In spite of ideology, a lot of significant films were made in the Turkic republics within the tradition of Soviet cinema. Thanks to prominent film directors, it turned to be possible to create a cinematic heritage and accumulate invaluable experience.
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union the promotional events introducing Turkic filmmakers and cinema were held in Turkey one after another.
Among them, the first and innovative initiative was the “Turkic World Cinema Days”, organized by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality under the guidance of prof. Tevfik Ismailov and Ihsan Kabul, with the support of Mimar Sinan University.
The idea to ‘’bring together the Turkic world through the cinema and filmmakers’’ emerged during the ‘’Turkic World Cinema Days’’ first held on 21-28 November, 1998. Since then this idea was enriched with various opinions and suggestions. As a result of the event, the ‘’I Turkic World Cinema Days Protocol’’ had been prepared and signed by filmmakers from seven countries.
The idea of rapprochement and interaction through cinema instead of film competition was adopted as the basic principle in the following years during the ‘’II Turkic World Cinema Days’’ (26-31 January 2001), and the ‘’III Turkic World Cinema Days’’ (20-26 December 2002). During these cinema days, along with the film screenings, the possibility of implementing the agreements upon the interaction in the film industry, and celebration of the Turkic World Cinema Day annually on the 21st of November were discussed. Execution of joint projects through the Turkic film market dynamic development strategies, and establishment of the special cinema support fund by common financial contributions were also discussed.
A lot of arts and cultural activities were held in Eskisehir that was declared the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World in 2013. ‘’Turkic-speaking Films – International Turquoise Cinema Days’’ took place on 24-28 February, 2014 under general guidance of Ihsan Kabil.
The common feature of these cinema days that have been taking place since 1998, is that they are held “without competition”.
Korkut Ata Turkic World Film Festival aims to be the first and only event that brings the feature-length films and documentary from the Turkic republics and communities into the spotlight. For this purpose, a total of 40 selected films from the Turkish world cinema will screen in competition and non-competitive sections.
Bringing film professionals and film lovers from all over the world together in Istanbul, the heart of Eurasia, will become an opportunity for Turkey to carry out an international project.
Selected films from Turkic countries will screen in Istanbul, the opportunities of the film industry and potential of the Turkic World Cinema Association will be discussed in details, and they will be declared the essential part of the Turkish historical and cultural heritage
The cultural and intellectual components of the Turkic World cinema will be presented to the attention of young generations, and amateur or professional filmmakers; the cinema in our country will nourish and contribute to the cultural heritage.
With the film screenings and open discussion sessions to be held, the cinematic works of the Turkic states, which unfortunately are not well known in our country, will be introduced to whom it may be of interest.
All festival films produced outside Turkey will screen in original language with the Turkish subtitles added. Thus, the Turkic/Turkish language and its dialects that is the main communication channel in the Turkic world will be introduced to the audience through cinema making the common features and differences more clear and obvious. The language will help to lay the foundation for another one communication channel between the Turkic peoples whose combined population today is about 200 million.
The festival program offers films of different genres – fiction, full length animated movie or documentary – that illustrate social and cultural life of independent or autonomous Turkic states. A mixed selection will be made between works of above-mentioned countries and communities. Although the film production year is not very important, the films produced recently will be in focus, especially in the competition category.
Along with the films that illustrate the historical perspectives and cultural structures of the countries, the works that touch upon the current problems will be the skeleton of the festival.