The opening gala film for the 2017 festival was Ferzan Ozpetek's Red Istanbul. In addition to that, six feature length films were screened. Short film competition finalists have also been screened, in the fourth year of the short film competition, opening with Tufan Tastan's film Words Fly Away.
RED ISTANBUL / ISTANBUL KIRMIZISI
Director: Ferzan Ozpetek
Deniz, an acclaimed author, is writing a book about his family and friends. He asks Orhan for critics. The day Orhan came to Istanbul from London, Deniz disappears. Orhan, Deniz's friend Neval and Deniz's lover Yusuf tries to find Deniz. Click for the trailer.
Director: Mehmet Sertan Unver
Stars: Kerim Capli, Yavuz Cetin
A look at the 90's Turkish rock scene, one legendary stage band and its two genius members: Kerim Capli and Yavuz Cetin. Kerim (aka Kim) Capli toured with The Monkees and Hendrix back in 1967, 68. He co-wrote and recorded "Hard to Believe" with Davy Jones. What looked like a bright future for him in US ended abruptly. People thought he died; but did he? Click for the trailer.
MY FATHER'S WINGS / BABAMIN KANATLARI
Director: Kivanc Sezer
Screenwriter: Kivanc Sezer
Stars: Menderes Samancilar, Musab Ekici, Kubra Kip
Set against the backdrop of construction activity promising to fill in the empty spaces of the urban landscape with entirely new neighborhoods, a story unfolds of an aging construction worker who, unlike his peers, has to drop all plans for the future after being diagnosed with a malignant tumor.
MR GAY SYRIA
Director: Ayse Toprak
Writing: Ayse Toprak
Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Husein, a barber in Istanbul, and Mahmoud, a refugee in Berlin and founder of Syria's LGBT movement, pursue a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest.
DON'T TELL ORHAN PAMUK THAT HIS NOVEL IS IN THE FILM I MADE IN KARS
Director: Riza Sonmez
Screenwriter: Riza Sonmez
Stars: Vildan Atasever, Israfil Parlak, Atalay Uluisik
A popular actor in Turkish cinema, Rıza Sönmez, goes behind the camera for this docudrama inspired by a visually impaired musician he met in Kars. Sönmez improvises a story about a barber who takes photos of people, streets, and objects, much like the character in Orhan Pamuk's novel Snow.
SOUR APPLES / EKSI ELMALAR
Director: Yilmaz Erdogan
Screenwriter: Yilmaz Erdogan
Stars: Farah Zeynep Abdullah, Hamit Annak, Fatih Artman
Promising a visual feast of colors, costumes, light and locations, Sour Apples will have you simultaneously laughing and crying with its powerful acting performances as well as Yilmaz Erdogan's witty and memorable dialogues.
Director: Soner Caner, Baris Kaya
Screenwriter: Soner Caner, Naz Caybasi, Muge Seviker
Rauf hopes to win over his big crush, the older Zana, with the help of the color pink. But what does pink really look like anyways, and will he even be able to find it in his snowy little Kurdish village up in the mountains? Meanwhile, disturbing rumors sweep in from the outside world.
DRAWERS / CEKMECELER
Director: Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay
Screenwriter: Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay, Ismail Onur Coskun, Tilbe Saran
Stars: Ece Dizdar, Tilbe Saran, Taner Birsel
Deniz, 33, ends up in a hospital after a traumatic night and has to face the ghosts of her past: Soon after the divorce of her parents, she is left behind at the age of five. Her father's control on her childhood's sexual discovery, drove her into a life full of parties, men and sex. After 25 years of her painful but liberating journey and finally months of hospital recovery, she manages to discover herself and furthermore the hidden secrets in her family drawers.
Thursday, November 2nd
6:30pm – Opening Night Gala* – Gordon Biersch Brewery at Pacific Place
8:30pm – Opening Film* – Istanbul Kirmizisi (Red Istanbul) – Pacific Place
Friday, November 3rd
7:00pm – Blue – SIFF Uptown
9:30pm – Mr Gay Syria – SIFF Uptown
Saturday, November 4th
2:00pm – Babamin Kanatlari (My Father's Wings) - SIFF Film Center
4:15pm – Orhan Pamuk'a Soylemeyin... (Don't Tell Orhan Pamuk...) - SIFF Film Center
7:00pm – Eksi Elmalar (Sour Apples) - SIFF Film Center
9:15pm – Rauf - SIFF Film Center
Sunday, November 5th
6:00pm – Closing Film – Cekmeceler (Drawers)** – Kirkland Performance Center
8:15pm – Closing Night Gala – Kirkland Performance Center
*Actress Cigdem Onat attended the Q&A after the screening.
**Q&A with Director Caner Alper after the screening of Drawers
Film, Festival, and Gala Logistics
Ebru Yildirim, Feral Gokcen, Demet Kitis, Banu Erdim
Community Engagement, Sponsorship, and Budget
Huseyin Erdim, Ufuk John Gokcen
Technology and Multimedia
Short Film Competition Director
Short Film Competition
Rana San, M. Burak Senol, Ozgur Arman, Lisa Waagd, Senay Cebioglu