number of cinema-goers and the number
of films made record a constant increase, especially after 1958. In the
1960s, cinema courses were included in the programs of the theater
departments in the Language, History and Geography faculties of Ankara and
Istanbul Universities and in the Press and Publications High School of
Ankara University. A cinema branch was also established in the Art History
Department of the State Fine Arts Academy.
The Union of Turkish Film Producers, and
the State Film Archives also were established in the 1960s. The State Film
Archives became the Turkish Film Archives in 1969. During the same period,
the Cinema-TV Institute was founded and annexed to the State Academy of Fine
Arts. The Turkish State Archives also became part of this organization. In
1962, the Cinema-TV Institute became a department of Mimar Sinan University.
Among the well-known directors of the
1960-1970 period are Metin Erksan, Atif Yilmaz, Memduh Un, Halit Refig,
Duygu Sagiroglu and Nevat Pesen. In 1970, the numbers of cinemas and cinema-goers
rose spectacularly. In 2,424 cinemas, films were viewed by a record number
of 246,662,318 viewers.
In 1970, approximately 220 films were made
and this figure reached 300 in 1972. After this period, the cinema began to
lose its audiences, due to nationwide TV broadcasts. After 1970, a new and
young generation of directors emerged, but they had to cope with an
increased demand for video films after 1980.
Increased production costs and difficulties
faced in the import of raw materials brought about a decrease in the number
of films made in the 1970s, but the quality of films improved.
On January 23, 1986, a new cinema law aimed
to ensure support for those working in cinema and music. A reorganization of
the film industry began in 1987 to address problems and assure its
development. The Ministry of Culture established the "Professional Union of
Owners of Turkish Works of Cinema" the same year.
The Copyrights and General Directorate of
Cinema was founded in 1989 as well as a Support Fund for the Cinema and
Musical Arts. This fund is used to provide financial support to the film
Institutions that Provide
Training in the Cinema Sector
- Mimar Sinan University Cinema Section
- Marmara University Cinema Section
- Marmara University Press Section
- Anadolu University Cinema/V Section
- 9 Eylul University Cinema Section Izmir
- Ankara University Political Sciences
Press-Cinema Section Ankara
Organizations Connected to
the Cinema Sector
- SESAM -- Professional Union of Film
Producers, Importers, Cinema-owners
- FIYAP -- Association of Film Producers
- SODER -- Cinema Actors' Association
- FILM YON -- Film Directors' Union
- SINEKAM-DER -- Association of Cameramen,
Set Workers, Technical Assistants and studio workers
- Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Film
Makers' Professional Committee of Film Producers, Importers, Cinema
Owners and Video Distributors.
The International Jury of the
23rd International Istanbul Film Festival presided over by Hugh
Hudson (UK) and composed of Bengt Forslund (Sweden), Michael Galasso (USA),
Michele Levieux (France), Derek Malcolm (UK), Jafar Panahi (Iran), Tayfun
Pirselimoğlu (Turkey) and Serra Yılmaz (Turkey) has decided to give:
* The GOLDEN TULIP Award
to “Bu San / Goodbye, Dragon Inn” by Tsai Ming-Liang
(Taiwan) for it laments the death of a cinema, but not the death of cinema.
A love story, a ghost story and a story of hope for a universal art.
* The SPECIAL PRIZE OF THE
JURY has been shared between “Profesionalac / The Professional”
by Dusan Kovavevic (Serbia-Montenegro) for its outstanding script and
“L’Esquive” by Abdellatif
Kehiche (France) for its harmonious ensemble acting.