The 27th edition of the Istanbul International Film Festival confirmed its reputation as a major cinematographic event, linking European and Asian cultural traditions. As the roots of the festival go back to the Istanbul Music Festival, the main theme of the international competition (12 titles) still remained the relationship between the arts and creativity, as well as adaptations of major literary works (even if this year's selection stepped sometimes out of this scope). The national competition (11 titles) presented a diversified panorama of recent Turkish productions, enthusiastically received by the young public. This was also the second year of a special Human Rights competitive section, co-organized by the festival and the Council of Europe. A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Claudia Cardinale and Cinema Honorary Awards went to Turkish actors Ekrem Bora, Izzet Gunay and Ediz Hun and the Russian director Alexander Sokurov.
The program as a whole consisted of 200 films, representing the major tendencies of creative filmmaking all over the world with a visible emphasis on socially relevant themes and gender issues. The scope of the program covered a variety of genres and personal styles from carefully selected Turkish and foreign classics to recent films by the veterans, challenging the years and provocatively young local and American Independents. (Kirill Razlogov)