Official Selection of 54th International Antalya Film Festival is Announced

Stories about the global refugee crisis, injustice, young love and the essence of creativity line up for International Antalya Film Festival Competition Section

13 films from across the world cinema landscape will be in official selection and the 10 in competition will compete for key prizes at the 54th annual festival

6 features from female directors chosen in line up

Aida Begic’s Never Leave Me selected as To Open the Official Selection; Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s Loving Vincent closes the Official Selection

Showcasing a diverse range of films and filmmakers from around the world, Mike Downey, Artistic Director of International Antalya Film Festival today unveiled the 13 films that have been chosen for official selection at the 54th edition which runs October 21-27, 2017.

This year’s official selection, comprising narrative features and documentaries from 13 countries and including two world premieres, will offer audiences a rich variety of cinematic experiences across drama, comedy, romance and creative documentaries from some of the masters of modern day world cinema tackling relevant modern-day issues through an array of unique cinematic approaches.

A new film shot entirely in Turkey as a Turkish-Bosnian co-production from Sarajevo filmmaker is Aida Begic’s Never Leave Me. The story of two orphaned Syrian boys in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa who recover from their traumatic past to find meaning and love, will open the International Antalya Film Festival on October 21, setting the agenda for the festival this year -one of several films selected at Antalya offering a unique and authentic insight into the global refugee crisis from one of the world’s most respected female auteurs. Begic’s Children of Sarajevo was the foreign language entry from Bosnia & Herzegovinia for the 85th Academy Awards and won the Un Certain Regard Special Distinction Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Selected titles include Mexican director Michel Franco’s April’s Daughter (2017 Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize) about the relationship between a daughter and her long absent mother who comes back into her life when she discovers she is pregnant at age 17, Academy award-winning French filmmaker Michel Haznavicius’s Redoutable about the relationship between director Jean-Luc Godard and young actress Anne Wiazemsky, Turkish director Andac Haznedaroglu’s first ever Turkish-Jordanian co-production The Guest, about a Syrian woman fleeing her war-torn town, Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s drama A Man of Integrity (Un Certain Regard Prize 2017 winner) about corruption and injustice, American filmmaker Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, the tale of a precocious 6 year old setover one summer, which is the filmmakers followup to his award-winning Tangerine,  Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s look at the global refugee crisis Human Flow, Chinese director Vivian Qu’s Angels Wear White, about  two schoolgirls assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel, and Naomi Kawaski’s Radiance, (Ecumenical Jury Prize Winner at 2017 Cannes Film Festival) about a photographer losing his eyesight, Ana Urushadze’s Georgian feature Scary Mother, about a woman who has to choose between her family life and her passion for writing and another Turkish premiere is Ugly Duckling, director Ender Ozkahraman’s family drama about a young woman who dreams of altering her appearance.

Screening Out of Competition is Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismaki’s comedy/drama The Other Side of Hope, Silver Bear Winner at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, which also takes a unique look at the refugee crisis through the eyes of a travelling salesman and a restauranteur.

The seven day festival will close October 27th with filmmakers Dorota Kobeiela and Hugh Welchman’s highly anticipated animated film Loving Vincent – about the life and mysterious death of Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. The film won the audience award at this year’s Annecy Film Festival.

All competition titles are eliglbe to compete for 7 awards in total for best film (50,000 euros), best director (25,000 euros), best actress (2,500 euros), best actor (2,500 euros), Behlül Dal Award and Special Jury Award, and Dr. Avni Tolunay Audience Award (10,000 euros).


Mike Downey, Artistic Director of International Antalya Film Festival said:

 “The global refugee crisis and gender equality are two of the most pressing issues of our times. And it is natural that this first edition under my curation reflects that. Cinema is a reflection of the world we live in, and we have aimed to capture those times both locally and globally. Equally, the festival wishes to be an incubator for the next generation of film makers, by recognising the great masters of Turkish cinema, and by including the best of contemporary features and allowing them to compete as peers alongside the best in world cinema, is providing the Turkish film industry with the proud place that it deserves on the international scene – competing as an equal player with the best of world cinema.”


