MEHMET LÜTFİ ŞEN
Festival General Art Director’s
Seeing the friendship through the visor
Welcome to the fourth year of the festival with the excitement of reaching more artists and more countries. In the new normal of the pandemic conditions, we witness the realization of many art projects in our country. The value of sustainability, which has always been noteworthy in artworks, has multiplied during the epidemic days. In the language of cinema, we should take paths similar to the 40-year-long periodical rhythm that Andrey Tarkovsky underlined at the beginning of the film Victim. Humanity needs art and especially cinema to preserve its moral values. We continue our art journey by coping with all the difficulties and following the rules of the epidemic. In our 4th year, we are one step closer to our goal of contributing to the art of cinema, which we set out on at the beginning of the festival, and of carrying the leaven of friendship, the experience of centuries in Anatolia, to our own country and the world.
In today’s global world, the dominant structures that control humanity have turned into vandal meaninglessness that worships the power they have gathered from technological developments. The power of this structure has upset the balance by damaging nature for the sake of greedy interests. These irreparable damages have destroyed many living species, and our main intention is to wreak havoc with this capitalist vandalism, which is preparing its end with all our might. This is precisely why we set out in the first year, inspired by the philosophy of master Fethi Gemuhluoğlu, to be a friend to ourselves, nature, history, and geography. Then we called the hearts with the instrument of Aşık Veysel. In the third festival, we took refuge in the guidance of the great poet Yunus Emre. This year, when we need art and the leaven of the friendship of Anatolian wisdom more than ever, we are holding our festival with the ancient amity understanding of Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli ‘that accepts all souls and living things as one and whole.
I would like to thank the artists who looked at friendship through their visors, responded to our call with the films they shot in difficult times and under challenging conditions, our stakeholders in the cinema industry, and all our festival team working with great devotion at the 4th festival we held on behalf of the Turkish Red Crescent, the most remarkable institution of international friendship. Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, our main sponsor, Halkbank, the municipalities of Beyoğlu and Zeytinburnu, and all institutions and organizations that stand by us throughout this process. A promising future can be built through art and friendship.
With the hope of getting together in the movie theaters and increasing hope for the future…