NEWS 2016: The festival pays homage to the Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu

Yesim Ustaoglu a Middle East Now Firenze

Yeşim Ustaoğlu is among the very few female directors in Turkey and is considered to be among the trailblazers of contemporary Turkish cinema. The festival presents a tribute to Yeşim Ustaoğlu with three of her greatest films.

From her very first films she stood out as having created a new approach to cinema that was socially profound and embraced political themes. She continues to inspire young directors today. Critical acclaim came with “Journey to the Sun” (1999) – the story of a brave friendship between a Turk and a Kurd – the first film in Turkey to broach the Kurdish question. With it, Ustaoğlu opened a new chapter in Turkish cinema looking at “others”. In her subsequent films she looked into subjects close to her heart such as the role of memory and its function as an escape mechanism (in “Pandora’s Box”, 2008), and in her latest film, “Araf” (2012), she reflects on the conditions for young people in Turkey, suspended between tradition and a desire for change.


Hotel (Turkey, 1992, 13’) – Tuesday 5 April, 9.00pm – opening night (Cinema Odeon)

Araf – Somewhere in Between (Turkey, France, Germany, 2013, 120’) – Thursday 9 April, 9.00pm (Cinema Stensen)

Jouney to the Sun (Turkey, The Netherlands, Germany, 1999, 104′) – Friday 8 April, 10.30pm (Cinema Odeon)

Pandora’s Box (Turkey, 2008, 112′) – Saturday 9 April, 3.00pm (Cinema Odeon)