International Antalya Film Festival, is one of the oldest film festivals in Europe and Asia, it is also the oldest and longest running film festival in our country. In the mid 1950s, theatre and concerts began to be held at the ancient Aspendos Theatre, which became the foundation of the International Antalya Film Festival. Due to great interest from the public, performances done in the summer every year became a tradition and this festive mood continued until the beginning of the 60s. For many years the late Dr. Avni Tolunay who served as Mayor took on board cinema in 1963, turning it into the ” International Antalya Film Festival “. At first Dr. Avni Tolunay, was in search of an emblem and sculptors Gazanfer Karacehennem and Behlul Dal integrated the regions symbol, the orange, sea, historical elements and Venus into the statue. Not only was the orange used in the emblem, but also became the name of the film festival.
1964 Although the first Festival was held in tough conditions it had gained huge interest. The mission of the festival was to support the Turkish Cinema morally and financially, by encouraging Turkish film makers to produce high quality work, and to prepare the ground for Turkish cinema to open to the international platform.
1964 and 1973 International Antalya Film Festival continued during these years and in 1973, it continued in the same way by the new selected Mayor Selahattin Tonguc.
1978 The Film Festival took Fine Arts on board and carried this out internationally.
1979 The year of censorship. Due to the impact of censorship in 1980, the 17th and 18th International Antalya Film Festival Awards could not proceed. In 2011 at the 48th International Antalya Film Festival, awards were given under the title “The Late Awards” 31 years later, to its owners.
Up until this year the Festival, took place under the leadership of the municipality of Antalya, however in 1985 it was organized by Antalya Tourism Culture and Arts Foundation founded by Mayor Yener Ulusoy. In 1985, Yener Ulusoy created a new dimension to the Festival by adding the International Music Competition named ‘Mediterranean Mediterranean’. The contest continued along with the International Antalya Film Festival between 1985 to 1988 covering all of the Mediterranean countries.
Between 1989 – 1994 the Festival, was organised by the Festival Executive Board. This comprised of City Council members, tourism agencies and the Antalya Chamber of Commerce representatives. From the year 1995, the Festival organisation was led by the Municipality of Antalya, established “Golden Orange Culture and Art Foundation” in September 2002 up to 2014 served by Antalya Culture and Art Foundation conducted by AKSAV.
Its national achievement in success and experience, has grown to a large international cinema event since 2005. Now, the International Antalya Film Festival, embraces Antalya and Turkish cinema and is on a progressive ambitious path on world cinema platform.
Our Festival also brings together, the Asian and European cinema and important and respected names in world cinema. We have the honor of hosting so many internationally well known guests such as:
Francis Ford Coppola
Kim Ki Duk