MEHMET LÜTFİ ŞEN
Festival General Coordinator
Fermenting Friendship into the World
Hello from the third year of the festival. It is wonderful and exciting to witness the many events in our country in culture and arts, carried out with great effort and devotion. However, there is always something our geography lacks; sustainability. Many projects that start well are not able to last for various reasons. We lay a unique brick, but it stays there all by itself. On the contrary, we should lay more brick and build an art monument. We should make the modern world and the future more habitable and beautiful with the inspiration we take from the civilizations we inherited. Our faith suggests that; “be continuous even if just a drop.” Speaking in cinematic language, we must follow similar paths to 40 year-long periodic rhythm as Andrei Tarkovsky underlined at the beginning of his movie, “Victim”. This is the reason for our will and determination to keep the festival going despite all the difficulties and the pandemic that turned the world upside down.
The three-year accumulated knowledge led the festival step by step to a certain point. We started with a purpose. We said that we would strive to carry the make-up of amity that is unique to this geography to our children and the entire world with the creative language of art. In the age we live in, humanity has transformed into a structure worshipping the power gathered from technological developments. Using this power to dominate the nature of which he/she was a part, the human being broke the balance. It destroyed many species, causing irreparable damages to nature. So, our real intention is to create obstacles, as much as we can, for that capitalist vandalism, heading for a fall. For this very reason, we set out with pundit Fethi Gemuhluoğlu’s inspirational philosophy of being a friend to self, nature, history, and geography. After that, we spoke to hearts with Aşık Veysel’s saz. In the third year of the festival, we took refuge in the guidance of the great poet Yunus Emre, who gave hope to the world with his magnificent poetry in the difficult times of the 13th century. Unfortunately, today humanity is in a more significant predicament, and we need the amity, more than ever, he built 800 years ago.
I would like to thank the short filmmakers who answered our call with the movies they shot in those difficult times and conditions, our partners in the sector, and the festival team who works with great devotion. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the outstanding international amity institution–the Turkish Red Crescent, Beyoğlu Municipality, Zeytinburnu Municipality, and all the institutions and organizations that supported us. Only friendship can build a promising future. We hope to watch and reproduce these exciting efforts for friendship together at the festival.
Mehmet Lütfi Şen