The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents the 4th annual Houston Turkish Film Festival. This year, the line-up includes six acclaimed recent films from Turkey. Special guests include Kaan Müjdeci, director of Sivas, and Tolga Karaçelik, director of Ivy (Sarmaşıkl), to present and discuss their films. All films are in Turkish with English subtitles unless noted otherwise.
(Directed by Kaan Müjdeci, Germany/Turkey, 2014, 95 min.)
*Director Kaan Müjdeci in attendance
Thursday, September 29, 7 p.m.
This coming-of-age story, set in an Anatolian village in Eastern Turkey, tells the story of 11-year-old, Aslan, and his dog, Sivas, who develop a strong bond after the boy rescues the wounded animal. Meanwhile, after losing the lead role in the school play to his romantic rival, Aslan tries to impress the girl they both like with his new canine friend. Sivas has been praised for the strong performance by the young lead actor Doğan İzci as Aslan, and was honored with the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.
*There will be a Q&A after the screening, followed by an opening night reception.
(Directed by Tolga Karaçelik, Turkey, 2015, 104 min.)
*Director Tolga Karaçelik in attendance
Friday, September 30, 7:30 p.m
When a Turkish cargo ship en route from Istanbul to Angola arrives in an Egyptian port, the crew learns that the company has gone bankrupt. Furthermore, it is necessary for six men to remain aboard the docked vessel while the situation is resolved. Ivy is a compelling character study that observes the experiences of a diverse group of men confined to the ship as they suffer hunger, thirst, and increasing hostilities.
*There will be a Q&A after the screening.
(Directed by Can Evrenol, Turkey, 2015, 97 min.)
Friday, September 30, at 9:30 p.m.
This surreal horror film explores the darkness of the mind and soul. The story follows a squad of five unsuspecting police officers working the night shift when they are called to a seemingly abandoned building, only to find themselves in the midst of a shocking ritual celebration of black magic. Baskin is one of the most popular horror films of the past year, earning the Best Director award at Austin’s 2015 Fantastic Fest.
For mature audiences only.
The Cats of Istanbul (Kedi)
(Directed by Ceyda Torun, Turkey, 2016, 80 min.)
Saturday, October 1, 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 2, 7 p.m.
Anyone who has visited Istanbul cannot help but notice the strong presence of cats. This charming and colorful new documentary offers a unique tour of this vibrant city from the perspective of its beloved felines and the humans who care for them. As a celebration of the universal affection for cats, the travelogue introduces a cast of distinctive personalities as it guides audiences around the bustling markets, restaurants, and iconic sites of this ancient city.
125 Years Memory (Ertuğrul 1890)
(Directed by Mitsutoshi Tanaka, 2015, 122 min. in Japanese and Turkish with English subtitles)
Introductory remarks by Mr. Ferhat Alkan, Consul General of Turkey and Mr. Tetsuro Amano, Consul General of Japan
Saturday, October 1, at 7 p.m.
This moving and dramatic historical epic is based on events that happened a century apart. In 1890, the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul wrecked in the Pacific Ocean on its way home after paying a courtesy visit to the Emperor of Japan. Hearing the alarm bell that warned of a vessel in distress, local Japanese villagers provided assistance, saving 69 from a crew of 600. The film flashes forward to 1985, during the Iran-Iraq war, when the evacuation of Japanese citizens in Tehran was aided by the officials at the Turkish Embassy who arranged for their safe departure during the dangerous bombing raids. This film explores how these two humanitarian initiatives have indelibly linked Turkey and Japan.
Directed by Ali Atay, Turkey, 2015, 110 min.)
Sunday, October 2, at 5 p.m.
Turkish television and movie star Ali Atay takes a turn at directing with an entertaining comedy about two half-brothers who meet for the first time when they are summoned to their father’s deathbed. The ailing father Suat has one request for his son Sakip: to find Selim, his previously unknown half-brother from an earlier relationship. The siblings, who have very different personalities, end up on a road trip from Istanbul to Macedonia. Their tumultuous adventure tests both brothers’ patience and leads each to a new appreciation for the meaning of family.