Antalya Film Forum Director, Zeynep Atakan has said:

“Since the year it was founded, Antalya Film Forum has become a very important platform within the International Antalya Film Festival. Forum, is aimining to increase its contribution to the Turkish cinema by carrying on its mission to help increase the quality of the projects from Turkey and bringing the film professionals from around the world with the industry. This year, we are hoping to gather all the guests from around the world with the Turkish film professionals by strengthening the colloaboration between the Festival and the Forum. In addition to the outstanding film selection of this year, I am also delighted on behalf of the Forum about the guests who will attending”

At Antalya this year, more than 30 films including two world premieres and 25 Turkish premieres will screen between October 21-27 at venues across five different venues including the newly built state-of-the-art Glass Pyramic Open Air Theatre and the 7 Mehmet.

The Festival is likely to draw a record-breaking audience and will host community events as well as panels, networking sessions and educational filmmaking programs.

International Antalya Film Festival recently welcomed Mike Downey as its new Artistic Director in July 2017 who joins Antalya’s existing team which includes Antalya Film Forum head Zeynep Atakan (producer of Palme D’or winning film “Winter Sleep”) and strategic consultant is Mirsad Purivatra, an art and culture entrepreneur, and the Festival Director of Sarajevo Film Festival.


A full list of titles in Official Selection are listed below:




Never Leave Me (Aida Begic), Turkey/Bosnia – OPENING NIGHT FILM (World Premiere) [OUT OF COMPETITION]

Never Leave Me is a story about pain, search for meaning in life and friendship of orphaned. Syrian boys - Isa, Ahmed and Muataz - who live a difficult life as refugees in the magical, mythical Turkish city of Sanliurfa. In their search for recovery from traumatic past, the children will cross the path from destructiveness and hostility to meaningfulness and love. Through this love and finding friends in each other, the boys will find their inner peace.


Loving Vincent (Dorota Kobeila/Hugh Welchman), UK/Poland – CLOSING NIGHT FILM [OUT OF COMPETITION]

An animated feature film about the life and mysterious death of Vincent Van Gogh.


Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu), China

In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only witness. For fear of losing her job, she says nothing. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Wen, one of the victims, finds that her troubles have only just begun. Trapped in a world that offers them no safety, Mia and Wen will have to find their own way out.


April’s Daughter (Michel Franco), Mexico

Valeria is 17 and pregnant. She lives in Puerto Vallarta with Clara, her half-sister. Valeria has not wanted her long-absent mother, April, to find out about her pregnancy, but due to the economic strain and the overwhelming responsibility of having a baby in the house, Clara decides to call their mother. April arrives, willing to her daughters, but we soon understand why Valeria had wanted her to stay away.


The Florida Project (Sean Baker), US

Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.


The Guest (Andac Haznedaroglu),  Turkey (World Premiere)

In the first-ever Turkish-Jordanian co-production, Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak plays Meryem, a Syrian woman fleeing her war-town in the company of eight-year-old Lena and her younger sister, the children of neighbours who have perished in the fighting.  


Human Flow (Ai Wei Wei), Germany [Documentary]

Ai Wei Wei is a courageous artist who has never been afraid to speak out against oppression in all its forms in the most compassionate, passionate and creative forms. Ai Weiwei is China's most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In his film Human Flow, he has turned his attention to the international refugee crisis. After a world premiere in Venice, a North American premiere in Telluride and a Gala screening in Toronto, Ai Wei Wei’s next port of call with the film is Antalya. 


A Man Of Integrity (Mohammad Rasoulof), Iran

A drama about the corruption and injustice in the Iranian society. You are the suppressed, or you have to join the suppressor to survive! 


The Other Side of Hope (Aki Kaurismaki), Finland/Germany [OUT OF COMPETITION]

A poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.


Radiance (Naomi Kawase), Japan/France

A passionate writer of film versions for the visually impaired meets an older photographer who is slowly losing his eyesight.


Redoubtable (Michel Hazanavicius), France

During the making of one of his films, French film director Jean-Luc Godard falls in love with 17-year old actress Anne Wiazemsky and later marries her.


Scary Mother (Ana Urushadze), Georgia

A 50-year-old housewife, Manana, struggles with her dilemma - she has to choose between her family life and her passion, writing, which she had repressed for years - she decides to follow her passion and plunges herself into writing, sacrificing to it mentally and physically.

Ugly Duckling (Ender Ozkahraman), Turkey

Eylem is a young woman. She lives in a small town and works at a rug workshop. She thinks her nose is too large, and dreams of having cosmetic surgery. However, one of her brothers has joined the organisational forces, and many others from the same town have died in clashes. Will Eylem manage to find a way out of this challenging dilemma?