THE HOME OF FRIEND IS THE HEARTS
‘I came not for conflict; my work is love
The house of the friend is the souls; I came to please the souls’
Hello Dear Friends,
As those who follow us know, we dedicated last year’s festival to Aşık Veysel, who immortalized his Anatolian amity with his saz and organized it with broad participation. We hosted finalist directors and established good collaborations at the festival, where 750 films from 66 different countries applied. We are trying to realize our festival, which grows with the strength it gets from his friends and moviegoers, to reinforce cinema’s friendship and enhance our inner light despite the pandemic that affected the entire world.
Every year, we dedicate our festival to a friend of the heart who universalizes the understanding of friendship of our geography and country through his/her art. We organize this year’s event in memory of the Turkish language’s greatest poet Yunus Emre, who immortalized amity with his poems inspired by his love of faith and Sufism. The most important thing that makes Yunus Emre unique is that he has emerged in Anatolia’s darkest period and burned the fire of hope with his simple but profound poems. With his poetry and archetypal dervish personality, he managed to become a school to ignite the fire of love in times of despair and defeat. The world Yunus was born in was a world that Mongolians did level everything with the ground after defeating the Seljuks. At such a time, when no one had the tenacity to live and hope, Yunus Emre, to give hope to the people, tried to draw a new model of Islamic and humane existence through poetry by going beyond the classical religious doctrine without breaking the bond with tradition. His poems attained such a substantial artistic value; they surpassed the teachings and preserved their freshness and novelty. In that sense, his poetry, which has unprecedented form and essence, exceeded ages and geographies. It transformed into hymns and breaths. It created a joint joy of life in the soul of the wolf and the bird. Yunus Emre and other poets who dared to cite poetry in his time are the architects of the Turkish we are speaking today and divan literature and modern poetry.
Today, humanity is in a state of frustration and despair, similar to Yunus Emre’s time. Even though we might not realize, the human species are going down like ninepins under this worldwide pandemic and wearing out more and more in psycho-sociological terms. In such a period, we, who are trying to reread and reinterpret life, human, knowledge, and faith, live while profoundly feeling that the human-being is nothing by himself and can only hang on to life with friends and loved ones. In this sense, we realize once more how precious friendship, and each person’s life and death is. That is why, on the eve of such despair and dreariness, poetry, music, painting, and cinema needs inclusive voices and works. Works that emanate with love and amity from the pain exist in the hearts of the artists for the human beings that positive sciences cannot reach, the technology and Internet cannot save, who are getting lonely and decaying. In this context, we are happy to commemorate Yunus Emre and to share his poetry and his thoughts with you under the shadow of this perspective.
We are in an uncertain time where the pandemic has deeply affected cinema and film production, and many festivals were either postponed or continued online. Despite everything, we will follow social distancing rules and try to hold our festival by believing and trusting in the power of friendship. We received 301 applications from 33 different countries. This year, 48 magnificent short films will meet with the audience under “Competition,” “Forty Years of Gratitude,” and “Panorama” categories. Movies made by our foreign jury members, “When the Persimmons Grew” and “Holy Boom,” and a film made of ten short films, “Sarajevo Mon Amour,” will be shown under the “Special Screenings.” Unfortunately, we will not invite our filmmaker friends due to the borders’ closure and cancellation of flights. However, we will present their films to the audience. We will deliver their “friendship messages” online to have our foreign directors’ thoughts and feelings heard. We will try to do interviews with directors and crews competing with the films made in Turkey by complying with the prevention rules and regulations.
Every year, we added new friends in the path we set out in 2018 with the intention of thinking, developing, and adding value to the existence of friendship in every way. At the festival, we will continue to meet with new and different stories, new narration styles and forms, different perspectives and the worlds, and, most importantly, with the directors who create them. In this path, we have presented many original and highly cinematically valuable short films to the audience. We are thrilled to introduce these films and bring them together with the audience. I thank everyone who thinks, writes, makes, and reads films on behalf of cinema and friendship to contribute to this growing friendship chain and build future generations.
Hoping to meet you again and seeing “The Home of the Friend, the Hearts” on the silver screen…