istanbul international short film festival - ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

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Dear filmmakers and short film fans, 2017 we had to move our office. As we faced some other challenges through the year it was inevitable to postpone the festival.
Still, we have started to work on 2018 edition. We hope and wish to go on presenting you best short films from around the world in 2018.We are thankful to those who have contacted us to express their concern and offered help.Wishing you best until our next festival.
Let's look at it from the beginning.
What is being done so that you could watch all these short films at the festival?
First, the web page for the festival has to be ready. Then comes the application form. The poster is designed. We find and mail directors in foreign countries who made a short film on that year. In addition to that we also contact international film centers. Next, available films are being downloaded online. Applications are classified according to their countries and genres. We watch all films and take down notes for each. To arrange the theaters, foreign cultural institutes in Istanbul are contacted for cooperation. Translators receive subtitles of foreign films and their Turkish translations get replaced on the respective films. When we specify screening possibilities in venues we go through the applications one again and determine the final selection regarding also a wider variety of countries. Meanwhile, we keep close communication with the directors and film centers. The work for the print catalogue starts. Therefore, a new wave of mailing with producers and directors follows to complete missing film information and stills. Catalogue texts in foreign languages get translated into Turkish. Screening schedule and the programme takes its final shape. The web page gets updated. Posters are being placed outdoor and indoor. The festival video clip is produced. We put together information and photographs to serve the press. The jury for the national competition make their decisions. The screening copies are being prepared and checked. We assign the crew for each venue. The awards are being prepared. The closing ceremony gets organized... And a lot of other work that we couldn't put in that list.

This year we are together for a second time. Unfortunately we had to postpone the programme of 2015 to February 2016, so we worked heavily for two festivals this year. We organized our last three festivals dealing with serious financial difficulties. Our Ministry of Culture has stopped our cooperation stating that 'they don't consider our festival eligible for support'. It is hard to tell how or why the ministry ignores a festival with a history of 30 years which has given support to short film in Turkey, has continiously worked towards building a reputation for short film in this country and has always presented a programme well known globally. No matter what, we work hard to continue our journey in we believe, with the support of our friends.

Our festival has always been open for directors of different worlds. It has been in equal distance to all films -except the ones with fascist and racist messages- which deserved to be presented to our audience. The programme included all kinds of different perspectives and film languages so that there won't be only one kind of short film understanding in our country. There were light comedies but also films questioning social and political issues. One could watch classic story telling but also avangarde and experimental films. The selection has always been made with great care to avoid to create a misperception of 'festival film' among short film makers and so that directors don't make similar films believing that ' festivals like one kinf of film'. There is an idiom: 'The one who is afraid of telling what he/she thinks gradually becomes afraid of thinking'. If we force artists and young people not to express themselves freely next generations will face huge problems. People of our country can find themselves in a world they didn't deserve.

It makes us happy to observe that brave and successful short films are being produced in our country. This year we received 1690 films from Turkey and foreign countries. We have watched them with great care. Short films from Turkey are as good as films from other countries. If our directors couls find a solution to financial difficulties, we are sure, they will have access to better technical equipment and also be able to work with actors of their choice. Thus, they will have the chance to work more intensively on details like sound design and color correction. This way we will have a well established short film scene respected globally.
As I always state, we get the encourage to carry on from our friends who support us without any expectations and also from your sincere and warm reception. However, I am not sure how long we can keep the festival alive in spite of hard conditions. Please enjoy this year's programme as much as you like when there is still a chance.
There is a Chinese saying 'A journey of thousand miles begins with a simple step'. As a group of young friends we set on a journey years ago. With a simple step. I wonder how many miles more we will be able to walk.
Enjoy the festival
Hilmi Etikan

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